Ocean Vegetables Community Garden
The Ocean Vegetables Community Garden is a free to harvest community garden that was founded in 2013 by community member and activist Donald Robb. After creating a boulevard garden outside of his house on Mermaid St. in Sechelt, he felt inspired by the impact growing food for the public could have. He approached the district of Sechelt and they offered him the land on Ocean Avenue for a lease of $1/ year to create a community garden.
Donald then reached out to multiple community organizations including One Straw Society, Arrowhead Centre, Sunshine Coast Association for Community Living, Sunshine Coast Alternative School, St. Hilda’s Church and Sechelt Rotary Club to build the gardens. He also engaged local businesses like Salish Soils, B&K Landscaping and Vital Signs to support with in kind donations.
Chris Hergesheimer coordinated the gardens for the first year while Esco Goodwin created the primary design and led the installation of the first 26 beds with workers from involved organizations.
In 2014, Chris stepped down from his role to pursue a masters degree and Kym Chi stepped in. She continued to lead the implementation of the second phase of design with 6 more garden beds and the creation of a community cob bench led by Amanda-Rae Hergesheimer and a team of amazing natural builders.
In 2015, the gardens continued with an additional 6 garden boxes donated by the Sechelt Rotary Club.
In 2016, Laura Walker joined the coordinating team and organized the annual planting party. Many of the seeds she was gifted with were from the Sunshine Coast Seed Saving Collective. She planted these in alignment with the biodynamic calendar. The raised beds were designed to grow more perennials and are interplanted with companion species. Laura organizes a weekly volunteer orientation evening to garden in community. All levels of experience are welcome! Her role is to raise awareness about the gardens, write grants and seek donations from the community. She also does some of the partnership coordination and is grateful to have the Phoenix Alternative School creating a three tiered composting system!
Many more local businesses and farmers have contributed to Ocean Vegetables Community Garden since including Gibsons Building Supplies, Red Wagon Farms, RR7 Farm, Mus-wiya, Terra Tea, Wilson Creek Cedar Mill, Quality Garden, Home Hardware, Denise Legasse, Maria Hunter, Dana Wilson, Jim, The Good Life Farm, Half Moon Bay Nursery, Linda, Michelle Young, Jesse Clark and Steve Christian.
Dana Wilson, of Gaia’s Guild, has volunteered her time to design the base map for the raised beds and has contributed to the garden design by pairing companion plants together and planning for succession.
More about Ocean Vegetables:
Participation by local residents and organizations in the planning, implementation and maintaince of the gardens is encouraged as a collaborative effort to grow food for free for all who need it. The purpose of the gardens is to provide an urban demonstration site for sustainable living.
Join us every Tuesday evening, from 5-7pm for an open volunteer orientation to learn about the plants and how to harvest and take care of them and discover how to get more deeply involved in the design process!
The Long Term Vision for Ocean Vegetables Community Garden:
To co-create a forest garden around the cob bench and along the boulevard. A forest garden imitates a forest ecosystem that meets its own needs on site and provides for people and wildlife in many ways: offering food, medicine, shelter, pure air, water and nutrient rich soil.
To grow a forest garden we observe and apply the patterns in a forest. There are seven layers: large trees, small trees, shrubs, herbs, flowers, vines and root crops. We arrange species so that they function symbiotically while restoring the cycles of nature.
At the Ocean Vegetables Community Garden we hope to acquire funding to create a sheltered seating and teaching area, a shed to store tools in, a free seed library and extra seating areas amidst the gardens.