Following a winter of construction, Penticton’s Community Garden is finally ready to officially unveil its much-needed expansion.
There will be a grand opening for the expansion at noon on Saturday during the Vancouver Avenue garden’s first annual open house.
The garden’s expansion, which increased the number of plots from 26 to 51, came as a result of “miraculous” efforts of community members, said Carol Allen, president of the Penticton Community Garden Society.
She estimated the cost of the expansion to be between $25,000 to $30,000 — a cost which was covered completely by donations from the community and grants.
“It’s really humbling how good local businesses have been to us,” she said. “It’s nice to see that kind of support from within the community. You’d hope that would be there, but it really far exceeded anything we had anticipated.”
Dennis Hyrcun, a life-long gardener, has been sowing his seeds on the community plots for the last two years. He said he’s seen an increase in the interest for his life-long hobby.
“Obviously there’s more and more interest every year, at least with the people I know and talk to,” he said. “People wanting to grow their own vegetables — there’s that big kick on organic and that kind of stuff. I know a lot of young people are getting interested, whereas 20 years ago they wouldn’t have even wanted to talk about gardening.”
Allen said this year’s open house is hopefully the first of many annual events and, aside from offering an opportunity to meet and greet members of the community, provides a chance to learn from a number of local gardening experts. As well, there will be refreshments and gardening items for sale.
However, the expansion isn’t finished just yet, said Allen.
“We’re still desperately in need of a shed, or rather, we’re prepared to build it, and we do have the framing material, but we do need roofing material, siding material and flooring material, and if anybody wanted to step forward for that, we would be very, very grateful,” she said.