It seems like a blunder that the Lake Cowichan Community Garden was allowed to set up in a spot that it was known they might have to move from.
Having a garden in a public space that people can access is a big boon for a community.
There are plenty of people in apartments and the like who simply do not have access to their own land to grow things.
It’s well-known that food grown locally is packed with more nutrition, as it can be harvested at its peak and eaten immediately, rather than facing a long transport by sea, air or highway.
While we all love some of the produce we can get this way thanks to our global world, like oranges, lemons, cantaloupe and the like, there’s no doubt that strawberries sun-warmed and straight from the patch, picked at their height, far surpass those imported from afar.
The difference in smell and taste alone make them far more desirable. We keep watch by the strawberry patch to pounce when the season begins, waiting for that first ripe, sweet berry.
Access to land to grow food is also important for people who are making do on a limited income.
Buying a bit of seed, even being able to save some from one year to the next, planting it, and harvesting the results can save people with a limited food budget a great deal of money.
It’s also well-known that people with a limited income tend to eat calorie-dense, but less nutritious food, as it can be less expensive to buy.
This leads to all kinds of health woes.
When someone is eating from a garden, they’re automatically getting a lot of the most recommended food categories: fruits and vegetables.
Further, it’s important to know where your food is coming from. Many children in today’s world are divorced from the reality of where the food that magically appears on their plates actually originates. Some will know that a lot of it comes from the grocery store, but before that, they are clueless.
It creates a disconnect between the growers and the consumers.
A community garden can help, with educational programs, to close that gap.
All of which is to say that Lake Cowichan’s community garden is more than worthwhile, it’s vital.
While it’s admirable that officials are now offering to help find a place to move it to, and to help salvage anything possible if it becomes necessary to change its location, it’s crazy that it’s necessary in the first place.