Vernon group using public spaces to grow fruits, vegetables for community | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon group using public spaces to grow fruits, vegetables for community

A VEG space will provide the Vernon community with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Erik Hrabovsky

A Vernon permaculture group is growing two edible gardens that will be available for anyone in need of some fresh fruits and vegetables.

Erik Hrabovsky, lead with Vernon Permaculture, said the group planted seeds back in October at its two garden locations, called Vernon Edible Garden spaces, in Polson Park and next to city hall.

In addition to providing the community with fruits, vegetables and herbs, there’s also an educational component that the permaculture group is trying to show the community.

READ MORE: Garden centers appear to be getting a coronavirus bump

“We’re trying to mimic nature by creating a forest system to show how plants are working together so you don’t need chemicals and fertilizers,” Hrabovsky said.

Each garden will be able to provide roughly 10 families with regular salads over a few months’ time, he said. The plots will be jam-packed with fruits, vegetables and at Polson Park location, will even have mulberry and pawpaw trees, he said.

The seeds are already sprouting and some fruits and vegetables will be available in the next month, he said. “Some of those things like the mulberry might take five years before it’s actually producing something and the pawpaw might take three (years).”

Almonds and apricots will likely be available at the city hall location next year, he said. He’s also hoping fruits and vegetables will be left over to fertilize the soil for the next season.

He’s hoping that by promoting these gardens and offering a positive space for people to enjoy, it will also help Vernon’s vulnerable population and allow them to eat healthy food.

READ MORE: Need for seed: Gardeners flock to stores, overwhelm websites

And the group is looking to expand the gardens, to address the pandemic and provide a sense of food security for locals, he said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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