Community Gardens provide shared space for residents to grow their own vegetables, thereby enhancing both physical and emotional well-being. Members can enjoy their summer with healthy activity and fresh produce, while building stronger ties amongst their families, gardening neighbours, and the community.
Gardening encourages healthy food choices, provides many health benefits, and creates opportunities for quality family time.
Benefits of growing a Community Garden:
There are two garden locations to choose from:
The Kipling garden is located off of Kipling Street beside the Post Office. This fenced community garden is made up of raised garden beds and has a deck box to keep gardening equipment in. There is no irrigation system but hoses on site for watering.
Kipling Garden Plot Map
Sheldon Miller Friendship Garden
This fenced garden is located on Dunmore Road behind the Community Health Unit. There is an irrigation system installed as well as a shed to keep gardening equipment.
SMF Garden Plot Map
Plots are available on a first-come basis and there is a registration cost of $30.00 per year. Call 403-502-8249 to check on garden plot availability or to add your name to the wait list.
Agencies & organizations are welcome to register for a plot for a group of gardeners to share.
Other Community Garden Programs in our Community:
The Root Cellar Food & Wellness Hub has a community-use garden space.
A food forest is a gardening technique or land management system, which mimics a woodland ecosystem by substituting edible trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. Fruit and nut trees make up the upper level, while berry shrubs, edible perennials and annuals make up the lower levels. - Beacon Food Forest
We have a public-use Food Forest located in the corner of the Sheldon Miller Friendship Garden located at 2948 Dunmore Road SE. Guidelines and information about the Food Forest space are posted on the fence and on signs around the space. See in action the interdependence of soil and plant systems. Our Food Forest contains: Apples, Plums, Pears, Evan’s Cherries, Romance Cherries, Pin Cherries, Nanking Cherries, Saskatoons, Honeyberries, Aronia Berries, Goji Berries, Beaked Hazelnuts, White Currants, Highbush Cranberries, Gooseberry, Blackcurrants, Josta Berries, Rhubarb, Asparagus, Chives, Lupines, Hostas, Red Currants, Grape Vines, and Mushrooms.
CFCA has partnered with Medicine Hat Public Library to host a permanent seed exchange in a vintage card catalogue on the main floor of the public library. You can donate seeds by leaving them in labelled packets in the container on top of the catalogue. Please label your donations with the type and variety of seed, as well as any other important information such as when the seed was gathered, days to harvest, sun requirements, planting depth and spacing, etc. Please only take as many seeds as you will use in a single growing season.
We offer a seasonal Growing Gardeners Education Program, a free weekly drop-in garden club in the community-use garden space behind the Root Cellar Food & Wellness Hub from May to September.
Getting started in the garden: Inspiration, site selection & tools
Plant Basics: Plant parts & charts, annuals/perennials
Seeds & Starts: Seed packages, germination, transplants
Weeds: Common local weeds, identification, eating & removal
Mulch & Irrigation
Soil: What it's made of, how to improve it, organic matter and more
Feeding Plants: Building Healthy Soils, when and how to fertilize, pros and cons of manure & compost
Harvesting: When and how to harvest, best practices for storing and preserving produce
Preserving the Harvest: Harvest best practices, timing, techniques for preservation
Seed Saving: Types of seeds and timing collection, techniques for collecting, preparing and storing seeds, tools & tips
Bugs: Who is eating that plant?, bugs to love and protect, the circle of (bug) life, controlling pest populations
Succession Planting: Out with the old (plants), in with the new (plants), understanding days to maturity, ideas for extending the growing season
Propagation: Benefits of propagation, cutting, layering & grafting, herbaceous vs. woody cuttings, useful propagation tools
Planting Fall Garlic: softneck vs. hardneck garlic, bed prep, winter protection, harvest & storage
Preparing the Garden for Winter: Cleaning up beds, amending soils, protecting perennials, pruning, overwintering indoors
During the growing season we try to offer opportunities for gardeners to participate in workshops or tours to learn about existing and new gardening practices.
* Permaculture (regenerative and self-maintained gardening systems modeled from natural ecosystems)
* Vermiculture (composting with worms)
...As well as tours of the community gardens and unique private gardens.
We also host a "Seedy Saturday Seed Swap" in the Spring where you can swap saved seeds with other gardeners.
Are you an experienced gardener who would be interested in leading a workshop or mentoring a new gardener? If so, please contact the Food Security Coordinator.
Upcoming events & workshops will be posted on our website homepage as well as on our Facebook page.
There are a variety of resources available to the community and Prairie gardener.
Alberta Health Services has developed a Community Garden Manual.
Alberta Environment has an informative resource on Vermicomposting/Vermiculture.
Oregon State University Extension Service has a brochure on Collecting and Storing Seeds.
How to Help Bees and Other Pollinators - information from the Calgary Beekeepers
Available from the Medicine Hat Public Library: