Several years ago, a teenaged member of our congregation suggested the idea of having a community garden on a section of our property. The City of Brampton already had in place a program where they installed community gardens in various parks in the city. When a group of people organized themselves, and requested a community garden in a certain area, the City would install the structures and fence and provide the soil and mulch. The plots would then be made available to the residents, and any extra plots would go to other Brampton residents who had requested a garden plot, and had been put on a waiting list.
September 2014: A Large Open Unused Space
May 2015: Sod Removed
We approached the City in 2013 with the idea of providing the land, and having them install the garden. The City approved the plan for the Crawley Emmanuel Community Garden, and provided funds in the 2014 budget, and we received permission from the United Church of Canada to allow this project to proceed. Unfortunately, the ice storm of December 2013 resulted in a reallocation of budget funds and the garden was put on hold until the 2015 budget. Clearing of the land started in April 2015, raised beds were installed in June and filled with garden soil. Mulch for the pathways was delivered in September, and church members spent 2 afternoons carting and raking mulch to make the pathways. A storage shed for tools was erected and chain link fence installed around the garden and tool shed. A water line was run from the church out to the garden, with a shut-off valve inside the locked storage shed enclosure.
September 2015: Pathways Mulched
June 2016: Dedication Service
We had 11 members of our congregation interested in a plot. The City installed a total of 32 garden plots measuring 8 feet by 8 feet, and the remaining 21 were quickly snatched up by local residents. The garden was open for planting the first of May, 2016. We had a dedication service early in June. The gardens have been a huge success, both in terms of the quantity and quality of produce, as well as in the increase in activity around the church. Weekday evenings there are often 5 or more gardeners weeding, watering and gathering while sharing conversation and fellowship. During the day, groups of gardeners will arrange to drop by at a certain time to tend to their plots, and then head out for a coffee on the way home.
September 2016: An Abundant Harvest
The community garden program runs every year from May 1 to October 31 and is for non-commercial use only.
For more information on the City of Brampton's Community Garden program, please visit their website at: