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John McLeod Community Garden

The John McLeod Community Garden is a program of the Shuswap Food Action Society in collaboration with the Shuswap Agricultural Association. Our intention is to create a garden space available to downtown Salmon Arm residents to increase household food security and to build local resilience. Our desire is to see a group of people within the surrounding area coming together to grow more of their own food AND develop friendships and camaraderie to assist each other in this effort.

The Garden’s name is in honour of John McLeod, past president of the Shuswap Food Action Society. John was a stalwart supporter of the Shuswap Community Teaching Garden, longtime member of the Environmental Advisory Committee and a key initiator of the Agricultural Advisory Committee. John’s advocacy for food security and food sovereignty as a part of official community plans is a large part of his legacy and one that we continue to work toward, including the creation of this Community Garden. 

Where

Garden Location:

490 5 Ave SW

(South Fair Grounds – Log Building.)

When

Garden Hours:

Registered gardeners have access from dawn til dusk every day through the garden season:  March – November.

Registration is now closed as we have currently 25 of 25 beds registered.

If you are interested in being on a waiting list, please fill out the form. Knowing how much interest there is can help to decide whether to advocate and support community gardens.

Garden Plot Registration:

To register for the waitlist, you can do so with our online form. . 

WHO

Program Contact:

Shuswap Food Action Society is collaborating with Shuswap Agricultural Association to create this garden space available to downtown Salmon Arm residents to increase household food security. Our desire is to see a community of people coming together to grow more of their own food AND develop friendships and camaraderie to assist each other in this effort.

How to Get Involved

Volunteer Opportunities:

If you would like to become involved, contact Melanie at projects@shuswapfood.ca!

Support for the garden is always welcome and will help this program to thrive now and in the future. Donations can be made by e-transfer to garden@shuswapfood.ca or through our donate button in order to receive a charitable tax receipt.

We will need volunteers for the Garden build and thereafter for opportunities to teach garden and nutrition classes. Occasional events may be held which may benefit from volunteers.

Gardeners can join the private group

Project Updates

Rain water capture plans are still being developed

Compost bays to be build within tree line.

Planning for perennial fruit crops (raspberries, blackberries, grape) being developed

Wish List

  • Gutters – new or good condition used for our rain collection – Approximately 150′
  • Perennial fruit – thornless raspberries and blackberries
 

SPECIAL THANKS

Special thanks goes to our supporters, Shuswap Agricultural Association, Jazmyn Evans of Grow & Charge Horticultural Services, Eagle Homes for their sponsorship and the McLeod family for their support through creating John’s memorial account.

Canoe Forest Products donated the wood cores for the garden beds with Home Building Centre picking up the wood cores for us, donating wood and offering advice.

Okanagan College Trades for building our garden beds and Salmon Arm Folk Music Society for the use of space and donation of wood.

PRT Tree Nursery and Mt. Ida Nursery donated a bale of peat moss to add into our soil mix.

Lega Construction brought fill and levelled our garden surface and donated his time.

Goertz Tree Service and Green 4 Earth for bringing wood chips to the site.

Shuswap Family Centre provided the patio sets for our community gardeners and Shuswap Makerspace repaired and made beautiful a wooden bench complete with carving.

Axis Pilates used their expertise to build a beautifully carved maple sign to showcase the name of our new garden space.

Thanks to Starbucks Foundation and their Neighbourhood Grant for the Garden!

Logo of the Shuswap Agricultural Association featuring stylized mountain peaks above a green abstract community garden emblem.
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Gardening Tips

YouTube playlist filled with gardening tips.

About John McLeod

John was a passionate advocate for farming, food security and food sovereignty in the Shuswap and beyond. He was also a founding member of the Shuswap Food Action Co-op, which later became a society and registered charity.

An image of John McLoud, smiling with cows behind him.
John McLeod — local food champion, agricultural advocate, farmer, husband, father and past president of the Shuswap Food Action Society.

A founder of Shuswap Food Action becoming a Cooperative, a stalwart supporter of the Shuswap Community Teaching Garden, longtime member of the Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) and a key initiator of the Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC), John McLeod certainly played an integral role in the direction of food security in this community. He was honoured with the Community Builder award in 2017 as part of the Community Leader Awards.

John was an avid reader and thought deeply about these subjects. A great article was written in the Salmon Arm Observer which shared his honesty about what he felt (and feared) about our failing food systems. We encourage you all to read this article as his words continue to hold relevance and importance:  SA Observer.Article

“If you have to rely on foreign corporations and other countries to feed you…. when they control your stomach, they’ve got your brain. It’s up to us to protect and maintain all viable land. And by viable, I mean all land. We have to get away from soil classifications; poor dirt is better than no dirt. You can’t grow vegetables out of concrete and asphalt.”

Recently, Lachlan Labere, local writer and friend of John’s, wrote an article after learning of John’s passing and shared thoughts about John’s impact and of their conversations over coffee at the Pink Cherry, a routine of John’s day which he continued to do right up until the end.  SA Observer Article

To truly hear and know John a bit more, this interview with Jerre Paquette from the Voice of the Shuswap is a wonderful listen: 
http://voiceoftheshuswap.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/2015-02-09-WSW-John-McLeod-Finished.mp3

The interview is from 2015 when the Co-op was really taking off and yet his words hold true, his vision intact and becomes more and more important as we see the challenges and impact of environmental changes to the global and local food system.

John’s advocacy for food security and food sovereignty as a part of official community plans is a large part of his legacy and one that we continue to work toward.

“What we have to do is get broad representation in the community to work on agricultural policy and the importance – importance isn’t a strong enough word – the necessity of looking out for future generations. We’re only looking for our own return on investment. We have to think of two and three generations down the road. Minimum. That’s the thing I want to try and hit home.”

We agree this is a necessity and the current board and staff of Shuswap Food Action will continue to work toward this vision of a Food Secure Shuswap and a strong local food economy.

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