Rebecca Last would like to be working on her plot at the Michele Heights community garden this week, but like so much of the city it’s shut down by provincial order.
She sees a problem here, because closing Ottawa’s community
gardens for much longer would prevent thousands of low-income people from growing fresh food. Growing food, she says, is one of the most essential services we have.
Ottawa has some 7,000 individual plots spread around 100 locations on patches of public land. In Michele Heights they range from about 1.5 by three metres up to about three by six metres, separated by low boards (which have just been replaced).
These are not flower gardens. “Because they can supply so much fresh food through the year, people who live on low income… will be growing potatoes or tomatoes or whatever,” Last said.
“There is a huge and measurable impact on fresh food (supply), particularly for people of low income.”