Spread and harvest happiness with community gardens

Cornwall, March 16, 2021 – Despite COVID-19, community gardens should open this spring, much to the delight of gardeners, volunteers and partners (waiting for confirmation from Eastern Ontario Health Unit). Of course, infectious disease control and physical distancing measures will be in place.

The importance of community gardens for the community

Ivan Labelle, Community Health Agent with CSCE explained the importance of these gardens to the community. “They may be an essential source of food for some but not necessarily for all,” Labelle said. “Anyone in our community can apply for a garden, we don’t ask about income any other personal questions. What a community garden does offer is an opportunity to access fresh produce, but also offer many other benefits: the fresh air, the sun, the physical labour feed the body and soul. The low-level concentration to weed or plant help refocus the mind and forget about others stressors for a while, which helps with mental health.”


“I’m so happy in my community garden! At a time when nothing is normal, gardening is therapeutic. It is beautiful to see how sharing occurs between gardeners. What a pleasure it is to receive garlic scapes, lettuce, kale … and advice from other gardeners! Your organization helps people spread and harvest happiness.” Martine, Cornwall

Some of the rules

“Typically beans, carrots, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce. The reason we don’t allow perennials is that is some plants spread,” said Labelle.

Other rules include keeping workspaces clean and for users to but their tools back where they found them. Labelle said that a few new rules were being encouraged because of the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 has added challenges, so we encourage people this year to bring their own tools, wear personal protection, mask, gloves, disinfect surfaces, wash your hands before and after gardening, observe physical distancing, sign the registry, don’t come in if you have symptoms, only registered members are allowed. No visitors,” he said.


There are waiting lists for both gardens every year (Eco Park or Brookdale), but there is frequently turnover as people move in and out. Contact Ivan Labelle at 613-937-3132 ext. 232 for more information ($15 per plot).

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