By Rhonda Massad
According to Robert Brown, volunteer, the community garden at Fritz Farm in Baie D’Urfé was all City Councillor Brian Mannings idea. When the initiative began a few years ago what is certain is that Manning did not expect to see a field of wild cherry tomato plants take route next to the garden itself near the compost pile.
“We threw the rotten tomatoes up the hill next to the garden where the compost pile sits,” Manning said, “what happened was incredible. There is a whole area where tomatoes grow on their own each year.”
Brown, who planted a milkweed garden in the area to bring back the monarch butterfly, said the tomatoes originally planted were of the Matt Wild Cherry variety. The volunteers found them difficult to pick, so they stopped planting those and changed for an easier variety.
All the seeds planted in the Garden at Fritz are purchased at Tourne-Sol Co-operative Farm in Rigaud. The Farm is committed to producing organic products in sustainable ways, in line with the philosophy of the Baie D’Urfé garden.
Mannings hope was to give youth in the community a chance to learn gardening skills and watch their food go from seed to table at which point donate to those less fortunate in the community.
Manning extended an invitation to anyone who is interested in volunteering.
“We have students participating in the garden effort from various high schools that use the time worked towards their school community volunteer hours,” Manning explained. “We hope to see more people come out next year.”
To get involved, please visit www.gardenatfritz.com