Community garden is therapy for the mind for Corner Brook senior

Cory Hurley
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Rose Gosse began renting a plot in the Blow Me Down Community Garden a few years ago, and has been producing zucchini, onions, carrots and potatoes ever since. Sunday, she dug up a variety to cook for supper.

CORNER BROOK  Rose’s garden is a place for peace and tranquility, and less so a healthier alternative to eating.

Rose Gosse began renting a plot in the Blow Me Down Community Garden a few years ago, and has been producing her share of zucchini, onions, carrots, beats and peas ever since.

Her and her husband Edwin enjoy their meals with the fresh produce grown in the organic garden on the outskirts of Corner Brook. But it’s about much more than gardening and the few side dishes for the city woman.

“It is more or less something for your mental state too,” Gosse said. “Therapy for your mind, almost. Mentally and physically, it is good.”

Rose dabbled in the backyard gardening for years when the couple owned their own house. She said it wasn’t the ideal soil for produce there, but she struggled through it. It’s been six years since the retired couple moved into the apartments on Bayview Heights, and she was without a garden to tend to.

Regular walkers in the area of the Blow Me Down Cross Country Ski Park off Lundrigan Drive, she saw people working on the gardens when it first began. She inquired about it, and was later given a plot.

She usually checks on her garden every other day, coinciding with her regular walks in the area.

“Some days I am sitting here doing nothing, so I will run up and pick at it a bit,” she said.

Gosse spent the majority of the summer travelling, but did not want to lose her garden. She planted vegetables again, and had a friend keep an eye on it for her. She arrived back in Corner Brook early Friday morning, and made a trip up to the site to check how things had gone. She was impressed, and pleased that things were kept up to her liking.

She said, looking around the garden, it looks as though it was a good growing season.

She does have a criticism though. It doesn’t seem to be as well maintained overall as it has been in previous years. Also, some plots don’t appear to have anything planted in them. That is concerning to her because there was a wait list for people to get plots.

Gosse believes she will keep her plot as long as it is available, and she is physically able to tend to it.

The Blow Me Down Community Garden was founded by the Western Environment Centre in 2010. In 2011 it expanded from 17 plots to 35, and a greenhouse was added to extend the growing season and for educational workshops.

The gardeners are a mix of families, students, retirees, and professionals. The plots are rented, and the responsibility of the owner to maintain. The owners are also expected to spend some time volunteering to keep up the entire garden.

Organizations: Western Environment Centre

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Bayview Heights

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