Produce pinchers can't take bite out of edible program
Summertime grinches tried to steal the fun out of a new local program – but the spirit of community proved too strong for their efforts to bear fruit.
Edible Landscapes is a new program which now has 65 businesses and service organizations, mostly in the downtown Trail area, participating by growing edible plants in small gardens outside their buildings – some of which someone stole Monday morning.
“We did have somebody go through, we think it’s one or two people, that went through in the early hours of Monday morning and they selectively chose which plants to take out. They didn’t do any damage. There was no throwing or turning pots over or anything like that,” said Gina Ironmonger, chair of Edible Landscapes.
“I’m going to say half a dozen (businesses were impacted). Tomatoes and peppers and certain herbs (were taken). Somebody must have a nice garden somewhere,” said Ironmonger.
“I’m going to make the assumption that it was probably needed. I think that’s how our community is taking a look at it, too.
“But what was interesting was that it’s all been replanted already,” she said. “When you think about the people that are involved in this, I mean we’ve got working moms, we’ve got people that are basically on minimum wage, we’ve got business owners, employers, employees, service organizations.
“We even had one guy who came into the office, a residential homeowner who actually took plants from his own garden to replace the plants that were stolen. It was just so heartwarming,” she added. “It’s just unbelievable how this community came together.”
Ironmonger said she started discussions about the program at the end of January. The idea came from a Ted Talks episode, which featured a town in the UK that used a similar program.
“We have a green route, it’s called Trail’s incrEDIBLE green route. The businesses are putting out edible planters and they’re inviting passersby to help themselves,” she said, adding the concepts behind it are food security and sustainability, but also community building.
“There are lots of reasons to have urban agriculture and one of them is community building and support of local business and agriculture. All of our plants are growing in clean soil and we are encouraging organic and non-GMO. What isn’t picked is given to the food banks or other organizations that give food.”
Ironmonger said they’re hoping to expand the program and would be delighted if other communities joined in.
“ We’re building up toolkits; we can tell other people how to do it.”
So if your dinner is lacking basil, a tomato, or peppers and the stores are closed, you might be able to just grab what you need from the streets of Trail.
“Trail has incredible people, with a capital EDIBLE,” said Ironmonger.
You can check out their Facebook page at: Facebook.com/incredibletrail