Secret Gardens: Fresh and Local
Much like Peter Rabbit, we have dreams of a garden flush with ripe veggies ready for the nibbling. But you don’t have to sneak into Mr. McGregor’s yard—or give up some of your own valuable yard space to have a lush garden of your very own. Get all the fresh produce you need from your own community plot at Maple Hill Urban Farm.
The working farm is located just inside city limits, and proprietors Don and Nan Trott have set aside some valuable fertile ground for public use. You can rent a plot as small as 10 by 20 feet for a very nominal fee for the entire season—and if you’re feeling ambitious, add on more plots for a bigger area. While your grassy backyard remains a happy playground for the kids, your new garden plot will be tilled and prepared for you—with compost, mulch, and plenty of free manure available on site. Kids can’t wait to get their hands dirty and to see the life cycle of a seed turning into a plant and then food for the table, and you’ll be shocked at what they’ll actually eat when they’ve grown and picked it themselves. Beans, peas, tomatoes, garlic, potatoes, and carrots all do very well on a Maple Hill community garden plot.
There are options for the non-tillers, too. Grab some locally grown, pesticide-free produce if you drop by the farm and pick up bags or bushels of peppers, beans, beets, turnips, or corn and pumpkins in the late summer and fall. Be sure to stop by the barn to say hello to all the animals, and while there, pick up some fresh, omega-3 rich chicken eggs (help yourself to some from the fridge, and leave your payment behind).
See how far we’ve come, Mr. McGregor?
If growing green things at home is more your style, we’ve got 12 Nurseries and Garden Centres in Ottawa to get you started.