CNIB Fragrant Garden
Q. How many community gardens are there in
A: There are 87 public community
gardens, 82 private community gardens (total 169) of all
styles within the Calgary city limits as of July 4, 2016.
Q. What is a community
A. It is any group of people who come together
to garden. People of all ages who are new or experienced gardeners
are warmly welcomed. Community gardens come in many different
shapes and sizes. They can be large or small, on the ground or on
rooftops, in raised bed plots, in containers or a mixture of all of
these. Gardeners can have their own individual plot within the
community garden and can also join with others to grow some crops
together as a team, sharing in the work and the harvest. Every
community garden is unique and develops from what the gardeners
Q. Where is the City of Calgary's Community Garden
Q: How long does it take to start a
A: In general, if you start in
the fall, you're likely to have an operational garden by the
following spring. There are some exceptions; with the right group
of people championing the project, we've seen a few community
gardens come together in little as a few weeks. By the same token,
some gardens need about a year to address local challenges. It all
depends on whether there is local support for a community garden,
what kind of land approval is needed and how much time is required
to write grant proposals and fundraise for the garden.
Q. What can you grow in a community garden?
A. You can grow vegetables, fruit, herbs and
annual or perennial flowers. Often the beautification gardens are
communal and may have a particular focus such as a butterfly
garden, a bird garden, a woodland garden or a native plant garden.
Most gardens have an area reserved for growing vegetables to be
given away as a gift to charitable organizations feeding people who
do not have enough food.
Q. What does it cost to join a community garden in
A. Every garden is different. Rental rates in
2015 range from $10 to $75 depending on the size of the garden bed.
Some have a refundable deposit that is returned to the gardener if
the garden plot is maintained and cleaned up by a specific date at
the end of the growing season. Many gardens are on city-owned
public land and you must be a member of the local community
association in order to garden there and be covered under the
community association liability insurance.
Q. Who gets involved in community gardens?
A. People of all ages, cultures and gardening
experience are welcome to be part of community gardens.
Q. Why do people join a community garden?
A. Some of the reasons are: to grow flavorful,
fresh, organic, chemical-free food, to connect with nature, for
recreation, to save money on groceries, to improve the urban
environment (water runoff, noise, heat, air, soil and wildlife
ecology), to practice sustainable living, to improve neighbourhood
security, for mental and physical wellness and to create a
friendlier community, to name just a few.
Q. Does Calgary have allotment gardens?
A. Not at this time. Allotment garden plots are
usually larger than community plots and there is a fee to rent a
plot. In allotment gardens there is no garden leadership team and
no social activities. They are usually located away from city
neighbourhoods. Community garden plots, while smaller in size, are
in neighbourhoods and all decisions concerning the garden are made
by the gardeners themselves.