July 12, 2014 3:14 pm

Cycling through Edmonton’s community gardens

Watch above: As demand for more sustainable sources of food grows, so too does the popularity of urban gardens. Saturday, dozens took a tour of the city’s many urban plots to learn just what they can do to have fresher, healthier local choices on their plate. Eric Szeto reports.

EDMONTON – On a hot summer’s day like Saturday, what better way to get out and enjoy yourself than to hop on your bike and explore all that Edmonton’s urban gardens have to offer.

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That’s the hope of a couple of local organizations, who have teamed up to offer free bike tours of a number of urban community gardens.

“Everybody has always been interested in our gardens because they’re so beautiful and they’re spread out in various parts of the city,” said Laura Kemp with Sustainable Food Edmonton, “and the bicycle groups are always looking for somewhere to go and ride as a group, so we decided to join together.”

For the second year in a row, Sustainable Food Edmonton and the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters’ Society have teamed up to offer tours of a handful of the more than 70 community gardens in the city.

The following map, which shows all the community gardens in the Edmonton area, was created by Sustainable Food Edmonton:

Saturday morning, about 50 adults and children came together to tour eight gardens in west-central Edmonton, each of which had a host to share personal stories of their garden.

“There’s definitely more gardens than I knew about. And I think the interest in gardening and locally grown foods… is really on the rise,” said tour participant Anna Vesala.

The young woman also took part in the bike tours last year, and says it’s great to see how much the interest in them has grown.

“The number of young people and older people – it’s crossed many generations and it’s crossed many cultures, it’s cross many neighbourhoods. There’s people here from all over Edmonton to learn what other groups are doing.

“I think it’s a great way to come together on a Saturday afternoon.”

Community garden bike tour through west-central Edmonton Saturday, July 12, 2014.

Eric Szeto, Global News

Community gardens, which have been popping up more and more over the past few years, are about more than just growing produce – they’re about growing communities.

“You get the opportunity to meet new people that you might not have known,” said Kemp.

READ MORE: Urban community garden about more than just flowers and plants

The tours are about four hours long and span an area of about 15 kilometres.

Another community garden bike tour is planned for next Sunday, July 20 in the Mill Creek area. For more information on the tour or to register, visit Sustainable Food Edmonton’s website.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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