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Demand for urban gardens in Regina outnumbering available space

Global News

11 community gardens throughout Regina currently host over 1,000 plots, but demand for urban gardens is so high, there just isn’t enough space to meet the needs of all those wannabe green thumbs.

Dozens of Regina residents are on waiting lists for their own small plot of earth — a big change from just a few years ago, when some urban gardens in the city sat empty.

READ MORE: Growing the food they love

“Once people get here, and if they’re here a second year, they’re here for life,” Cathedral Community Garden volunteer Tom Gartner said.

“It’s a lot of work… Everybody falls in love with the idea of doing a garden, and then after the first month they realize it [has] to be weeded — but then you get the ones that hang in there,” he said.
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At the South Zone Community Garden, about 80 per cent of gardeners are still hanging in there and tending to their plants, leaving little wiggle room for new members.

“It would be terrible if we had empty plots, so I’d much rather have a waiting list than not have [one],” South Zone Community Garden volunteer Doug Elliot said.

Elliott says it makes sense that people are turning to community gardens at a time when many don’t have a backyard. Growing fruits and vegetables can also help save on food costs, he notes.

“Most of the folks out here are my age — we are seeing folks from the immigrant community, some young people, some aboriginal folks. So the clientele is getting much more diverse,” Elliott said.

The hope is that the increasing demand will soon lead to more available green spaces and volunteers to help with the gardens’ growth.