Friday October 24, 2014

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Building a sense of community through gardening

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Tasha Hill and Aubrey Pulfer pull together to weed the Intolerance Free Weyburn GroLove Community Garden during a weeding party on July 6. The garden is located on Pulfer's land just west of Weyburn on Highway 39.

There is more in a garden than plants and soil. The opportunity for renewed mental and physical health grows there, too.

Gardens have been viewed as places of wonder, capable of restoring health and peace to those who entered. With this in mind, Intolerance Free Weyburn created a community garden.

The IFW GroLove community garden is in its inception year, but has taken on a way to connect to the earth and strengthen the community.

"We came up with the idea of the community garden because we wanted to continue with that momentum to effect positive change," said IFW member Regan Lanning. "For me, I love gardening. I learned a lot from gardening with my grandma. There's a feeling of serenity. It's really healing to be out in the dirt."

There have been children, seniors and every age in between involved in the community garden.

"It takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to build a community garden," said Lanning.

This year the community garden has had around 20 people come out to help plant and weed. Several gardeners have rented private plots and return every day to tend to their gardens.

Lanning said some gardeners are living in condos or areas where they can't grow one, and the community garden is a place where they can continue to plant and tend to their gardens.

Should anyone in the community wish to contribute to the growth of the community garden, they can contact members through their Facebook Page, IFW GroLove Community Garden.

Community gardens provide fresh produce and plants as well as neighborhood improvement, a connection to the environment and a sense of community.

Weyburn resident Aaron Rubin heard about the community garden and immediately thought of his mother, Marg Rubin who passed away on July 3, 2013.

In her name, Rubin made a monetary donation for start up costs.

"I felt this was a great cause to grow friendships and our community," said Rubin, adding his mom was very much a community-oriented woman.

"She wasn't a gardener, but she was a shepherd of peace and kindness."

Although Lanning had never met Marg, she had heard stories of her kind heart.

"We wanted to recognize her spirit so I made a sign to acknowledge the lovely person she was," said Lanning.

The GroLove sign, in memory of Marge Rubin, sits at the entrance to the large garden.


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