Rebel Garden Zone put to rest for the rest of the year

Gardening campaign in 100 Mile House and area a resounding success

By Kathy Provost

With the coming of fall and the harvest season in hand, we are ending the Rebel Garden Zone Campaign for this year.

It has been an informative and interesting year. We started the campaign off at Seedy Saturday with enthusiasm, encouraging people to grow food.

We held a free monthly film series on food-related topics that were interesting and well attended.

With the help of seed companies from several provinces and some local businesses, we were able to provide vegetable seeds to all the elementary school children from Bridge Lake to Lac la Hache, including the home schooled children in our area.

The cheerful Rebel Garden Zone signs have been proudly displayed throughout the community on fences and in gardens as a visible presence to our campaign.

Our website provided us with the means of having a fun way to track what people were growing in this hardy zone 2-4 area, as well as encouraging them to try plant varieties they thought might not grow here. The tally is not in yet, but I believe we are very close to our goal of growing 100 different vegetables, fruits and berries in 100 Mile House.

The website has also become a great resource for many clubs and groups in our area that are looking for information on many topics pertaining to sustainability.

It was a pleasure for me to be able to speak on food security and sustainability at a conference and gatherings in town this year, as well as on the Wolf and CBC Radio in Kamloops. I was happy to hear they were interested in what we are up to in 100 Mile House.

We finished our Rebel Garden Zone season with a harvest dinner at the Agri-Culture Enterprise Centre. The purpose of our campaign has been to spread the word about the benefits of growing your own food; to share ideas about saving seeds; the need to be more sustainable; and to avoid GMO foods, plants and seeds.

The South Cariboo Sustainability Society is grateful for the funding it received from the Cariboo Regional District and the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition, which made it possible for us to make the Rebel Garden Zone a great success.

I am also grateful for the wonderful Rebel Garden that was planted by Heidi Read outside Higher Ground Natural Foods. This act of urban gardening was enjoyed and commented on all summer by locals and visitors with enthusiasm.

It was lovely to watch it grow, see people helping themselves to the harvest and added something special to the shopping experience in town. I would love to see more businesses give it try next year.

Kathy Provost is a South Cariboo Sustainability Society director and Rebel Garden Zone co-ordinator.