The Appin Community Garden Project

By Dylan Grubb, Appin, ON

The sense of community is one of the best aspects of living in a small town. Amongst these many things that gives Appin this feeling is the community gardens. Inspired by the World War II victory gardens used to help provide produce to towns and cities in Canada, the project started early in the spring of 2023.

The Victory gardens that inspired the creators started in 1942. Although first frowned upon in the war because they used valuable materials, the gardens soon took off. They provided food, helped reduce food spending, and most of all, it helped boost morale in Canada and the United States. The gardens also made a comeback during the covid 19 pandemic when people began to lock down. This new wave had the same benefits as the original gardens, but had a major difference in the fact that it was because of a lockdown, instead of a war. 

Photos here at Instagram Page.

The Victory Garden project was established by Heather Jacobs and Nikki Clark, two dog walking residents of Appin, who have been working to keep the gardens going. Additional help has been provided by Duncan Hodgeson, Adrian Atherton and, yours truly, Dylan Grubb. They are also sponsored by Old River Farm, Creative Communities, the Ekfrid Museum, the Appin Post Office, Southwest Middlesex, Friends of the Glencoe Library, Hykut Signs by Design and Dig it Canada. The garden has provided accessible and fresh produce to the citizens of our small village. The vegetables grown in the garden include beans, kale, various herbs and tomatoes. There are also some onions, pumpkins and even sunflowers. The garden opened in June with an event featuring a book signing and presentation by the authors of Onion Skins and Peach Fuzz – Memories of Ontario Farmerettes, Bonnie Sitter and Shirleyan English.

Along with the presentation there were also crafts, including rock painting.

Over all, the community gardens have helped bring the community together. They have helped add more fresh produce to Appins’ residents meals, brought events to this small town, and even helped teach people about some of the past. If all goes well over the winter, they will hopefully continue into next year.