Master Gardeners Partnering with the St. Vital Agricultural Society

Master Gardeners Partnering with the St Vital Agricultural Society
Year 2020 – Manitoba’s 150th Anniversary

By Karen Fontaine, Master Gardener

What was to be a year of celebrations turned out to be one of postponements and cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately gardening was not cancelled and the St. Vital Agricultural Society (SVAS) was able to proceed with the planned projects on Bishop Grandin Greenway.

The first project, Manitoba 150 Pollinator Garden, was completed in June. This garden was added next to SVAS’s Sesquicentennial Community Garden which was installed in 2018 to celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary. The Pollinator Garden was the inspiration of Cathy Shaluk of Monarch Teacher Network who generously donated the 500 plants that were added in the garden. Master Gardeners from the Branching Out Study Group and plot holders from the community garden came together to plant the wildflowers and native grasses. Over the summer Master Gardeners Debbie Innes, Kathie Partridge, Karen Steinfeld, Gayle Kolson and Karen Fontaine watered and weeded on a weekly basis giving all the plants a wonderful start. How amazing to see the little plugs grow graciously into adult plants, many in bloom! And the bees and butterflies came!

Sesquicentennial Community Gardeners and Master Gardeners planting

The second project, Manitoba 150/COVID-19 Relief Community Garden, was recently installed next to the Pollinator Garden. The naturalization area was excavated and fresh garden soil was added in preparation for the 2021 gardening season. The grant monies received also allowed for the planting of six trees and 13 shrubs by Barb Shields, Barb Rach, Melanie Burt and Karen Fontaine. As a bonus surprise the Beausejour Daylily Association donated daylilies that were planted alongside the service building.

Soil bed prepared and ready for vegetable gardening in 2021. Manitoba 150/COVID-19 Relief Community Garden

So, although the SVAS was not able to hold its annual fair and display this year, it is very proud of its projects and enhancements along the Greenway, and in its own way was able to celebrate Manitoba’s 150th Anniversary!

Planting trees and shrubs on Sept. 29. Karen Fontaine, Melanie Burt,
Barb Rach, Barb Shields