Kensington garden truly becomes a community effort in its launch

June 9 was a busy Saturday morning in Kensington as gardeners of all ages came together to christen Ross’ Place. The brainchild of Jamie MacKay, the new community garden was conceived and birthed within months, showing that sometimes passion and persistence is all you need to bring an idea to fruition.

MacKay organized many community sponsors and volunteers to get the 30 raised beds and 6 in-ground plots ready for planting. His vision for a gathering place, particularly for seniors, fueled the drive to have the garden ready quickly. He was pleased how local businesses and people stepped up to help, and each raised bed was individually sponsored. The cost of $100 per bed helped to get supplies to build the beds, and topsoil, compost, and manure to fill them. Small hand-painted signs on the beds identify the sponsors and serve as the bed identification for the gardeners.

MacKay is quick to say that the effort made to have the garden ready was not just his but the labour of many. He is thankful for the assistance of community members Kevin Kelly, Caroline Andrew, and Pete and Cindy Blanding for their organizing help. Along with the individual sponsors for the beds, MacKay and his team found major sponsors in Kent Building Supplies, Clark Insurance, and the Town of Kensington. The team arranged for seeds to be donated by Kool Breeze Gardens and the Kensington Co-op Country Store. Wanting to offer as much variety as possible, MacKay also asked the gardeners what seeds they wanted, and if needed, he purchased seeds that were not on the donated seeds list. As the gardeners came to the site to start their planting, they simply picked up their seeds and set to work.

submitted photo

Cadets and other volunteers started the day with the gardeners, getting their hands dirty and assisting the planting. MacKay was pleased to see many seniors out in the garden. “There was one gentleman there, he’s 85 years old. He had a farm when he was younger and now he’s just in an apartment in town…he was out planting, all the cadets were helping, it was neat to see him and the younger ones all around a box, planting away.”

Mackay noted that the Kensington North Watershed Area donated a rain barrel for the garden and an outside tap has been installed so gardeners can keep their beds watered. He is looking at a tool shed and possibly a fence to surround the lot to finish off the space. There is a large tree on the lot and benches have been placed under it for gardeners and visitors to relax and enjoy the space. Already looking ahead to expanding, MacKay noted that there is plenty of room for additional beds and if more people wish to garden this summer, he’ll do his best to get a plot ready to go.

About Cheryl Young

A “Jill of all trades” describes Cheryl to a T. From operating her own handyperson company, to selling luxury cars, to working as a film and TV crew member, her resume is diverse. But her dream as a kid was to be a journalist and she started down that path many years ago at CBC Charlottetown. Returning to her journalism roots, she’s excited to be editing Salty’s content and occasionally writing herself.

View All Posts