I created this column to highlight urban agriculture and its positive impacts. Therefore, I am thrilled to spotlight a group that is embodying everything I love about urban agriculture. Incredible Edible Penticton is a non-profit that creates a community of kindness through fresh produce grown in urban food gardens. Started in 2014, the group now has a thriving garden in Village By The Station on 270 Hastings Ave and has recently acquired the Shatford garden plot on 760 Main St. I spoke with the VP of Incredible Edible Penticton, Jennene, to learn more about how this group is leading the way towards a sustainable Penticton.
First and foremost this is a group rooted in its community. It began with a desire to reconnect residents to their land, food, and each other. However, it’s not just the gardeners who are contributing to fulfilling this vision. Jennene was quick to mention how grateful the team is for their community partners and local businesses who donate much of their material. For example, Gold Star Fencing helped them protect their Hastings garden from hungry deer, Rona donates material and gift cards for building projects, Grizzli Excavating and the City of Penticton have donated soil and woodchips, and Jacoh Signs has been instrumental in helping with printing of marketing materials. Incredible Edible takes the generosity of the community and repurposes it into fresh, free food for all. If there is a bountiful harvest the extras never go to waste. Jennene and other members often take things like tomatoes and beans to the Monday Night Suppers downtown. This cycle of giving shows the power of a community leaning on each other and raising each other up.
I asked Jennene what we, fellow Pentictonites, can do to support this important organization. Members and volunteers make up Incredible Edible, a prosperous garden needs people to tend to it, and you can become a member for just $5 a year. You’ll get the chance to start seeds, plant seedlings, harvest produce, and maintain the garden. Many of us do not have access to our own outdoor space, so this is a wonderful opportunity. 2020 is coming soon and the group has a strong vision to elevate the Shatford garden. This month Pen High students assisted with amending the soil and may be involved in future plans to beautify the space too. As the Shatford garden is a relatively new acquisition there are lots of opportunities to make your mark on the space. You can learn more by going to next year’s Seedy Saturday presented by Incredible Edible Penticton. It will be held February 29 at the Jim Pattison Centre. Food security, environmental sustainability, and a safe welcoming community are all supported by the people and plants who make up this wonderful group. To learn more reach out to Incredible Edible Penticton at their Facebook page or website.