Submitted by Groundswell

Last year with a pandemic raging around us, Groundswell bravely focused on food security, selling produce and plants to the local community and more food produce than ever before. Helping people produce their own food also became our mantra, and fixing our structural problems so we could be more productive in our greenhouse and gardens.

This year looks very bright indeed with our new kitchen and solar panels in place and staff hired. We are positioned to go where no one else in our area has gone; 12 months of food production!

Some of our exciting projects this year include: Increasing our market gardens efficiency. If you walk or drive by the gardens, you will see many staff and volunteers working at these changes; Increasing the number of rental Gardens at the Mt Nelson Community Gardens. With 37 beds already rented between Groundswell and Mt Nelson Community gardens. Construction is underway for up to ten new rental beds, and as many as we can comfortably fit within the current fenced area this year; Increasing our Apple Rescue Program into the end of October and to include other fruit trees such as apricot, cherry and plum.

Thanks to the support from the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) and the District of Invermere.

Two very successful spring plant sales during May supported our communities zeal for gardening. Our market garden continues to produce vegetables from our greenhouse, and outside garden for local markets. We will ramp up produce sales through the local Farmers markets and with direct sales at the greenhouse. Please come visit to buy some of our amazing tomatoes, herbs, veggies and flowers.

Our DTSS student start getting tours of the greenhouse and garden this spring, and we hope to have other classes come by to see how things are growing at Groundswell!

Other projects on our list for 2021 are: a roof on our storage area, a new tool shed, installing lower vents in the greenhouse, fixing a leak in our north wall, create a Compost learning area, and rolling out workshops and videos on Living Soil, Composting, Starting your own Garden, Moms and Tots, Fairy Door workshop…

Our many achievements are only possible with the ongoing support from our members, renters, volunteers, community businesses and sponsors.

A special shout out to our board members, staff and volunteers who work hard to support the community. And a big thanks to our 2021 sponsors: the District of Invermere, the Region District of the East Kootenays (RDEK), CBT and Farm Credit Canada Agrispirit.

Some days when working in the greenhouse, it feels like you are in a big animal as the fans and vents come on and off as the temperature changes throughout the day. To learn more about our iconic greenhouse, contact Groundswell to book a tour. Come and visit the gardens, which are open daily from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Weekend hours will vary until we get our summer staff in June.

Help further our work in sustainability and food security education by sending a cheque to Groundswell Network Society Box 415, Invermere, BC, V0A 1K0 or by etransfer to [email protected]

For more information, contact us at: [email protected]