I gaze at it in (unrealistic) envy, imagining what it would be like to be wrist deep in rich dark soil. What it would be like to see something you laboured over break through the topsoil in vibrant greens and purples and yellows, and whatever other colours burst forth under the caring hands of a community gardener.
So. B.A.R.A.G.A actually stands for Burnaby And Region Allotment Garden Association. And it is Western Canada's largest allotment garden. Covering 14 acres. It is hunkered down in the "Big Bend" area of Burnaby. And it has 372 plots crammed tidily into those 14 acres.
I didn't have a clue what some of the plants were that were growing there but it was amazing walking between the bountiful rows and plots. There was a deep calming feel to the place. Like the speed of life stopped at the gate and you could just lose yourself for hours taking care of the plants you were growing with your own two hands.
We spoke with one elderly gentleman who had just been given the (green) thumbs-up to change plots. He was taking over two plots (the max per gardener) that were tended yearly by a 94 year old man who'd had them for over 25 years. That said - there's a long waiting list to get a plot.
|Don't know what this is so I named it "Sideshow Bob".|
|Sideshow Bob and some broccoli?|
|Gone to seed?|
|Pretty sure this is zucchini.|
|The community gardens butt up against commercial farm land.|
|Stakes waiting for next year's crop.|
|*Might* be 'Donkey's Tail'?|
|It was growing on the roof of their shed.|
|The covering over the community bulletin board.|
There was a notice posted asking that the gardeners generously donate a portion of their crop to the Vancouver FoodBank Association.