Incredible Edibles engage local gardeners

Living sustainably with Transition Cornwall+ by Penny Bateman and Karen Carriere
Incredible Edibles engage local gardeners

Look for Incredible Edibles on the Road, May 29, when Transition Cornwall+ Food Action Group again gives free vegetable seedlings to our community.

Nine years ago, our members gathered on a drizzly morning to re-pot 300 seedlings into large pots to give away. We hoped people could discover the value and joy of growing and eating their own fresh food, even if they only had a window sill. The line-ups of happy expectant ‘gardeners’ confirmed the interest and need. This success spawned our popular annual ‘festival’ of plants, activities and live music.

The pandemic has generated a whole new population of gardeners, mostly beginners, but also older ones revisiting the joy of food gardening. Their reasons vary, including worries about food security, the maintenance of good mental health, and the desire to participate in a shared community experience.

The pandemic made us abandon our festival last year, instead setting up distribution sites at local businesses for easy and safe seedling pickups. Several hundred plants were also delivered to groups such as the Canadian Mental Health Association, housing estates and community gardens. Over 1500 plants went to new homes. Restrictions and EOHU guidelines will determine how this year’s plants will find their way to the community’s doorsteps and yards.

But getting them there is important. As the owner of one of the businesses partnering with us, Julie Dennis of Local Fill says, “I find The Incredible Edibles initiative a crucial one, to engage the community in participating in sustainable living.”

Yearly, our seedlings have been started by one member, along with partner Marlin’s Orchards, but this spring, over a dozen additional volunteers are starting hundreds more. Gardener Bruce Henbest describes why: ‘I decided to volunteer because it seemed like a good way to share both my experience and love of gardening; it is also a deeply satisfying challenge to start plants from seed.’ We are so grateful to Bruce and the other volunteers.

Incredible Edibles on the Road is planned for Saturday, May 29, 11 am to 1 pm. Please check our website,, FB page, and media for locations and changes as we respond to provincial restrictions.

For their support thanks to the Social Development Council of Cornwall and Area, the City of Cornwall, The Local Fill, Shortline Convenience, Home Hardware, Food Basics (Second St), Downtown Cornwall BIA and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.

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