Tilsonburg Community Gardens Initiative

The Rotary Club of Tillsonburg stepped up to support the Tillsonburg Community Gardens this spring by building and installing five new raised garden beds for the 2023 season.

“It’s been helpful to work with Rotary on this project,” said Community Gardens volunteer Dale Robinson. “They really stepped up and did an excellent job, and we really appreciate it.”

Built over a two-three week span in April, Rotary Club members supported the project financially, assisted Community Gardens volunteers in the construction, and helped transfer them to the Bloomer Street site in mid-May.Soil for the raised beds was purchased from Greenline Earthworks Inc., who donated the trucking cost to get the soil to the Community Gardens.The new raised beds replaced originals, made from heavy raw cut lumber, that had been in use as far back as 2014, noted Community Gardens volunteer Craig Robinson. A third raised bed was added in 2019.

“They were having difficulty with the other ones decaying,” said Rotarian Keith Hodgkinson, who donated a supply of composite Trex material from his Georgian Bay area cottage to be used for the new raised beds. The final design, installed on a wooden base, is supported by pressure-treated wood to add strength.

According to its website, Trex materials are an eco-friendly ‘blend of 95% recycled plastic film and reclaimed sawdust.’

“So it’s kind of innovative,” said Hodgkinson, crediting Dale Robinson with the idea to use it for raised beds. “They seem to have really caught on. This year they are all in use, which is great.”

“Between myself, Tom and Keith, we sent emails through the winter with drawings and ideas,” said Dale. “Keith generously donated the composite boards and we made a trip to Meaford to get it and bring it back. Everybody worked hard to get the materials to all fit and glued together.”

Tillsonburg Community Gardens currently has 28 garden plots (10’x20’), with room for future expansion, plus the five raised beds. New fencing surrounding the gardens was installed last year, also with financial and manpower support from the Rotary Club.

“I think this is the best year we’ve had for people growing stuff, and it’s looked the best too,” said Dale, noting new walkways were added this spring.

Submitted by Rick Cox

Rotary Club of Tilsonburg