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The Clean Air Partnership is a registered charity, founded in 2000. Our mission is to work with partners to achieve clean air, facilitate the exchange of ideas, advance change and promote and coordinate implementation of actions that improve local air quality.

My Sustainable Day-Cation in Burlington Day 3 – Local Food

After cycling into Burlington and touring some of their Green Buildings, I have to say, I was starting to get a might bit peckish.  As soon as my tour guides told me that we were going to go and see the City’s new Community Garden in Central Park, I knew that it was only going to get worse.

I make no secret that I absolutely adore local food.  I love the flavours you can only get from fresh, local produce, I love knowing that my food dollars are going to support local, hard-working farmers and will be recirculated within my community, and I love the satisfaction that comes with sitting down to eat a meal featuring produce that you have grown, cared for and harvested yourself.

Up until this year, residents in Burlington without access to their own private garden had an awfully hard time attaining that feeling of accomplishment that can only come with biting into a tomato that you have grown all by yourself.  Thanks to the drive and dedication of members of BurlingtonGreen’s Go Local Food Network and the generous support of the City, a brand new community garden was established in Central Park this year to make it a bit easier.

A view from the gate of the new Central Park Community Garden

A raised, wheelchair accessible bed makes gardening accessible to all at the Central Park Community Gardens.

The garden features 29 plots, including 2 raised beds designed to be wheelchair accessible, a large volunteer-tended demonstration plot and victory gardens all around the outside of the garden area.  Food grown in the demonstration plot and the victory gardens areas are to be donated to the local food bank, improving access to local food for those who would otherwise not be able to obtain fresh, local produce.  My tour guides and I meet Michelle at the gardens (you can follow her on twitter here), and her enthusiasm for this project is immediately apparent.  She’s smiling the whole time she shows us around the site, from the compost bins to the tool shed filled with donated rain barrels and tools to the plots themselves, it’s evident that she already loves this project and has a deep passion for local food issues.  She tells us that they had far more applicants than they have plots, so they had to allocate plots via a lottery, which clearly demonstrates the growing desire among residents to get back to growing their own food and reconnecting with what they eat.  It’s an exciting revelation, and certainly a sign of things to come as people become more and more interested in eating locally and seasonally.

The demonstration plot at the Central Park Community Gardens, with garlic already poking up! Food harvested from this plot will be donated to local food banks, along with the harvest from the victory gardens lining the exterior of the facility.

A tool shed filled with rain barrels and other implements of delicious creation at the Central Park Community Gardens

After a chat with Michelle and another inspiring Burlingtonite… (Burlingtoner? Burlingtonian?) in the Central Library (which just so happens to be the site of an exciting upcoming talk on May 1st by Sarah Elton, CBC radio’s food host and author of Locavore), who you will meet on Friday, we head back downtown.  Having heard about a great local restaurant that specialized in local, seasonal food, I can’t resist the urge to poke my head into The Red Canoe Bistro (follow them on twitter here), just to see what it’s all about.  I’m greeted by a warm, cozy space, where the walls are lined with all manner of preserved goods, and where the chalkboard menu features not 1, not 2, but FIVE dishes featuring freshly foraged local ramps (or wild leeks), which were newly in season during my visit.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it, and I made a mental note to return when I had a bit more time to sit down and really enjoy a delicious meal.  But on this day, there was much more to see and do in Burlington, so my guides and I headed back to City Hall to talk trash.  Well, we talked waste diversion, but it sounds a lot more fun to say trash, doesn’t it?

Tune in tomorrow to read all about the exciting world of trash in Burlington!

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  1. My Sustainable Day-Cation in Burlington Day 4: Trash! | Clean Air Partnership - April 19, 2012

    […] easy to focus on good-looking, photogenic topics like cycling infrastructure, green buildings and local food, but garbage has always been the ugly duckling of the topics I write about.  Up until recently, […]

  2. My Sustainable Day-Cation in Burlington Day 5 – Youth and Engagement | Clean Air Partnership - April 20, 2012

    […] one thing for a municipal government to put in bike lanes, build some Green Buildings, set up a community garden or start a waste diversion program, but if the community support isn’t there, then those […]

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    […] visit to Burlington.  I told you about the great cycling infrastructure, the green buildings, the local food movement, the waste diversion and Burlington’s incredible youth engagement. There’s so many […]

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