Coronavirus: Community Gardens in Kingston set to open with new rules

The community garden program in Kingston is supported by the city and administered by Loving Spoonful, a charitable organization working to eliminate food insecurity.

Ayla Fenton, the Kingston Community Garden network coordinator, is pleased the provincial government reversed its original decision to keep community gardens closed during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve been advocating hard for community gardens to be declared an essential food service — not a recreational space.”

In the municipality, there are 35 gardens, says Fenton

“Some of them are pollinator gardens, so of the food gardens, there’s 24.”

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During the time she was advocating for the provincial government to change its decision, Fenton has been working with KFL&A public health to develop guidelines for the gardens’ operation.

Those guidelines were finalized and distributed to garden coordinators this morning, Fenton told Global Kingston.

Physical distancing is to be observed at all times. Fenton says there may have to be limited access at some of the smaller gardens.

“For the time being, social gatherings and workshops, things like that will be prohibited.”

Fenton is also asking people to limit the number of trips they take to the gardens to roughly once a week.

They are looking for gardeners to bring their own tools if they can, Fenton said.

“If they have to use the shared ones, we’re asking they wear gloves.”

Handwashing is a central focus in the opening of the community gardens.

“We’re having the gardens set up handwashing stations and/or provide hand sanitizer.”

In 2019, Loving Spoonful, with its support agencies distributed almost 20,000 lbs of food; 6,000 lbs came from community gardens.

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