An ancient practice is becoming a thing here in Qualicum Beach. Homeowners are turning their front yards into productive and eye-pleasing food gardens.
Dating back to Roman times, raised beds were used then to grow vegetables and herbs. Today, although we have the luxury of being able to grow a vast array of vegetables and fruit, often with the help of many technological and scientific advances, we follow many of the same principles of design used thousands of years ago for kitchen gardens – raised beds, pathways between beds and crop rotation.
With more time on their hands, and an awakened interest in local food security, thanks in part to COVID-19, homeowners are tucking attractive structures into front yards that were previously either purely decorative or relatively blank space. QBers are constructing arbours for grapes and kiwi fruit, greenhouses to get an earlier start on the season, and fenced-in berry patches to safely deter critters. Other homeowners are assembling attractive arrays of large pots from which they will harvest supper salads for months to come.
Our local, independent nurseries, Arrowsmith Greenhouses and Ken-Dor Garden Center supply QB gardeners with a full range of plants, seeds and soil amendments. For those who want to avoid contributing to the stuffed pockets of Jeff Bezos’ Amazon, many gardeners turn to a long-standing Canadian company, Lee Valley gardener’s supply, who will ship to your door.
All of this effort to bring fresh, tasty, healthy food to our tables brings another bonus – our living spaces are now extended with peaceful, attractive outdoor rooms where we can gather with family or close friends, or luxuriate in some peaceful, contemplative isolation. Bring on summer!