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Edible garden tour comes to Burnaby Heights

Diana Hall, right, and Cheryl Conant show off some freshly-picked figs at the Heights Community Garden, one of the stops on the self-guided Harvesting the Heights: Edible Garden Tour happening in North Burnaby Sunday, Sept. 9. - Wanda Chow/NewsLeader
Diana Hall, right, and Cheryl Conant show off some freshly-picked figs at the Heights Community Garden, one of the stops on the self-guided Harvesting the Heights: Edible Garden Tour happening in North Burnaby Sunday, Sept. 9.
— image credit: Wanda Chow/NewsLeader

An edible garden tour being co-organized by the Burnaby Heights Neighbourhood Association aims to show what's possible in people's own backyards.

Dubbed Harvesting on the Heights, the self-guided tour takes place Sunday, Sept. 9, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The tour will comprise six gardens, plus a backyard beekeeper, in the North Burnaby neighbourhood and the homeowners will be on hand to answer questions and offer gardening tips. In one case, the owner successfully breaks commonly-accepted rules of horticulture by growing vegetables in a north-facing yard, said Diana Hall, president of the Heights Garden Society.

The society runs the Heights Community Garden, one of the tour stops, and is co-organizing the event. Hall said it's hoped the tour will promote the idea of food security.

"If we suddenly couldn't have food delivered to our supermarkets, what would we do?" she said.

In addition to raising awareness of everyone's ability to grown their own produce, the gardens on the tour will show "there's no loss in the aesthetic quality of gardens if you can actually grow stuff you can eat," Hall said.

Gardens also tend to invite people to talk to each other, which leads to the neighbourhood association's other objective, to build community.

"I imagine [participants will] meet new people, probably connect with people they already know, and probably learn a thing or two about gardening," she said.

Proceeds from the event will be shared between the neighbourhood association, for use in its programs, and the garden society, to help with operating expenses of the 15-year-old community garden, where 45 people maintain plots on city-owned land.

Tour maps are available by donation ($5 adult, $8 family, $3 senior suggested) at the Heights Community Garden, 3897 Pender St. (at Ingleton Avenue), and include tea, lemonade and cookies at Seton Villa, 3755 McGill St., from 1 to 2 p.m. Walking, cycling and carpooling are encouraged.

Help with refreshment planning by signing up for the tour in advance at Seton Villa. The seniors residence will also offer the use of a tour bus for people with disabilities, with limited seating. Sign-up is required beforehand at Seton Villa, 604-291-0607.

wchow@burnabynewsleader.com

twitter.com/WandaChow

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