Erin Bates’s garden is just one of the five gardens to visit during this Saturday’s Nelson Edible Garden tour all within walking distance in Uphill. The tour is hosted by the West Kootenay EcoSociety. Photo below: Erin Bates tending to the tomatoes in her vegetable garden that was simply a green lawn five years ago.

Edible garden tour

This year’s tour includes a smaller number of gardens to encourage people to spend more time at each garden and to be completed on foot.

The West Kootenay EcoSociety invites you to the 2014 Nelson Edible Garden Tour. The tour includes five gardens in the Uphill neighbourhood that will be on display from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday. Visitors can talk to the growers and learn how they’ve succeeded to maximize production, deal with steep slopes, extend the season, and conserve water. The gardens are grouped in Uphill to encourage tour participants to walk or bike.

Here’s what you will see at the gardens:

•  920 Stanley Street: Erin Bates has turned a small urban lot into a food production zone. Come see Erin’s strategies for making the most out of a small space. Access the backyard garden through the gate on Latimer Street.

•  901 Stanley Street: Dan Schneider and Lauren Rethoret  have focused on heavy production by using cold frames, hoop houses and four-season gardening methods. They have gone from lawn to garden in four years.

•  508 Richards Street: David Beringer and Valerie Sanderson have installed drip irrigation throughout this work in progress that includes raised beds, seasonal row covers, fruit trees, an asparagus bed and some rooftop containers. They practice succession planting and have a root cellar. Their garden helps support their local food businesses.

•  612 Innes Street: Paula Kiss’s garden has significant ground water so she has experimented with what grows in cold wet ground. This year she is experimenting with volunteer plants and medicinals and creates beauty with berries, nuts, fruits, vegetables and flowers.

•  718 Innes Street: Antonio Gariup has tomato plants grown from seeds that he brought from Italy 50 years ago. He is a wealth of information about traditional and experimental growing methods.

The 2014 Edible Garden Tour is the fourth such tour in Nelson since 2008. The tour was conceived as a way to spread information and inspiration and help people learn to cope with the sometimes challenging growing conditions in the region. This year’s tour includes a smaller number of gardens to encourage people to spend more time at each garden and to enable the tour to be completed easily without a car. To view the map online, go to mapsengine.google.com.

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