The first of December's two Awesome Ottawa awards goes to Gail McGuire and the Brook Tower Tenant Circle to support neighbourhood planters for herbs and other edibles.
“I am a tenant of an Ottawa Community Housing building, and a recipient of Ontario Disability Support,” Gail begins matter-of-factly. “This past spring, fellow tenants and I planted herbs in a large raised planter at the back corner of our building, at Cartier and Gladstone. We labeled the herbs and placed signs which read ‘HELP YOURSELF.’ We also planted strawberries late in the season. They will eventually take over the planter, and so we would like to build more planters for herbs and edible flowers, and an arbour for grapes. These would be accessible to anyone passing by and we would encourage all to enjoy the harvesting, sharing, and interacting at our little corner of the universe.”
“We have been delighted with the engagement this planter has provided us with our neighbourhood,” Gail says. “Neighbours from the surrounding blocks contributed herbs. People paused to take photos of the planter. I found it moving to see that despite the fact that many in my building are financially challenged and many of us use our local food bank, we received so much pleasure and satisfaction from watching others enjoy the herb planter.” The award from Awesome Ottawa will help grow that pleasure, satisfaction, and enjoyment next summer.
Gail is a tenant at Brook Tower, where she is also garden coordinator and volunteer facilitator.
Funded by Ottawa, ON (December 2013)