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Tillsonburg Rotarians give gardeners a helping hand

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Tillsonburg Rotary Club members have pitched in to help the Tillsonburg Community Gardens in a project to replace the protective fencing surrounding the gardens on Bloomer Street.

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When the Rotary Club learned the old fence, which helped keep out deer and other wildlife, needed to be replaced, they stepped forward with a $1,000 donation and volunteered to help take down the old fence. They also committed to help erect the new fence in the spring.

“There was an appeal to get involved in the Community Gardens and I’m trying to look for community projects for Rotary. That looked like an ideal one for us,” said Tom Simmons from the Rotary Club of Tillsonburg.

“Our process was more or less the physical aspect of the project – tearing down the old fence, getting it out of there, and putting up the new fence,” said Simmons. “We have some older members, and it was hard from that point of view. Some are younger, but we made it easy, we worked a little smarter and that helps. Some of the poles were quite hard to get out but we used the right kind of tools and leverages to make it easier.

“The whole thing consisted of two strands of almost 500 feet of fence. One was buried a foot in the ground to keep the rabbits from digging in. The rest was up to the roughly six-foot posts above ground (to keep out the deer). Then after that came the posts.”

The old wire fence was taken to a metal recycling facility.

“There was quite a group of Rotary volunteers that helped remove the old fence,” said Al Robson, chairman of the Tillsonburg Community Gardens, noting the first part of the fence project was completed a few weeks ago.

“As soon as the weather improves we will erect the new fence, before the gardening season begins. As part of the new fence construction we’re expanding the gardens by about 20 per cent in area to allow for extra plots.”

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Damp fall weather prevented them from erecting the fence in October and November.

“The exceptional wet weather of the past few weeks prevented the tractor we were going to use to operate down there. It’s a floodplain and it does get quite wet.”

The Tillsonburg Community Gardens plans to recycle fence posts donated by Canadian Imperial Ginseng.

It was an excellent growing season this past summer, said Robson.

“An especially good growing season. We had over 30 garden plots. Tomatoes were a major crop but all the vegetable types grow well there. People grow peppers, corn, potatoes, a lot of the root vegetables, squash-type vegetables.”

Marianne Begin, Tillsonburg Community Gardens treasurer, says some garden plots are still available for the 2022 season. If interested call 519-550-0299.

Simmons, chair of the Tillsonburg Rotary membership committee, said the Rotary Club is seeking new members.

“We’d like to get more presence in the town, we’re trying to get Rotary better know locally. We’re trying to get more members so we can get more active within the community.

“My philosophy is when you start getting active within the community doing something really good for other people, then you have something for your membership to do – and everyone wants to do something.

“In order to get known within the community, you’ve got to get out in the community,” Simmons concluded.

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