On September 13th, the Markham fair’s community gardeners got together to celebrate their accomplishments this season and a successful first year for the garden! The rain did put a bit of a damper on the festivities, but a slight change of venue to inside rather than out at the garden solved the problem. With refreshments ready, a kids table set up, and food bank donations on display, the atmosphere was certainly very lively! Once everyone had settled in, the Mayor of Markham, Frank Scarpitti, and the acting Mayor of Stouffville, Clyde Smith, shared a few words with those in attendance. They spoke of the impact and importance of the garden for the community, their hopes that it expands in the future, and the example it can set for other such projects. The president of the Markham Fair, Kelly Winnitoy, also spoke at the event about the impact the garden has had on connecting people with the fair and how it has furthered the fair’s agriculture-focused mandate. Following these speeches, everyone braved the cold to go out to the garden to display their food bank donations and have a ribbon-cutting ceremony. This was also an opportunity for photos, and for the gardeners, mayors, and Markham Fair Staff and Board Members to mingle!
All in all, it was a very successful event which celebrated the gardeners and the project itself! So what’s next for the community garden? Once the gardeners have finished their harvest for the season, they’ll clear out their plots for the winter and many of will be back on the garden next year.
Many of them have expressed what a learning opportunity the garden has been for them, and that they are confident they’ll be able to be even more successful next season! The Fair also hopes to expand the project next year with all the positive feedback and interest in the garden.