Keremeos' Community Garden is open for everyone. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)

Keremeos’ community garden is for the people

No one has to come in the middle of the night and try to steal what’s freely available says gardener

Keremeos’ community garden is for everyone.

That’s the message that master gardener Albert McCormick hopes that residents will hear and take into account.

Especially after someone damaged parts of the garden while trying to make off with some of the growing produce.

During the night, someone entered the garden and grabbed the largest of the melons, ripping it up and tearing it from the vine. The melon, still quite heavy, was promptly discarded as the thief continued making their way along looking for one that they could carry off.

Speaking with McCormick on Friday, he wasn’t angry about the thief, just disappointed.

“When the RCMP came down, I wasn’t concerned. Things like this happen,” said McCormick. “All I want to do is get the word out: this is the Community Garden, everyone needs to understand that. It’s all for the people.”

People are not only invited, but encouraged to come down and speak to either McCormick or another one of the garden’s caretakers, who can help them out in finding not only exactly what they want, but find things that are ripe and that they can enjoy.

“Nobody has to come in the middle of the night and steal and cause damage. Our pleasure and joy is seeing the pleasure and joy in someone when they get something in their hands that they know they’re going to enjoy. That’s what it’s all about.”

READ MORE: Growing a community garden in Keremeos

Some of what is grown is donated, mostly to the Mountainview and Kyalami Place seniors facilities, but the rest is available for anyone who wants. On Friday morning, one delivery to Mountainview had everything that McCormick could fit in a wheelbarrow, with another delivery ready for Kyalami with 40 ears of corn and a variety of melons.

The biggest thing that McCormick was upset about over the whole situation wasn’t even that someone had felt they needed to go about in the middle of the night to try and make off with the melon, but that it wasn’t even ripe yet and would likely have to be tossed away.

“If a couple melons get wrecked and I don’t get to use them for fundraising, we’ll find another way to raise it,” said McCormick. “Things happen every day in life, it’s just how you deal with it. The only thing I really don’t like to see is waste.”

In addition to the community garden next to McCormick’s home, a larger garden will be taking shape across from the Lower Similkameen Community Services’ Society’s Ambrosia housing complex. The village’s council recently voted to approve a grant application for up $1 million for the new garden.

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