An Estevan woman is hoping to get city council support in bringing a community vegetable garden to Estevan for families in need.
Bethany Paul sent a proposal letter to council, which was reviewed at Monday night's council meeting.
Paul hopes to get city land to build the garden, which she hopes will serve as a cheaper alternative for families who struggle to keep up with rising produce prices at the grocery store.
"The prices for everything are just going up and up, and I care about the community so I thought 'how can I take something that I'm passionate about, and also be helpful with,'" Paul said.
"I'm shocked personally. For example the cost of a cucumber...I could count on them going on sale for 50 cents," she continued. "And now I'm seeing the price is two dollars for a cucumber. It's absolutely ridiculous."
Paul recently bought a house with her husband in Estevan and has a garden in her yard.
"Our yard just isn't big enough to supply anything for anyone but our family," she said. "So I was like 'maybe the city would help us out and give us some land so we can help some families out who might need it.'"
Paul's letter to council states that getting the land is the biggest hurdle for the project. She said she'll be able to get donations for seeds, plants, and soil from stores and local farmers and that volunteers would be able to maintain the garden. She added that her employer, Sector 1, would be interested in sponsoring the garden.
The letter also says that ideally, the garden would be in a central location for those who are unable to drive or walk long distances, and that it would be accessible from May until October every year.
The existing Estevan Community Gardens on Lynd Crescent grow flowers and vegetables, but you have to pay to sign up. This proposed garden would be free for everyone.
City councillors requested more information before proceeding with the idea. Coun. Shelly Veroba asked for a more detailed proposal, while Coun. Anthony Sernick suggested that the garden could be put on a one year trial to see it how it performs. Coun. Kirtsen Walliser expressed a desire to meet with a larger group of advocates.
The proposal has been tabled until the next council meeting.
Paul added that the garden would be a "take as you need" model. She also suggested the idea of a year-round, free community pantry at the same location where people can leave something in return, once the garden is established.
"I think it could have a pretty big impact," Paul said.