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Magnetawan Horticultural Society shifts focus from flowers to vegetables

The Magnetawan Horticultural Society should know by April if it's one of 25 communities in Canada awarded a $2,500 grant from Scott's Canada. If the local group is one of the lucky 25, the money will go toward building several plots for a community vegetable garden, says president Barbara Stewart.

It's the first time the group, which normally focuses on garden flowers, has applied for the grant. Stewart says members will start with four three-by-10-foot plots and increase the number of beds in the future.

The members will employ companion planting, which maximizes space, helps to increase crop production and control pests, contributes to pollination and provides a habitat for beneficial insects.

As for the types of vegetables the society will plant, Stewart says it will be a variety of beans, peas, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and herbs. In addition, if there's enough space in the plots, the group also will plant corn.

Although only a few years old, the society has more than 70 members. In its short history, Stewart says it's become heavily involved with Magnetawan Central Public School and in pre-COVID days would conduct many workshops teaching students how to grow flowers. 

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