By Michelle McDonald

Last year I got to enjoy something that brought me a lot of enjoyment, and I would like to share it with others.

Last Spring I got a plot in my local community garden in Burnaby.

I got a raised garden bed and I was given a big bag of fertilized soil for me to use in my garden. I felt excited but also challenged: what would I grow?

That first season I grew a lot of things in my garden and I have learnt from that.

Some things were not too successful, like the corn that grew very tall but fell down. But others grew well, like the tomatoes.

One of the things I liked best was seeing what other people grew in their beds and getting some new ideas for me.

I especially liked looking at the rhubarb that someone grew. I love rhubarb and I’d like to grow it, but I need some healthy recipes to learn what to make with it.

Having the garden bed made me feel part of something good. I helped in the summer at a big clean up of the communal area.

Then in August there was a garden party. We had art, music, a presentation from a composter and I met a beekeeper from Burnaby and got to try a sample of the honey.

One of the best parts of the garden was feeling part of nature. Everyone who knows me knows that I am passionate about insects and nature.

I enjoyed everything so much that I will be doing it all again this year. I have learnt and I will be planting different things this time.

I want to grow tomatoes, different types of mint and strawberries. This year I’m going to go to the library to research what to grow. I will attend presentations to give me ideas and tips.

Last year I had a lot of help from my family and support workers. This year I’d like to show more friends around my garden. I can’t wait to get started!