Maurita Prato, our ED, (left) and Emma.

LUSH Valley extends heartfelt thanks and farewell to our Community Garden Coordinator, Emma Hutchinson, for her dedication to our Share the Harvest Community Garden over the past two growing seasons.

Emma has been an amazing member of our team and inspired our volunteers and garden plot holders to work collaboratively to create a beautiful space for all to enjoy. We wish Emma well as she takes on a new role with another organization and we will truly miss her!

While we could write a novel to champion Emma’s contribution to our community garden program, we feel that accolades from some of our volunteers and plot holders express our sentiments best! Here’s what they had to say about Emma and the community garden she has been instrumental in creating. We couldn’t agree more!

“The garden is looking better than it ever has and there is a team spirit of people working together. Well done, Emma.

“The Garden is a great place to grow plants, learn and socialize. It is my anchor in this community.”

“I feel like the garden has given me something to look forward to, a purpose. It makes me feel rejuvenated.”

“The LUSH garden has become a place for community learning about food growing and working together.”

“A beautiful green space in downtown Courtenay, the LUSH garden is an asset to all passersby, local residents, and of course the gardeners themselves.”

“I absolutely love having the opportunity to have a garden. We live in an apartment and while we are working to save money to buy a house with a yard, it is so exciting to have something growing in the meantime.”

“Having a garden bed that I can access from my wheelchair has opened my world back up. I grew food on a farm for seven years and, now that I live in a wheelchair, I have had to move to a town apartment. Share the Harvest Garden is helping me get back to a place where I can grow my own food independently. I hope to see the garden grow more accessible to people with accessibility needs as time goes by. I can’t express how grateful I am for this opportunity.”

“I feel fortunate to have a community garden in Courtenay. When I am in the garden, not a day goes by without people browsing, inquiring, and commenting on this wonderful space for the community.”

“Many thanks and a lot of appreciation to the organizing team at Lush Valley and the Share the Harvest Garden Coordinator, Emma, which have kept this garden going with workshops, hands-on guidance, enthusiasm and visions to benefit the whole of the community and the many gardeners here, myself included.”

“This is my sixth year as a gardener in the Share the Harvest Community Garden. As an aging senior, I am on a limited budget and with no garden space of my own at my residence, I rely on my garden plot to grow food and flowers. “

“The Garden is a great place to grow plants, learn and socialize. It is my anchor in this community.”

“Every year this community garden amazes me with all the enthusiasm and involvement from gardeners. Emma is a miracle worker and the fertilizer of our garden. We are organic gardeners, lol, but with her wealth of knowledge in soil building and establishing plant guilds we gained so much more. Thank You, Emma!

“I am so grateful to have a garden space in the Share the Harvest Garden in Courtenay. I come from Europe, where community gardens are a norm and beautiful parks and flowers are everywhere one looks. I grew up helping my mom in her community garden and now my 11-year-old granddaughter is gardening here with me, too. What a gift to be able to share in this experience together. A highlight for us and her and my teen grandson is picking raspberries from the communal plot and taking part in the garden potlucks.”

Emma, far right, at Washington Inn garden.