Growing Food at City Hall


Bernita Sanstad


Janet Ploof

by Bernita Sanstad

One of the most fun things associated with planting and maintaining the gardens around City Hall and the Boy and the Dog Park are the many and varied conversations I have with all the people who are attracted by the inviting flowers and delicious edible plants. Some people are local and some are from Europe, Canada and locations far and wide in the Greater Pacific Northwest.

Janet Ploof and I had a fun time talking with a couple from Brussels who explained that people in Europe just don’t understand the American fascination with kale we have planted! We encourage people to help harvest the plants that interest them, always being mindful of saving the fruit and veggies for others to enjoy also.

Cathy Rooks and Val Easton designed the gardens around City Hall to combine edible plants with flowers and to plant them in a way that would provide interest year around for the people living in and visiting Langley. Artists Jean White Savage and Nick Lyle added the inventive and practical metal sculpture that adds dimension and beauty throughout the garden. This was all accomplished in small spaces in front and down the walkway on the west side of the building that we have dubbed the “Pollinating Promenade” for its ability to attract bees. We added evergreens and art to the changing landscape of vegetables, fruit and flowers. Log House Plants and Renee’s Seeds donated a variety of edible and flowering seeds and plants that we used to create an interesting tableau of nature for everybody to enjoy.

Some of the most popular plants have been the Indigo Kumquat Tomatoes which were created to contain as much antioxidants as blueberries, the Columnar Apples which produced delicious tasting apples for both human and deer consumption, the tiny but very sweet Alpine Strawberries and the Pink Porcelain Doll Pumpkins so named because of their shiny pink tinted exterior. It’s been really fun to watch children enjoy eating the strawberries and blueberries and while they gingerly walk through the plants!

I never anticipated how much fun it would actually turn out to be spending time in the garden while supporting activities for Langley and volunteering for the Langley Main Street Association. The purpose of Main Street is to provide assistance to the City of Langley in keeping the downtown core of our town vital and interesting for everyone to enjoy.

P1210971fI now feel like kind of an “Ambassador for Langley” because of the connections I’ve made with so many people who visit and live in Langley.
Please visit me in the garden when you are in town!


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