Signs of Ashcroft CiB everywhere you look

Ashcroft Communities in Bloom have been planting and decorating the town to get it ready for summer.

CiB members and community volunteers ready to plant flowers downtown. L-R: Shila Natha

It was a very busy week indeed for Ashcroft Communities in Bloom.

First, lovely, bright, colourful banners were installed on the street poles along Railway Ave. last Tuesday. The banners, painted by local citizens of all ages and sponsored by the United Way, add colour and character to our main street. Thank you to Kelly and Cindy Adamski (Kelrockden Holdings) for the use of their bucket truck to install the banners. Also a big thank you to Ashcroft Bakery for the donation of the cake at the “Banner Unveiling” ceremony held on May 3 and to Safety Mart Foods for the donation of plates, napkins and juice boxes.

Flower, flowers, flowers!!  And then, Community in Bloom members along with several community volunteers gathered on Wednesday evening to plant flowers in the barrels downtown, at the Village office, the Community Hall and the historic firehall. What a picture they will make when they are in full bloom! A big thank you to our local firefighters who watered all the barrels on Tuesday night during their fire practice, to Desert Hills for growing the wonderful plants, and to the business owners who will water and care for the flowers in the barrels in front of their businesses.

Lastly, what fun was had on Friday afternoon when Communities in Bloom members attended Ashcroft Elementary School and worked with Ms. Megan Marlow and her Grade 1 students. This project involves planting two garden beds on the school grounds. In one bed, students plant a variety of sunflower seeds; in the other bed they plant potatoes. The potato planting is somewhat unique in that they lay the seed potatoes on the ground and then cover them with approximately a one foot cover of straw. The potato plants grow through the straw while the potatoes form underneath. In the fall the students pull away the straw and harvest the potatoes beneath.

Ms. Marlow has developed learning units around both these types of plantings. The students plant the seeds and potatoes and watch them grow. In the fall on their return to school, they note how the sunflowers have grown and how the seed heads have developed, the patterns the seeds make and they count how many seeds are in a head. They paint pictures of the sunflowers and learn how bees pollinate the flowers and various other things about sunflowers. With the potatoes it becomes a math lesson as they count the potatoes, put them in groups of 10s, weigh them and see the difference in sizes. The best part is they have a potato day where the potatoes are prepared in all different ways and the kids get to eat them. What a great learning experience this project has evolved into!

Kathy Paulos from the Ashcroft Museum gets involved as well as she goes into the classroom and tells the students how the potatoes were an important part of Ashcroft’s history.

We would like to thank all our community supporters involved with this project. To School District #74 who tills the gardens for us, to Desert Hills who provided the seed potatoes, to Pacific Substrate who donate the straw and to Kathy Paulos for her history lesson.  The more we all work together the more our community blooms!

Andrea Walker

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