Growing your own vegetables is something many Albertans have been getting into during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, a couple from Calgary have come up with a new DIY kit to get you started on the path to gardening in harmony with Mother Nature.
Lee Martineau and his wife Stéphanie Mondin started a business called Doug Gardens, which delivers the beds, soil, compost and mulch needed to build a garden.
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“It’s in our DNA to grow our own food,” Martineau said.
Martineau didn’t always think so, having worked in construction and other fields for the past few years. But his attitude changed when he was fired after the pandemic began.
“I never had any interest in growing up,” Martineau said. “But after watching my two young boys pull carrots from the garden, I decided that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”
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It’s a decision that is good news for Mondin.
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“I’ve been a gardener all my life,” Mondin said. “Getting Lee into gardening was a beautiful thing for me.”
Martineau has taken important steps to pursue his new passion.
“Now I’m working on a degree in horticulture at Olds College,” Martineau said.
With his new passion, Martineau encourages all Albertans to go green in their gardens.
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“Pulling nutrients from the ground, knocking them down, pulling them up, knocking them down, the same way Mother Nature does,” Martineau said.
Martineau and Mondin delivered one of their gardening kits Wednesday to the northeast Calgary home of Marlene Rybicki, who was excited to start her own grow.
“Playing in the dirt is actually really good for your mental health,” Rybicki said. “Smells like a farm in my garden.”
Since starting their business in early 2022, Martineau and Mondin have sold approximately 60 of their Doug Gardens kits to customers in Alberta.
But Martineau added that even as a local company, they are still struggling with these global supply and demand issues.
“Even now, as we come out of COVID, there are still supply chain issues,” Martineau said. “We need to become a bit more self-sufficient.”
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