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History of vegetable gardens in Québec

Vegetables ready for harvest in the vegetable gardens of the Jardin botanique de Montréal
Photo: Espace pour la vie (Claude Lafond)
Vegetable gardens at the Jardin botanique de Montréal

What is a kitchen garden?

This term is not always easy to define, when we look at how kitchen gardens have evolved from the pre-colonial era to today.

We could describe a kitchen garden as a relatively small area used to grow fruit and vegetables that are consumed exclusively by the nuclear or extended family.

It is fenced off, if necessary, to keep out animals and vandals, as may occur in an urban environment.

Depending on how large an area it covers, a kitchen garden can be turned into a market garden or a large field in which fruit and vegetables are grown for sale.

The size of a kitchen garden depends on the space available, the number of people it has to feed, their needs and, of course, how much time the gardeners have to tend it.

Based on an article by Céline Arseneault and Daniel Fortin in Quatre-Temps magazine, 18(1): 20-23.

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