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Ines and Eric Batterton, owners of My Nordic Garden. The Champlain Township based business offers natural kitchen gardens, along with advice and consultations to get beginner growers started.

My Nordic Garden offers raised kitchen garden beds and advice for novice growers

Whether you are a novice gardener, or an expert, My Nordic Garden can provide an organic solution, offering raised kitchen garden beds, as well as help in getting started.

The start-up company was formed last December by Champlain residents Ines Batterton and her husband Eric. The couple designs and builds custom kitchen gardens – raised outdoor spaces with a maximum of 200 square feet – which can provide fresh, organically-grown produce throughout the year.

“Even if you are a complete beginner we are there to help you be successful in the first weeks,” says Ines Batterton. “We deliver everything – we install the beds, the trellises, the plants – and we can also help with maintenance.”

Born in Germany, Batterton was employed as a school teacher in her native country, before leaving the profession to work on organic farms with the international group Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF).

It was while working for WWOOF on a farm in Ireland that she met her future husband online. Eric traveled from his Montreal home to Ireland to meet Ines, joining WWOOF and working alongside her on the same farm. After traveling throughout Europe together, the couple decided to marry – moving to Champlain Township in 2019.

My Nordic Garden offers consulting, planning, design, coaching and maintenance services for anyone who wishes to start a small garden. Ines and Eric work together on the designs throughout the process, meeting with the customers, performing site visits and planning what items to plant.

Eric builds the raised wooden garden beds himself, out of untreated rough-cut cedar. A welder and assembler by trade for more than 20 years, he is also a skilled carpenter and woodworker, crafting each structure out of wood as part of the company’s desire to use natural products.

“We try to do it as natural and sustainably as possible,” explains Ines, who also works with each grower to ensure the produce meets their family’s needs. They are also asked to complete a questionnaire about their eating habits.

“It makes them think about what they really do eat,” Ines notes. “There’s no point in growing things in the garden they have never heard about or don’t like.”

For more experienced gardeners, My Nordic Garden offers a Do-It-Yourself pack. Customers can order the cedar beds and install everything themselves, tweaking the design to their needs as required.

While occupying only a small footprint, kitchen gardens can yield a surprising amount of produce, with a 200-square foot garden able to feed a family year-round.

“We are still eating out of our freezer from the kitchen garden we had last year,” laughs Ines, adding intensive and successive planting is used in order to maximize yield. “You have a lot of produce in a little space, and when there’s a gap, you just fill it up.”

The raised beds also allow for a longer growing season, she points out – with some produce even available for harvest while there is still snow on the ground.

“In the wintertime we cover the beds and plant hardy crops – plants which can start in autumn and stay there the whole winter. Even in the very early spring – like now – you can go outside and have some kale or other fresh greens.”

More information on My Nordic Garden can be obtained by visiting their webpage, or Facebook page.

Reid Masson

Reid Masson is a graduate of Algonquin College's Journalism Program. He has over 20 years of experience as a staff writer and editor for various newspapers across Canada, including The Ottawa Citizen and Brockville Recorder and Times.

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