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Canada: Burnaby Allotment Garden Founder – Remembering Frank Aiello

Frank Aiello in June 2002. Aiello died on March 20 of this year. He was a founding member of the Burnaby and Regional Allotment Garden Association (BARAGA), a large community garden with 372 plots located in south Burnaby. Photograph contributed.

“I miss his quiet generosity,” Heidi Rose said. “I miss the fountain of knowledge, his gardening advice so softly given to this novice gardener.

By Monica Jones, a gardener at BARAGA
Burnaby Now
June 8, 2017


Born in Amato, Italy in 1925, Frank immigrated to Canada to make a new life. During the last three decades of his life, chances are you would find him working on one of his family’s plots in the northwest corner of BARAGA.

“Frank was friendly and welcoming when Larry and I moved to the plot next to his in 1994,” recounted Joan Campana. “He would often come over to where I was weeding and we’d visit for a few moments – or longer, if I could get him to tell a story. He was always ready to answer gardening questions.”

“Frank’s plants always seemed to grow better than mine, even when he gave me some of his to grow,” Larry Johnston told me. “He had a landscaper who delivered grass clippings to the parking lot and Frank would haul them by wheelbarrow to his plots. It was the only fertilizer I ever saw him use. He must have hauled tons of grass clippings over the years. And he was always generous with his produce, if he thought I was going home without enough he would push some of his on me.”

“We were always admiring his grapes,” Joan added, “so when we built our garden shed he gave us three varieties and soon our shed was covered with ‘Frank’s grapes.’”

“He was here early each day and worked hard,” Cecilia Gariup told me when I found her relaxing in the shade with Fernando Gallina under his grape vines. “When I first got my plot, it was covered in weeds. The guy who had the plot before was sick and couldn’t keep up. Frank helped me clear the plot.” Fernando echoed that, “He would help anybody.”

Read the complete article here.

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