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Food bank’s gardening project taking root in the community


TRURO - Being around the Colchester Food Bank garden planter project is inspiring young Rebekka Fraser to grow a green thumb.

"I might start" helping with her family's garden said the 10-year-old youngster of Truro earlier this week as she watched others - young and old alike - plant vegetables outside the food bank.

"I like the feel of the soil" and it would be good to teach her parents a few gardening tips, she giggled as she watched a group of children and their teacher work with transplants in special boxes at the food bank.

The garden planter program at the local food bank is in its third year. It began when a food bank volunteer began using blueberry boxes as garden plots for vegetables such as tomatoes, kale, broccoli and onions, which he then donated to the food bank.

Last year, with the assistance of a federal grant worth $1,200, the food bank hired summer student Genevieve Clark, who has returned this summer, and assisted with soil, boxes and transplants for the garden box project. Twelve boxes in total, for growing vegetables, were given to nine families, many of whom were food bank clients.

"It's been great because (participants) don't need a huge amount of space to do this and it helps supplement clients' (orders) here, especially if we don't have extra vegetables," said Clark.

Another 12 boxes have been claimed this summer, but the boxes will remain at the food bank. Community members, clients, day care children, youth groups and an after-school program are planting, weeding and growing their own vegetables on-site.

"They have the option to donate their vegetables to the food bank or take them home," said Darlene DeAdder, food bank co-ordinator. "The kids love watching it grow and (the experience) can help teach kids to cook."

DeAdder added the concept of gardening as a family is valuable, and emphasizes healthy eating at a young age.

"It's about family unity, which is important, especially today. It's rewarding and not expensive ... it teaches the value of food and how to save money, how much work it takes, and understanding how long it takes to have a garden."

DeAdder said although the dozen planters are already claimed, people can still go to the food bank to get ideas on their own planting project and the facility may have extra transplants, soil and buckets to help people begin their own project.

As for the future, DeAdder expects the project to return.

"It will continue. I'm just not sure if we will get (additional) boxes."

mchiasson@trurodaily.com

Twitter: tdnMonique

 

"I might start" helping with her family's garden said the 10-year-old youngster of Truro earlier this week as she watched others - young and old alike - plant vegetables outside the food bank.

"I like the feel of the soil" and it would be good to teach her parents a few gardening tips, she giggled as she watched a group of children and their teacher work with transplants in special boxes at the food bank.

The garden planter program at the local food bank is in its third year. It began when a food bank volunteer began using blueberry boxes as garden plots for vegetables such as tomatoes, kale, broccoli and onions, which he then donated to the food bank.

Last year, with the assistance of a federal grant worth $1,200, the food bank hired summer student Genevieve Clark, who has returned this summer, and assisted with soil, boxes and transplants for the garden box project. Twelve boxes in total, for growing vegetables, were given to nine families, many of whom were food bank clients.

"It's been great because (participants) don't need a huge amount of space to do this and it helps supplement clients' (orders) here, especially if we don't have extra vegetables," said Clark.

Another 12 boxes have been claimed this summer, but the boxes will remain at the food bank. Community members, clients, day care children, youth groups and an after-school program are planting, weeding and growing their own vegetables on-site.

"They have the option to donate their vegetables to the food bank or take them home," said Darlene DeAdder, food bank co-ordinator. "The kids love watching it grow and (the experience) can help teach kids to cook."

DeAdder added the concept of gardening as a family is valuable, and emphasizes healthy eating at a young age.

"It's about family unity, which is important, especially today. It's rewarding and not expensive ... it teaches the value of food and how to save money, how much work it takes, and understanding how long it takes to have a garden."

DeAdder said although the dozen planters are already claimed, people can still go to the food bank to get ideas on their own planting project and the facility may have extra transplants, soil and buckets to help people begin their own project.

As for the future, DeAdder expects the project to return.

"It will continue. I'm just not sure if we will get (additional) boxes."

mchiasson@trurodaily.com

Twitter: tdnMonique

 

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