Members bought a tiller for the garden from Bo’s, who donated a portion of the cost to the garden, says Melanie Newell.
The Plant to Plate Project submitted grant applications and got two this year, a $1,000 Crime Prevention grant and a $2,500 one from the Queens Community Health Board.
“Those two grants were for purchasing equipment and resources needed for the garden,” says Newell.
Members of the project include representatives from the Community Operated Open Kitchen (COOK) program, Native Council of Nova Scotia, Family Resource Centre, Public Health Services, Department of Community Services and the Region of Queens’ Department of Recreation.
This year, Newell says one of the plans is to have information sessions during the growing season.
A session about ‘preparing to grow a garden,’ was slated for May 7 at the Family Resource Centre from 6 to 7 p.m. Av Singh, organics and rural infrastructure specialist with AgraPoint, was set to help facilitate the talk.
“He helps support all types of organic and small farmers in the province,” says Newell.
Members are planning to begin preparing the garden on May 14 with tilling. May 15 will involve getting the rows ready, and the seeds will be going in on May 16 and 17. The work is slated to be from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. each day.
Newell says they wanted activities spread through the week so people could participate.
The community garden is part of the Plant to Plate Project, which began in 2011.
“The plant-to-plate idea is that you go from the garden to the plate,” says Newell. “The vegetables that are harvested from the garden go back into the community.”
Last year, says Newell, most of the food harvested from the garden was donated to the food bank. Some families from the community also got food, and some programs used the food. The COOK program used some of the vegetables for a spaghetti-sauce session.
Newell says members are planning to design the garden a little differently this year. They’re also hoping to have some new plants, such as strawberry plants, rhubarb and grapevines.
The Plant to Plate Project has great partnerships, and a lot of food came out of the garden, but Newell says there could have been more if the number of volunteers had been higher.
“We really need volunteers this year,” she says.
Most of what’s needed is weeding. She says this can be done at any time of day and will probably start at the beginning of June for the summer.
There will be tools on site for people to use if they need to.
Like last year, the garden will include nine individual plots. The plots are free, but people have to provide their own seeds and do their own weeding. There is water on site they can use, says Newell.
The plots will be about 10 by 10 and will be tilled before the planting season starts.
Anyone interested in volunteering, getting a plot or finding out more about the Plant to Plate Project may contact Melanie Newell at 354-1305 or by email at email@example.com.