Plant a Row, Grow a Row for Food Bank

The local community garden gives you a chance to grow food for yourself while also helping others.

  • Tue Jun 5th, 2012 9:00am
  • Life

Barb Davies

Director 

Golden Food Bank Society

Donna Attewell

Community Garden Manager

The Plant a Row • Grow a Row program is an annual initiative of the Golden Food Bank helping to ensure fresh produce is available for those in need in our community.

This program builds on the long-standing tradition of gardeners loving to share their harvest with others.

The Food Bank encourages gardeners to grow a little extra and donate the produce to the Food Bank.

It’s an easy way to share extra fruit, berries and vegetables with the rest of the community.

Surplus produce can be dropped off at the Food Bank on Tuesday mornings before 12 p.m.

The Food Bank is located at 1115 9th St. S.

In 2011, the Food Bank received 1,293 kilograms of produce donations through this program.

This was in addition to the 300 kg that was grown at the Ruth Wixon Community Garden.

A local grower, Henry Larwill, in the Blaeberry donated 150 kg of potatoes that were used in Food Hampers through October and November of 2011.

The Golden Secondary School Grad Committee donated 195 kg of apples that were leftover from their Pie Sale last fall.

These examples highlight the initiative of a few that make a difference for many in our community.

The Plant a Row • Grow a Row program supports our mission to “nourish our community by providing food solutions for those in need while collaborating with partners in the community working towards food security.”  Plant a Row • Grow a Row is a national program in partnership with Food Banks Canada to aid local food banks in reaping the rewards of the harvest from vegetable gardens in their areas.

The Grow-A-Row program started in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1986, initiated by Ron and Eunice O’Donovan. That year they produced more potatoes in their backyard garden than their family could consume.

They donated the excess to their local food bank, Winnipeg Harvest. Their idea was met with such enthusiasm that the O’Donovan’s encouraged their friends and neighbours to also donate their surplus produce.

Since then, over 1.4 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables have been given to Winnipeg Harvest through the Grow-A-Row program.

Another initiative of the Golden Food Bank is the Community Garden at the Ruth Wixon House.

In partnership with the Town of Golden and the Golden Historical Society the Community Garden grows and harvests fresh produce that supplements Food Hampers from July through December each year. The Community Garden would not be possible without the generous support of Mountainside Gardens who donated the majority of the seeds and plants to start the season.

As well, thank you to many of the grade two students at Alexander Park Elementary School who started seedlings for the Garden.

The seeds planted by the students were donated by True Value. If you have any extra seeds or plants please bring them by the Garden on Tuesday afternoons for planting.

Any eager gardeners are welcome to spend time in the Community Garden. Volunteer hours are on Tuesday afternoons from 1-3 p.m.

The Ruth Wixon Community Garden is located at 812 8th St. S.