Thursday, 13 June 2013 16:40

Community garden will support Swift Current food bank

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Volunteers were hard at work to establish a community garden on the west side of the Salvation Army building in Swift Current on June 1. Volunteers were hard at work to establish a community garden on the west side of the Salvation Army building in Swift Current on June 1. Matthew Liebenberg/Prairie Post

A new community garden will provide fresh vegetables to the food bank in Swift Current.

 

Volunteers gathered with their shovels and other gardening tools on the west side of the Salvation Army building on June 1 to construct and plant the garden.

Caroline Barrington, who coordinated the establishment of the garden, said the project is an initiative of the Southwest Food Security Committee, an umbrella group of local agencies that promotes a regional food security strategy and healthier eating habits.

“It's making people more connected to the food they're eating and their community around them,” she mentioned.

A strong sense of community spirit and cooperation was evident during the creation of the garden. All the people in the work party were there in response to Barrington’s call for help.

“They're just awesome people who decided to come,” she said.

The community garden consists of 10 raised garden boxes that were built a few days earlier by members of the Swift Current Lions Club.

According to Barrington these boxes are ideal for growing vegetables.

“The soil warms faster in the spring, for instance, and they're very easy to cover over,” she explained.

It will be used to grow a variety of vegetables, including potatoes, carrots, beets, onions, beans, peas, lettuce and spinach.

Another benefit of the raised garden boxes is that it reduces the need for care during the growing season.

“We'll be planting them so densely that there's not going to be a lot of room for weeds,” she said.

The ongoing maintenance of the community garden will be coordinated through the food bank manager in cooperation with other local groups such as the Abilities Council.

The produce from the garden will be used in hampers provided to food bank clients. The Southwest Food Security Committee will also use some of the vegetables for its community kitchen program.

Barrington expressed her gratitude towards the businesses and individuals who supported the establishment of the community garden.

 “Everything's been donated,” she said. “I asked and they generously and enthusiastically gave me stuff that I wanted.”

The cedar wood for the raised boxes came from JR Remanufacturing in Herbert, Delta Rock & Sand provided the mulch and Crutch’s Plumbing & Heating installed a new tap near the garden. Other contributions for the project came from Garry and Geri Johnson, Dave’s Trucking, Signs N Such, Evans Brothers Home Hardware and Pioneer Co-op.

Barrington would like to see this positive start continue into an even larger community garden during future years.

“Hopefully people will kind of see the vision and we'll have more at least by next year and maybe a bit more every year,” she said.

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Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer

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