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Volunteer support helps provide community healthy garden food


Holly Amos, a public health summer student, works in the Alma community garden. Submitted

As the weather warms the air and soil the plants are beginning to pop out of the ground in the Alma community garden.  This garden is a partnership between Kids 1st Family Resource Centre and Pictou County Public Health. The plot of land, generously provided and tilled by Irene and Ron Christensen, has been the home of the community garden for the past two years with bountiful results.

The success of the garden in providing local families with hundreds of pounds of fresh produce has been largely due to community support. Volunteers come to help plant, weed and harvest while other volunteers donate produce grown in their own backyard to the Grow a Row Program. To get the garden going several dozen healthy transplants were given by Colleen and Bob Parker at West River Greenhouses. To keep the garden growing a fence was constructed to keep wildlife out thanks to the kind donations of nets from Pictou Fisheries and Oceans and posts from Alex MacLeod’s sawmill in Scotsburn.

Community members interested in contributing to the garden by volunteering time at the plot in Alma are welcome. Others may want to contribute to the Grow-a-Row program where excess produce from their home gardens are used in cooking classes and healthy food boxes at Kids 1st, Tearmann House, New Hope, and Roots House for Youth.

The Grow a Row recognizes that many gardeners end up growing more produce than they can eat so this program provides an opportunity to put it to good use! Whether it is an extra crop of herbs or a basket of peppers the fresh food will benefit food programs in our community. Food donation drop off, pick up or harvesting assistance are available if needed. Those interested in participating are asked to contact Kelley Cavan at 752-7600 ext. 3307,

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