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Groups plot out community garden

Volunteers from RBC, Kids First Family Resource Centre, Maranatha Church and other community members gathered last week to prepare a collaborative community garden.

Andrew Whitty, Eileen MacKenzie, Elizabeth Macdonald and Lisa Hurlbert were among the volunteers helping to prepare the Kids First and Community Cupboard garden last week. SUBMITTED

The garden on Munro Avenue is a project between Kids First and the Community Cupboard, who are working with public health to grow produce to be given to various members of the community.

In past years, the two groups grew separate gardens with the Kids First garden in McLellans Brook, then later in Sylvester, while the Community Cupboard garden was behind their location at 196 Munroe Ave.

They believe having both gardens in town will be much more convenient for staff, volunteers, and individuals receiving the produce.

“It makes sense to combine our efforts to offer fresh foods to clients. We saw the pride our clients had in the garden last year and we look forward to working with community partners like Public Health and Kids First to grow an even bigger and better garden this year,” said Pat Stearns from the Community Cupboard. 

The project is funded by the United Way of Pictou County, the Children’s Aid Society, RBC New Glasgow, the Aberdeen Hospital Auxiliary, the Trenton Generating Station Donations Committee, and the Pictou County Kinettes.

Members of Maranatha Church, Public Health staff, and Nissan Car Dealership Employees grew transplants for the garden as well. Donated money was used to purchase seeds, materials to build raised beds, the deer fence, a shed, and gardening equipment. Fraser Kennedy also donated two handmade benches.

“Public Health is privileged to work with partners such as Kids First and Community Cupboard to provide opportunities for people to learn about gardening and to enjoy food that will benefit their health and the health of their children,” said Kelley Cavan, public health nutritionist.

The garden will be maintained by volunteers from now until the end of October.

The food produced by the garden will be given away at the Community Cupboard Wednesdays from 2 to 4 p.m., and will also be used for food demonstrations and recipe sampling. Kids First will also use it for snacks and lunches and to give away to families who use the centre. Any extra food will be donated to various community groups such as the Pictou County Food Bank, Tearmann House and Roots House.

“I am so excited to partner with the Community Cupboard for our garden project this year. Working together, we will grow, prepare and harvest lots of great vegetables. Kids First families enjoy this project and the delicious rewards,” said Debby Turner, community action program for children co-ordinator at Kids First.

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