Castlegar-area food banks and soup kitchens will soon benefit from fresh produce grown in our own backyard.
Grow-A-Row is a Canadian program where gardeners grow extra food to donate to the community.
Cyra Frisk, a Selkirk College student, said she decided to start the program in Castlegar after taking a peace and leadership course. She started learning more about food security and decided this was an important issue.
“Through my project with them I applied for funding to do Grow-A-Row,” she said.
The application was accepted and Selkirk College donated a plot of land near the Mir Centre for Peace so that Frisk could start the garden.
“Selkirk has been so supportive,” she explained, saying the college donated $500 for tools, seeds and plant housing.
The vegetables that are being grown in the garden are what Frisk referred to as easy to store and easy to grow, including a lot of root vegetables.
It was requested of her that beets and cabbage be grown for borscht, but everything else was at her discretion.
Frisk maintains the garden mainly on her own, but has received help from some Selkirk College students and other volunteers.
Dates haven’t been set yet, but she’s looking to pick one Saturday a month where the public can come help with the garden if they would like.
With the planting done, Frisk is now tackling the weeding and anticipating the first crop, which she expects at the end of the month.
She said the donations will depend on who is asking for food.
“There’s a bunch of different groups interested,” she said.
Grow-A-Row was born in Winnipeg 25 years ago. Since then, over 1.4 million pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables have been given to Winnipeg Harvest through the program.
For more information, or to donate your excess produce, contact Frisk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-608-1387.