Growing a good cause

Posted Apr 9th, 2010 in Eating Niagara

Growing a good cause

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Calling all green thumbs with a philanthropic streak.

I received an email today from Dave Roulston of Start Me Up Niagara, a local social organization that works with the homeless and people with mental illness. He's asking for help getting a grassroots food movement going.

Our paths crossed last year when I launched The Garden of Eating - Niagara and helped connect Dave with the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre where he and other volunteers, many of them Start Me Up clients and supporters, would go for weekly harvests of the beautiful fruit growing at the research station.

The relationship between Start Me Up and Vineland has since blossomed with the research station donating a parcel of land for Start Me Up to grow veggies to use in its meal program and beyond. But help is needed getting it going. Any seeds and used gardening tools that you would be willing to part with would be appreciated by Dave and crew.

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre has generously donated the use of  1.25 acres  of prime agricultural to Start Me Up Niagara. It will be farmed by individuals who access programs through SMUN’s Centre and others connected through Gateway Residential and Support Services.

The donation is a wonderful opportunity for people not only to grow food but also to be involved in an outdoor activity that offers respite from the limitations of their daily routine in the downtown core. It will provide training/skill development, a platform for  accomplishment, a real belonging to a community team, and a chance to add something of value to ancillary projects that benefit the community and neighbourhood. 

The people who garden will share the harvest. SMUN will use its share to enhance its congregated meal program, community kitchen activities and add local produce to Gateway’s Good Food Boxes.

What a win, win scenario!

Donations of edible perennials/annual seeds and used gardening tools are can be dropped off at 17 Gale Cr. any day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  They will send a team to help thin perennials like raspberries and rhubarb in your garden if necessary. Call 905 984 5310. 

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