I would like to commend the community garden projects for food banks as the growing season comes to an end. Over the past few years, community gardens designed to produce food for those who need it in the community have been increasingly springing up — here in Moose Jaw with Grow-a-Row program, throughout the province and around the world.
Maintained by volunteers, community members and organizations, these gardens offer increased food security while promoting community involvement and sustainable development. The nutritious produce is available for anyone, often donated to food banks and organizations.
Summertime is often a slow period for food banks. With people away on holidays and busy with summer plans, food banks often experience a reduction in donations until people are back to their normal routines in fall.
In addition, such gardens can beautify communities, adding lush greens where bland, empty lots once existed. Though vandalism is a natural fear, these gardens can often create the opposite effect. For example, further down my alley there were frequent acts of vandalism. The people living in the area got together and made a plan to fix up the back alley. They transformed the area by adding flowers, bright colours, and painted signs. The plan worked, deterring people from harming their property. The gardens can give people something to be proud of in their community.
I was also impressed to discover the Farmers Market for Charity put on twice a year here in Moose Jaw. With a portion of the proceeds going to community organizations, this is another great use of the land and an inspiring effort in supporting food security.
I think it’s great to see the wide demographic that contributes to these gardens. From veteran gardeners sharing their wisdom and teaching others how to sustain their own gardens, or university students setting up gardens on campus, there is a place for everyone to contribute.
It means time in the sun, being a part of a community, and the rewarding end result of tasty fruits and veggies. I hope these gardens will continue to generate momentum. Congratulations to everyone who contributed to these gardens this year. Cheers to lush gardens and full tummies for all.