Gar­den va­ri­ety

Glace Bay Food Bank gar­den has 50 dif­fer­ent veg­eta­bles and herbs.

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY SHARON MONT­GOMERY-DUPE smont­gomery@cb­

You might call the backyard at the Glace Bay Food Bank, a gar­den par­adise.

“We have ev­ery­thing you can think of,” said vol­un­teer Kimmy McPher­son. “I'm up to about 50 dif­fer­ent veg­eta­bles and herbs.”

The gar­den cur­rently in­cludes let­tuce, car­rots, cu­cum­bers, toma­toes, green pep­pers, hot pep­pers, three types of pota­toes, onions and spinach. There is also Swiss chard, turnip, parsnip, snow peas, reg­u­lar peas, yel­low beans, green beans, broc­coli and cau­li­flower as well as a va­ri­ety of herbs.

Over the last two weeks, the food bank has given out radishes in the or­ders and had enough let­tuce to gar­nish 70 ham­burg­ers dur­ing a re­cent meal. Onions and herbs are be­ing used on a daily ba­sis as part of the meals served at the food bank.

“Prob­a­bly the next thing to be ready will be the Swiss chard and beet greens,” McPher­son said. “We also gave away four heads of let­tuce in or­ders.”

Back in the spring, McPher­son ap­plied for fund­ing from Food Banks Canada and Com­pass Group Canada — on be­half of the Glace Bay Food Bank — and a $6,000 grant was ap­proved.

The money was used to pur­chase all the equip­ment — in­clud­ing a baby barn, tiller, shov­els, rakes, fer­til­izer, seeds, gloves — to help plant a gar­den.

McPher­son said the gar­den is also go­ing to as­sist with meals cooked by vol­un­teers with the Cit­i­zens Ser­vice League's meals on wheels pro­gram in Glace Bay. The Se­nior Ac­tiv­ity Group of Glace Bay do­nated $100 with the un­der­stand­ing the food bank would do­nate herbs to the meals on wheels pro­gram.

“We've al­ready started do­ing that,” McPher­son said.

“I've got­ten in con­tact with them and told them the dill and cilantro are ready to go, so they're cur­rently look­ing at their menu for the next two weeks. Once they need it we'll crop it and bring it in to them.”

McPher­son said clients, some with their chil­dren, have been com­ing out to the gar­den.

“We're try­ing to en­gage them more, to ed­u­cate them,” she said. “They've ac­tu­ally been pick­ing the let­tuce them­selves and are so happy, they are even tak­ing photos of them­selves back there.”

She said there has been lots of help from the com­mu­nity. In June, Grade 6 stu­dents from Glace Bay Ele­men­tary School planted beets.

“All of the beets are all com­ing up like crazy now.”

The stu­dents had saved money and pur­chased food for the food bank. On the day they de­liv­ered their do­na­tion, McPher­son was pre­par­ing to plant beets and asked if any­one wanted to help.

“All 30 or so hands went up,” she said. “I couldn't be­lieve it, es­pe­cially at that age. I think they all want to learn. They all came back and helped.”


Kimmy McPher­son, a vol­un­teer at the Glace Bay Food Bank, checks pep­pers in the gar­den which is lo­cated in the food bank's backyard. The gar­den, started by McPher­son at the end of May, cur­rently in­cludes about 50 dif­fer­ent veg­eta­bles and herbs.


Carolyn McPher­son, 9, plants veg­eta­bles in the Glace Bay Food Bank's veg­etable gar­den. The young girl vol­un­teers in the gar­den as well as the kitchen and helps with the or­ders.


Seen here is the veg­etable gar­den at the Glace Bay Food Bank. The gar­den pro­vides fresh veg­eta­bles to clients but the pro­duce is also served as part of the meals at the food bank.


Michelle MacIn­tyre, a vol­un­teer at the Glace Bay Food Bank, holds let­tuce freshly picked from the gar­den, which was used to gar­nish 70 ham­burg­ers dur­ing a re­cent meal served at the food bank.

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