Garden Nerd Series: Garden-grown food for a good cause.

Last year I started the spring growing season by attending an annual meet and greet event for Plant a Row, Grow a Row, an international organization that had local hubs in many communities.

Tough customer sampling some green beans at the source.
Tough customer sampling some green beans at the source.

As it says on the website, it “builds on the long-standing tradition of gardeners loving to share their harvest with others. It is a people-helping-people program to assist in feeding the hungry in their own communities”. In short, gardeners are asked to produce just a bit more than they otherwise would plant, and donate the surplus to the local food bank. The Plant a Row, Grow a Row group makes it easy by having a weekly drop off point in the community. As last year, St. Thomas More Collegiate. has volunteered to host the drop-offs.

This year, as last, the group, organized locally by well known city horticulture manager (and neighbour) Claude LeDoux, is holding the annual Gardener’s Party at the gym of St. Thomas More . It is a great chance to come and meet some fellow gardeners, listen to some fascinating speakers and learn about this great program.

At the event this year, scheduled for March 18th at 6pm, speakers include renowned horticulturalist Brian Minter; Daniel Mosquin and Ingrid Hoff from the UBC Botanical Garden, Conrad Lum from GardenWorks Mandeville and Mark McDonald from WestCoast Seeds. Expect refreshments and some free goodies. The evening was entertaining and informative last year but consider bringing a cushion (seating is on the bleachers in the gym). From the recent press release:

Growing food is this year’s hot horticultural trend, and it’s a great family activity, especially when you can help kids learn about the importance of helping others at the same time. You can grow vegetables and fruits in containers, in with your perennials, or in your own backyard plot. You can even grow Tumbler tomatoes or strawberries in a hanging basket!

So please join us March 18th at 6 pm at St Thomas More Collegiate (7450 12th Ave., Burnaby) to find out more. Admission is free, but we would appreciate the donation of non-perishable food for the Food Bank. See you there!

With the undeniable passion for gardening in New Westminster, the developing sense of food security and local sources of food, the sustained two-year push to gain another community garden in this city (culminating in the recently announced new plots at St. Mary’s in Sapperton), groups like Plant a Row, Grow a Row, really help form a network of community involvement and responsibility out of a passion for a good hobby. Congratulations to them for another great year, and happy gardening.