KCR Community Resources and Project Literacy Central Okanagan are partnering to strengthen food security and food literacy, while also beautifying their downtown neighbourhood and building community through a new Community Care Garden Project. The Project was launched today with volunteers building and planting 14 raised garden beds that will grow over 250 pounds of food to be distributed to vulnerable families. The garden beds are adjacent to the Project Literacy offices at 1635 Bertram Street and the KCR offices at 620 Leon Avenue.
“The initial thought came about because of food scarcity concerns with this pandemic, and especially with fresh produce,” said Paul Zuurbier, Executive Director of Project Literacy Central Okanagan. “We have also been wanting to offer a program of food literacy for immigrant families that may not be aware of what vegetables are available in the Central Okanagan and how to use them.”
The planters have been specifically designed to be safe and to provide the highest volume of produce in the smallest amount of space. The 14 planters are 1′ by 6′ long and will be planted using the “Square Foot Gardening” method with foods that mature quickly, produce well and can be replanted easily. This summer’s harvest will include salad greens, kale, mustard greens, Swiss Chard, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, radishes and beans, basil, cucumbers, zucchini and more. There will even be a few edible flowers and Sweet Alyssum to act as a living mulch and to attract pollinators.
“We are really excited to see this project coming together so quickly,” said Ellen Boelcke, Executive Director of KCR Community Resources. “We see it as a great way to support our participants, to beautify this block in the downtown core and to partner with a great community organization. This project has filled us with hope in a very critical time, and really allowed us to be forward-focussed, making positive
impacts for our participants.”
Community Gardener Diane Bonderoff has planned and organized the seed and plant selections and has already been busy growing vegetable starts for a quicker harvest. The first crop is expected within four to five weeks. Ms Bonderoff will be replanting the garden over the summer, ensuring the overall health of the plants and training the volunteers that will be watering and caring for the garden daily. She will also be collecting seeds from the garden for future seasons.
The gardens will be maintained by volunteers from both Project Literacy and KCR and KCR will be coordinating the distribution of the vegetables to vulnerable individuals and families each week.
For more Information, contact:
KCR Community Resources
250.763.8008 ext 132
Project Literacy Central Okanagan
250.762.2163 ext 1