Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May 22, 2012

Duncan Stokes
While we were blessed with a wonderfully mild winter and at times, an unseasonably warm spring, the Victoria Day long weekend is when you really begin to see the outdoor activity shift into a higher gear. Cottages are opened for the season, anglers start dropping in their lines in lakes & rivers and gardening stores are packed with customers.


Whether you’re planting flowers or vegetables, to invest the time and effort to nurture something that can provide you with so much pleasure is something that should be celebrated. Gardening can be an enriching experience.

Did you know Winnipeg Harvest has a program which combines gardening with philanthropy? Did you know it’s been around for more than 25 years?   

It started back in 1986.

Ron (shown below) and Eunice O’Donovan produced more potatoes in their backyard garden than their family could consume.  So instead of disposing of the potatoes, they donated them to the Food Bank.  The response to their generosity was so positive they decided to encourage others in their own neighbourhood to also donate their surplus vegetables to Winnipeg Harvest.  Thus, the Grow-a-Row Campaign was born and has been growing ever since; yielding nearly three million pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Ron O'Donovan, co-founder of the Grow-a-Row program with his late wife Eunice.

T&T seeds have supported the program for the past 25 years with their donations of seed. 

So what are some of the things you can do help the ‘Grow-a-Row’ campaign?

At home and work:
  • Grow an extra row (or two) of produce in your own backyard
  • Invite your neighbours, family and associates to do the same and perhaps do a friendly “weigh-in” challenge
  • Turn an empty neighbourhood lot into a Grow-A-Row garden
At school:
  • Turn Grow-A-Row into a science project and have students plant and tend to a row of vegetables for Winnipeg Harvest
  • Come harvest season, bring students to Winnipeg Harvest to deliver their crop. They’ll get an on-site tour and a chance to sort food.

At the Community Club:

  • Plant a Harvest Garden to be tended by club families
  • Come Harvest season, organize a communal Harvest Day full of activities including a visit to Winnipeg Harvest

You can help by ‘harvesting an extra row or two of vegetables and donating them to Winnipeg Harvest, 1085 Winnipeg Avenue. For more information call Shelley at 982-3582 or visit our website at www.winnipegharvest.org  

All produce is welcome including; crab-apples, although root crops (beets and carrots ) are encouraged because they are best for storage.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Winnipeg Harvest, its staff or volunteers.

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