In the greenhouse they grow a range of produce including strawberries, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Additionally, they grow some tropical plants such as lemons, calamansi, avocado, banana, date palm, pomegranate and feijoa just to showcase what could be grown in our climate.
In total the garden and greenhouse area take up about half an acre, however the benefits to the community outweigh the land use allocation. They distribute all produce to community members through delivery or pickup points. This ensures members have free access to fresh produce throughout the spring to fall. They currently don't sell any produce and have used this to be a strictly community initiative however as the program continues to grow, they will look at the potential of selling excess produce.
"The goals of the food security program and gardens are to ensure our community has access to safe, spray free produce that is fresh and healthy. Our hope is that we can eventually grow enough to support the produce needs of our community throughout the summer and into the winter months," says Loren Muth. "Another goal of the program is to bring our community back to the land, to get their hands dirty, learn, see how much fun gardening and growing food can be and that anyone can do it whether they have experience or not."
"Personally, my passion is in food production," says Loren. "I love to see how food and plants can change an environment, both social and physical. Hearing how much a member or child enjoyed something they grew or that came from the community greenhouse makes it all worth it. I also find its a great way to bring community together around a common goal, produce food, offset costs, and just enjoy being outside with nature.”
Originally published on FVACFSS.CA