Lockview Park Community Garden Wraps up Second Growing Season!
Port Colborne, ON – It was another successful growing season at the Lockview Park Community Garden in support of the Port Cares Reach Out Food Centre. In its second year, the volunteer run garden added 1,546 pounds of fresh produce to the Food Bank’s pantry.
“We would like to thank all of the volunteers that dedicated their evenings and weekends to support our local Food Bank,” said Wayne Elliott, Founder of Marine Recycling Corporation, Raw Materials Company and Iron Earth Canada. “Without them, this wouldn’t have been possible.”
In a typical month the Reach Out Food Centre goes through approximately 6,750 kilograms of food, including 450 kilograms of fresh produce. The Food Bank supports 600 people, approximately 200 of which are children under the age of 18.
“The Lockview Park Community Garden initiative brings together those who have a passion for gardening and giving back to the community through volunteerism by providing the site and opportunity to dig in, grow and share in the interest of continuing food security efforts to help support the foodbank and community meal program services offered through the Port Cares Reach Out Centre," said Amanda Upper, Site Supervisor at the Reach Out Food Centre. "This season brought in a total harvest of 1,546 pounds of beautiful, fresh produce from the Lockview Park gardens, allowing foodbank clients to select from a various assortment of these fresh, healthy foods.”
This year, the team of volunteers planted a wide variety of vegetables including, lettuce, kale, onions, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, beans, radishes and swiss chard.
“It was a perfect growing season,” said Sarah Lacharity of Iron Earth Canada. “There were periods during the summer months where we had to harvest every other night of the week. We hope that our friends and neighbours enjoyed the variety this year.”
The garden initiative is sponsored by local businesses including, Iron Earth Canada, Tender Cuts, Marine Recycling Corporation, Raw Materials Company and the City of Port Colborne. The garden has eight raised garden beds for vegetables and another three beds used for herbs and spices.
“I imagine a future Lockview Park with the existing community garden and a small orchard of mixed fruit trees, a grove of nut trees, a thicket of berry bushes, a greenhouse and in the centre of the park, an education area and community gathering spot,” said Councillor Angie Desmarais of Ward 2 in Port Colborne, where the park is located. “This could be a place where people gather to plant their own gardens or help tend plantings for charitable uses. Schools, churches and service clubs could use the park to share gardening knowledge and food uses. The park could be returned to the residents and be a true community hub.”
After the final harvest, volunteers added Iron Earth’s soil re-mineralizer to each of the plots to prepare them for next season. The all-natural soil conditioner rejuvenates mineral deficient soil, giving vegetables a healthy boost of minerals and essential nutrients.
Organizers at the garden are hoping to expand the site next year by adding more raised beds. Anyone wishing to secure a plot for next season or volunteer, can contact Sarah Lacharity at 905-835-1203.
The Port Cares Reach Out Centre serves the communities of Port Colborne and Wainfleet and is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. at 61 Nickel Street in Port Colborne. The office is also open Monday to Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. to receive donations.