Have fresh produce at your fingertips
Fresh vegetables grown at Sally’s Garden at The Salvation Army located at 255 Gilmore Rd. ANNIE PASQUARIELLO/Special to The Times/QMI Agency Niagara
Imagine having fresh, organic produce right at your fingertips – no matter what your budget is.
The Salvation Army has been helping the community doing just that with Sally’s Garden. Established in 2011, the garden has provided fresh food to many people in the community as well as a place for people who simply enjoying gardening.
Last Tuesday evening, the Salvation Army in partnership with Greening Niagara hosted an information night about Sally’s Garden to inform the community about the initiative and listened to feedback to help for the next season.
Anne Watters, community and family services worker with the Salvation Army says the past year has been a challenge and a learning year for everyone involved.
“The meeting was to determine the needs of those in the community and why the garden hasn’t been as well utilized as it could be.”
Sally’s Garden is a community garden with 12 plots and is open to everyone in the community, not just Salvation Army clients. With help from Niagara Prosperity Initiative, seeds and flats have been donated and it is only the person’s responsibility to maintain the garden throughout the season. With any community garden you grow what you need and donate what you can afford.
Watters says the meeting was positive.
“It was invigorating to see the range of people that came to the meeting, all of whom were professional getting the gardens up and running with great ideas.”
One of those ideas is to form a community gardens’ committee for those with community gardens to work together instead of independently. This change will also benefit Fort Erie’s Food Security Network which is made up of local growers, community members, staff members of local food banks, teachers, nurses, health promoters, community health workers, public health nurses and dietitians all who want to improve food security for the citizens of Fort Erie.
Having always gardened, Watters says gardening can be therapeutic for many reasons even by organisms in the soil that are beneficial for good health, to knowing where your food is coming from without pesticides as Sally’s Garden is an all organic garden.
The Salvation Army has also offered canning workshops for ways to utilize crops from the garden and they can also offer suggestions on what to grow, but the Watters says the best thing to grow is what you like to eat.
Next April is about the time that the gardens start up again. The next community garden committee meeting is set for January 2015.
For more information about how to get involved with Sally’s Garden call Anne Watters at 905-871-1592 ext. 22. The Salvation Army is located at 255 Gilmore Rd.