The community garden set up by the Shuswap Family Resource Centre and the Shuswap Food Action Co-op is abundant in everything except volunteers.
The garden’s first crop was planted on May 13 and it is already yielding produce said Rhonda Faulkner of the Family Resource Centre.
Faulkner said the garden is producing potatoes, cabbage, green beans, peas, lettuce, kale and zucchini. The garden’s squash watermelon, corn, carrot and swiss chard crops will be ripening soon. Faulkner said the garden would also yield pumpkins and turnips in the fall.
Lacking volunteers Faulkner said she has had to handle the garden largely by herself
Clients of Focus Ability, an outreach group for those with autism spectrum disorders help with the garden on Thursdays. Faulkner said that although she had worried about losing the interest of the volunteers from Focus Ability as they were weeding the garden, they became very interested once the harvesting began.
Faulkner makes produce from the garden available at the Family Resource Centre and provides it to the SAFE society. She asked that people picking up produce bring their own bag or box.
“I think a lot of people thought that you have to be poor but that was never our intention. We want people to come out and pull some weeds and pick some stuff and take a bag of food home,” Faulkner said.
Along with the assumption that the garden is only for the disadvantaged, Faulkner said the lack of volunteers might also have something to do with people assuming they need prior gardening experience.
“We plan on using it for teaching,” she said adding that although community members are welcome to garden independently any time, those who want instruction can contact the Family Resource Centre and set up a time when help will be available.
Along with teaching gardening skills, Faulkner is using gardening as part of her counselling strategy for the young parenting program at the family centre.