Thursday, July 29, 2010

Municipal Building Community Food Garden Volunteers Present the “Veggies” of Their Labour




Thanks to many hours of City employee volunteer labour and some help from Mother Nature, seniors at the Edwards Place Senior Centre received their first batch of produce from the Municipal Building Community Food Garden at the inaugural harvest today.

“We chose Edwards Place because they are our neighbours,” said Lindsey Teare, a City enviornment specialist and garden co-ordinator. “Quite a few of the seniors have come to see the garden and they are really appreciative of our project.”

Bert Martin swaps gardening tips with schoolchildren
The Municipal Building Community Food Garden is run by a team of 60 employee volunteers. With planters built by our internal carpentry shop, space donated by Corporate Properties & Buildings and Parks, and seeds from Environment & Safety Management, Parks and volunteers, the project has been a collaborative effort.

The garden, located on the 9th Avenue side of the Municipal Building, has also had help from children from the City Hall daycare, who were on hand to present the garden’s first harvested crop of Swiss chard to the seniors.

“The kids have two planters in the garden, where they’ve been growing healthy snacks,” said Teare. “It’s a great outdoor learning opportunity for them and they’re excited to get to do what the grown-ups are doing.”
Besides donating fresh vegetables to the seniors and teaching children about healthy eating and gardening, the project has been a learning experience for volunteers.

“I’ve always had an interest in local food, but was afraid to try gardening on my own,” said volunteer Ivy Smith, a summer student with Environment & Safety Management who recently started her own small garden at home.  “It’s nice to be part of something bigger and to see the results of months of our work is so rewarding.”

With over 30 species of plants in the garden and a team full of excited and energetic volunteers, this was the first of many harvests.

“This is only our first year,” says Lindsey. “I’m already looking forward to what we’ll be able to accomplish next year.”

For more on this event, watch the video or visit calgary.ca/footprint to learn more about locally-grown food.

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