Edmonds and Cumberland hope to donate more fresh vegetables to community kitchens in 2012
Friday November 25, 2011 — Ryan Rogers
So many fresh vegetables were grown thanks to the success of the community gardens built at the Edmonds and Cumberland group homes, that there was an opportunity to try different recipes, share food and cultivate relationships in the Burnaby community.
Co-orindator Kathy Kalia for the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI)-run group homes says, as an example, residents grew so much spinach they baked hundreds of spinach-cheese muffins to share with family and community members.
They also harvested peas, eggplants, cabbage, carrots and tomatoes in the two community gardens, as a part of the award-winning community garden program Can You Dig It!
The 20-garden Can You Dig It! program was created by Cinthia Pagé, who won BACI’s inaugural Inclusion Through Innovation award. The initiative helps people with development disabilities and nearby residents transform urban spaces into gardens.
Since launching almost two years ago, Can You Dig It! has created 20 gardens, engaging 700 people in community projects, including 150 people who have a disability.
The program has united community members from Mosaic, the multicultural non-profit dedicated to addressing issues that affect immigrants and refugees, Variety – the children’s charity, and students from Douglas College.
Kathy says she can tell the residents of Cumberland and Edmonds are proud of their crops because of the amount of time they wanted to spend outside with people doing things in the garden.
Residents at Edmonds and Cumberland learned a lot from their first year with the community gardens, like how to yield more vegetables from the garden during the growing season.
Kathy says she’s looking forward to returning to the gardens and engaging more people in the spring.
Next year they plan to start more community gardens, and dedicate more of their vegetables to a food bank or community kitchen.
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