Community Garden Program Adapts and Continues to Grow

Equal Grounds Community Gardens has been busy seeding, planting, watering and weeding leading up to harvest time.

Equal Grounds creates community gardens to help provide sustainable access to healthy food throughout Brantford and Brant County, along with the opportunity to learn garden-related skills.

President and Chair, Cheryl Antoski, says there was concern gardens wouldn’t get planted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the province gave them the green light due to a rise in food security issues.

Antoski says while they can’t use the gardens as hands-on learning centres this year, the organization is still holding garden and food training virtually

Each garden site has a ‘champion’ who works with other volunteers to decide what to plant each year. Everyone works together to care for the produce and can harvest what they need once fruits and vegetables are ready to eat.

However, operations are different in this growing season in light of COVID-19. There are only six locations are growing food this year, including one at Earl Haig Park.

Garden champion at Earl Haig Park, Ben Strasser, says the public won’t be able to pick when food is ready to eat this season. Instead, the harvest will be donated to local food banks.

Because the program was in limbo this year due to the pandemic, Equal Grounds began working with residents, willing to grow a vegetable and herb garden on their property.

As the program grows, extra help is needed. Anyone interested in volunteering can reach out to Equal Grounds Community Gardens through their Facebook page or website for further information.