Fencing complete at the new Midway Community Gardens

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
October 31st, 2010

Keeping out the deer was a priority for the Midway Community Gardens and funding from the Senior Boundary Growers project has made that possible. The Growers project provided a donation of $3500 to the gardens and the fencing was celebrated last week with project co-ordinators and dignitaries.   About 15 people attended the unveiling of the new fence complete with hot chocolate and snacks from Glenburn’s Coffee House and Viviene Browne with the West Boundary food share program. Midway Councillor Richard Dunston and MLA John Slater were present for the celebration of the two acre garden site where participants spent the day planting garlic.   Senior Boundary Growers has been involving seniors in their communities across the Boundary and linking them to agriculture. The project has successfully hosted educational luncheons with interesting speakers, provided funding for a food share in the West Boundary, and connected active seniors with opportunities such as “grow a row.”   “The project has been most successful,” said Grand Forks and Boundary Regional Agricultural Society President (GFBRAS) Doug Zorn. “We started with a lunch for seniors in Rock Creek with local food, with other luncheons in Westbridge, Beaverdell, and Grand Forks and then project ideas came in.”   For the West Boundary lunches GFBRAS partnered with the Women’s Institute and with the Gospel Chapel in Grand Forks. The Gospel Chapel also manages a monthly food hamper program. Food for the lunches was provided by local producers such as Rilkoff’s, Jerseyland Cheese, Mobetta Farms, and Deane Farms.   “The lunch in Grand Forks was very well attended,” said Zorn. “There were speakers such as local RCMP Staff Sergeant Jim Harrison who talked about safety for seniors, and local dietician Lisa Brown who spoke about eating healthy.”   West Boundary local Viviene Browne has been a key player in the project heading up the food share in her area, added Zorn. The Senior Boundary Growers program was able to also provide funding to the food share to purchase a fridge. Browne told Zorn that the program has changed the lives of some people involved.   “She mentioned in a presentation that some people she met were reclusive,” commented Zorn. “Once they were able to get some contact with the world and saw that people cared about them and supplied them with some local food, they were actually more engaged with their communities.”   Planning for the Midway Gardens next year includes a squash festival for the fall, the installation of water systems and raised beds.  The one year Growers project was sponsored by the GFBRAS, and was funded by the New Horizons for Seniors under the federal government in Dec. 2009.