Thanks Fortis, for putting together our new greenhouse.
This new greenhouse, and the power and watering system that will be connected, was purchased with a generous grant from Fortis that we received several months ago. This addition to our vegetable garden area will enhance our nutrition, cooking and gardening program.
It is going to allow us to grow vegetables all winter, so we will be able to assist clients with nutritional needs.
Now in its third season, the program provides education and instruction on growing, preparing and preserving food.
We started the program because we thought it was important that clients get healthy, organic, fresh vegetables, because living on a disability pension, they don’t have a lot of money for extras. We needed a greenhouse and also wanted to eliminate a hose being dragged around; we’ve already had someone trip on it. The good folks at Mother Nature are going to instruct us on how to install the watering system.
During its first year, the outdoor garden was mostly used for demonstration; how to grow, plant, weed and harvest. It did not produce enough for preserving. That all changed in year two. Last year we had tomatoes and peppers in abundance, so we showed clients how to preserve.
Clients are instructed on canning techniques and make organically grown, fresh sauces. The large harvest of peppers allowed us to also create our own hot sauces. As part of the next phase of the program, which involves selling products in a retail space, the we plan to send a test batch of hot sauce to University of BC. If they say this is a good recipe, we’re going to bottle it and sell it.
As a result of the program, we created the book Lettuce Share: Stories, Recipes, Odds and Sods. It has recipes, gardening and life tips, people’s stories and photos taken by one of our clients. Anyone interested in a copy can call 604.485.6065.
Debbie learned about the Fortis grant a year ago from City of Powell River councillor Maggie Hathaway, which led to an application being submitted. Fortis put out a call through city councils across the province for projects to fund. Low and behold, we were one of three chosen.
Not only did Fortis award the funding, they also provided volunteers to construct the greenhouse as part of its community-giving day, with company managers from around the province coming to help.They travel around the province doing good deeds and helping groups like ours.
Volunteers from First Credit Union were also on hand to help out with the build.…