Giving it all away!

Submitted by Don Stiles with Ken Kernaghan

St. Andrew's Community Gardeners, CalgaryBow Bottom Community Garden  On Thursday, Aug.31, St. Andrew’s Community gardeners, — Ken Kernaghan, Lynne Thompson, Sheila and Haley Swan and Don Stiles — did a major harvest from the Bow Bottom Community garden behind Deer Park United Church.  We harvested, beans, beets, carrots, Swiss chard, bok choy and round zucchini.  (We thought we were planting Swiss Chard and got bok choy.  We thought we were planting regular zucchini and got round zucchini).  This was the first harvest for the carrots and round zucchini.  The other vegetables were harvested periodically during the summer.   There were 22 round zucchini, 19 from the Bow Bottom garden and 3 from the Mann garden.  More zucchini are expected.  Our August 31st harvest was scheduled to have produce ready for  the Spinz Around food giveaway and the food bank hampers the next day.
Spinz Around food giveaway
This initiative happens on the first and third Thursdays of the month.  The first Thursday it happens at 11:00 AM and on the third Thursday it happens at 6:00 PM.  There are 15 to 25 families involved.   Aspen Family Services staff members Kim and Sara meet with the clients who come.  Tables are set up and the food is laid out in tables by volunteers from Deer Park
United Church.  On Sept. 1 these were Lynnette James, Bryon Delarue and Jim Adamson.  The food comes from the Community Kitchen. On Sept. 1, two tables were added to include harvest from the Bow Bottom Community garden.  Kim and Kiran, social worker from Deer Park United, supervise the collection of food by the clients. Clients bring their own bags to collect food items
St. Andrew's Community Gardeners, CalgaryFood Bank Hampers
Kiran has organized Deer Park United as a Calgary Interfaith Food Bank hamper giveaway depot.  It happens every week on Thursdays from 6:00 to 7:30 PM.  Kiran has set up a roster of helpers (from Deer Park and St. Andrew’s United), 3 for each week, who sign in the clients and help them take the hampers to their cars.  (There are enough volunteers so that each group of three only works about every six weeks.)
As this is a new program, so far the numbers signing up for the hampers have been from 0 to 4, but it is hoped that this will increase as it becomes better known. On Sept. 1, we had two hampers, one for a family of four and one for a single person.  The family of four has a newborn baby so having the Food Bank depot nearby was welcome.