As the seasons officially change to fall this week farmers begin to plan for their harvests, and this year that includes a group of urban Calgarians.
Volunteers with the Urban Community Garden pilot project will harvest the final produce from their vegetable gardens on Third Street next week.
All summer the gardens have grown in the difficult environment of downtown Calgary and finally the last of the food will be harvested and donated to local community groups.
“We’re extremely pleased, not only with the yield … as far as the response from the neighbours, the businesses in the area was overwhelming,” said Paul Hughes, chair of the Calgary Food Policy Council.
“We’re looking forward to the summer of 2010.”
Hughes said there were only small issues of people throwing cigarette butts into the planters and a couple people taking food but he said “the benefits far outstripped any negative aspects.”
Over the summer volunteers were able to harvest about 200 grocery bags of greens, which were donated mostly to the drop-in centre. The produce from next Wednesday’s harvest will go to the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank.
“Any time that we receive fresh produce, it’s such an asset to add that to our emergency food hampers, because the fresher it is … the more nutritious it is for our clients,” said Heidi Lambie, spokesperson for the food bank.
Hughes said they hope to expand the program next year.