By Patricia MacLean, Past President & CGWU Co-Ordinator
To be a successful museum, there must be programs for children, youth, and families – we have those at the Urban Farm in Spryfield. After several years of organizing the Urban Farm Museum Society of Spryfield, several board members launched a program called “Come Grow With Us” to encourage young families and youth to learn the benefits of healthy eating while learning to grow their own vegetables. From its beginning in 2004, detailed records were kept and in 2014, Marjorie Willison put this information, combined with her extensive garden knowledge in a book “Come Grow With Us – A Family Guide to Growing Vegetables”. Funded by grants from United Way and Chebucto West Community Health Board, it was written for families to be used as a curriculum guide in teaching the weekly program but has since become a successful garden book for any gardener. Reasonably priced at $15.00 ($10.00 for members) all proceeds are used for CGWU programs.
Over the past 19 years, we have welcomed many families, Schools, Summer Camps, IWK Youth Mental Health, NS Autism, Phoenix Youth and Restorative Justice Youth. This year we are excited to partner with Chebucto Connections and their Pathways to Education program with JL Ilsley High School students.
It is impossible to offer such a program without financial support and we are so fortunate to have had this partnership with the Rotary Club of Halifax Northwest since 2014. Their “Toonies for Change” fundraiser provided yearly financial contributions towards our CGWU programs. This year, in addition to a generous cheque for programming, they have taken on the huge task of rebuilding our twelve garden plots at the Urban Farm. Rotarians, a Citadel High student and 5 JL Ilsley students completed six beds on the May 13th weekend and will return on May 27th to finish the remaining beds. We wish to express our thanks to everyone for their involvement in this project! When the garden beds are finished, Allan and Rod at our Spryfield Canadian Tire store will provide top-up soil, manure, and seeds for each bed. THANK YOU!!
The cost to have a garden plot and weekly garden lessons is low at a membership fee of $15.00, garden plot $15.00 and a CGWU book at $10.00. Immigrant and single parent families who are unable to pay this fee can benefit from a generous yearly donation from our MLA Brendan Maguire who is a great supporter of this program.
To our CGWU donors, staff, volunteers and especially to Chebucto News for publishing monthly “Happenings” at our Urban Farm, our sincerest Thanks! We still have a few garden plots available for 2023. If your family or youth group would like to participate, please call me at 902- 497-3683 or email patriciabmaclean@ gmail.com