UXBRIDGE: Campers, from the Outdoor Quest Summer Camp program, recently built a medium sized edible garden, from scratch, at Uxpool.
The campers learned lots about where their food comes from, and the significance agricultural has in our community.
The garden is currently growing kale, tomato, elderberries, strawberries, peppers, and lettuce.
Rebecca Harman, recreation coordinator, said the garden was very well received by campers, and will be looked after by future summer camps for years to come.
“They seemed very intrigued, very focused, asking questions, and wanting to learn,” she said. “Sometimes we think that kids don’t like doing [hands on] stuff and want to play video games, but kids actually love this kind of stuff when you give them the opportunity.”
The campers learned a lot about what it takes to grow a fruit or vegetable and get it to their table.
“The kids learned about the amount of work that actually goes into feeding a human being,” Rebecca said. “I think it really helped them wrap their brains around how things get to the grocery store.”
The kids also learned to be more mindful of where their food comes from, and to not be wasteful.
The yield from this years garden won’t be very large, but next year Rebecca is hoping to grow enough produce to make a donation to local foodbanks in Uxbridge.
“We’re hoping, as the years go on, that we’re able to pick the fruits and vegetables and donate them to local foodbanks, so they can offer a fresh produce option,” Rebecca said.
A common theme among many foodbanks is, they are filled with a lot of packaged food with limited nutrition and things people don’t want in their cupboards, according to Rebecca.
To combat this, she wants to see more fresh produce at foodbanks, so everyone can eat healthy, not just those who can afford it.
“Everyone should have the opportunity to be healthy. No matter how much money you have,” Rebecca said.
Rebecca hopes to eventually get the foodbanks offering fresh fruit and vegetables on a regular basis.
“We’re hoping we can make it so there is always fresh produce coming from us, or different organizations in Uxbridge, so we can have a healthy community for everybody,” she said.
Rebecca told the Standard, having a healthy community leads to a happy community, and there are countless other benefits to eating healthy.
“Being active and eating healthy has an impact on your mental stance, how you interact with people, and how you feel every day when you wake up,” she said.
The garden is part of a provincial program called the “Healthy Kids Community Challenge”, designed to encourage the youth to stay active and be healthy.
Due to the response to the edible garden, Rebecca plans to maintain and upkeep the garden through the summer camps programs.
She said, “[The kids] were so excited this year, we have to do this every year now.”