Garden-to-Table, Aldergrove, BC

AFC previously reported on “Garden-to-Table” — a community garden and kitchen project for marginalized people started in 2014 by the Parish of St. Alban-St. Dunstan in Aldergrove, BC. The list of fresh produce produced last year was astounding. Here are some updates on the project:

“The 2014/5 season produced an abundance of vegetables and fruit for the Garden to Table dinners, the community cooking classes for new Canadians, for various church functions and for individual parishioners and families in the community. There was plenty to go around. In addition to harvesting fresh produce for immediate use, we were able to freeze leeks, beans and tomatoes for later consumption. We grew red and green chili peppers which were dried and ground for use in winter stews. The addition of various herbs to our plan was very well received and so there are plans to add a larger herb garden next year. In addition to regular parsley and Cilantro, we harvested coriander (from Cilantro plants) which can be ground for savory dishes throughout the winter. At the end of next season, it is our intention to add a ‘winter garden’ which will include root vegetables (turnips, cabbage, some winter squash and more) so that we can extend food production to year-round.”

List of Produce 2014–2015

[ezcol_1third]Acorn Squash
Butternut Squash
Chard (Swiss)
[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third]Garlic
Green Beans
Green Chiles
Green Onions
Green Peppers
Jalapeno Peppers
Lettuce (several kinds)
[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third_end]Parsley
Potatoes (3 varieties)
Red Chiles
Red Peppers
Sugar Peas
Tomatoes (3 varieties)

Even more importantly, we have heard about the personal impact that this project has had on the community. Mitchell (not his real name) had been coming to St. Dunstan’s for the AA meetings for four years and was invited to come to Garden-to-Table (G2T) for dinner on a Thursday night.

“He came occasionally for the first year. He felt very aware of other people here who have had struggles in their life. He recognized a need to be gentle with each other. He noticed that they shared their life with each other on a Thursday, rather than going to a bar or be alone. Mitchell lost his father this past year. That is when G2T became especially important to him. He felt the support that others gave to him. They shared their stories with each other about loss, grief and life. He got to know a lot of people and made friends. Mitchell has been sober now for 22 years. He owns his own small business and his condo. Earlier this year God told him to donate to the church and be obedient to God. As Mitchell said, ‘God has blessed my life and I need to bless others to keep G2T going. I am giving because God told me to pass my blessings forward to others.’ He gave G2T a cheque for $1000. That, we at St. Dunstan’s believe, is the true essence of G2T; that each one, in his or her own way, can pass it forward.”

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