With the growing cost of food, Heather Malnick, minister at Knox Presbyterian Church in Bracebridge, says they will continue their community garden program.
“During COVID we really noticed that a lot of people were really struggling to have a healthy diet,” explains Malnick. Since the church has open space on its west side, she said the congregation decided to build four raised beds before spring 2021. They built four more last year.
The beds are open for anyone to use, all they have to do, Malnick says, is register with the church. She says to call the church at 705-645-4521, go to its website, or email them at [email protected].
The church is located at 120 Taylor Rd.
Malnick says everything associated with the gardens will be provided by the church. “All you have to do is show up and plant and tend and weed and water and then harvest the produce in the fall and, hopefully, it will be successful,” she says, adding volunteers will help throughout the week, too.
With snow still on the ground in Muskoka, Malnick says no gardening will be done anytime soon. She expects the first seed to be planted during the May 24th long weekend.
The gardens serve a dual purpose. Malnick says they are a great way for everyone to stay connected. “We get the benefit of having this wonderful fresh produce at the end of the season but during the season we also have this opportunity to make new friendships, form new relationships with people who come to tend their gardens,” she explains.
The program was given $2,500 through the District of Muskoka’s Community Enhancement Fund. “We’re so thankful they’re supporting us,” says Malnick.
Last year, Malnick says four people signed up to use the gardens. The other four beds were used by church volunteers with the produce grown going to the Manna Food Bank and The Salvation Army South Muskoka Ministries. It was also used to support the church’s emergency food box program.
The program, which is still running, provides anyone who signs up with perishable and non-perishable food as well as some household supplies.