The Neighbourhood Tomato ~ West Carleton

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The Neighbourhood Tomato garden boxes are all booked up for the 2016 season. However there is still an opportunity to support the collective efforts to ensure we provide fresh produce to the West Carleton Food Access Centre during the harvesting months.
If you can assist the Neighbourhood Tomato with caring for the collaborative gardens and/or could help deliver harvested veggies to the WCFAC a couple of times during the summer please contact Michelle Joyner at: michellerehkopf@rogers.com

‘Faith-infused gardens are like arks, built to carry us to perhaps not a land of milk and honey, but to more resilient communities, to more powerful fellowship with our neighbours. We would do well to build more of them.’ ~ Soil and Sacrament, Fred Bahnson

‘Food is the physical embodiment of prayer. Food nourishes people. It is creating justice on all the different levels. It is how you reach people’ ~ Soil and Sacrament, Fred Bahnson

2015 marked the first full growing season of The Neighbourhood Tomato West Carleton! Over 14 garden beds grew amazing fresh produce for families and community members of our local Food Access Centre.

Do you want to become a Tomato-Head?
(If you grow food at the Neighbourhood Tomato you are called a Tomato-Head… we even have t-shirts to prove it!)

We are looking for volunteer Tomato-Head’s to help with the collaborative gardens. Please see Michelle’s contact info above to get involved.

The following is an excerpt from a recent West Carleton Review newspaper article when we launched the Neighbourhood Tomato in 2015:

Carp’s Community Garden a Growing Success
With a new name and a fresh infusion of volunteers and expertise, Carp’s successful small community garden project is it set to grow significantly this year.  From a demonstration project producing a variety of produce and herbs in four accessible raised beds in the heart of the village, The Neighbourhood Tomato-West Carleton is expanding. This year local residents, families and community groups can sign up for a season’s ownership of one of at least twelve, 4 x 8 foot raised rectangular garden beds.  The four existing raised garden boxes are also available to those with special needs.

In addition, the expanded garden will also feature a new collaborative garden section where volunteers will be able to help plant, nurture and grow food that will be harvested and donated to local food banks.
Garden co-ordinator, Michelle Rehkopf says its a great opportunity.  “What I like best about the project is that not only does it allow people of all ages and abilities to get out and build new connections and learn about growing their own food, vegetables will also be cultivated by volunteers in the collaborative garden section that will be harvested and donated to those in need.  Its a fantastic opportunity to contribute to Carp and our surrounding communities.”

Located beside the Carp fairgrounds on land donated to the project by the Anglican Parish of Huntley, the garden will feature prepared raised beds, embedded irrigation equipment and all the tools and other materials required to operate each plot, free of charge. Individuals, families or groups who sign up for garden beds will have to opportunity to plant and grow heathy food.  They and anyone else who wishes to can also volunteer to help plant, tend and harvest a large community garden section where a range of produce will be grown entirely for donation.  There are plans to host gardening workshops for youth and adults as well as other community gardening events.  The first scheduled event is a garden install day on May the 23rd and a planting day on May 30th.

A new partnership with The Almonte and Carleton Place Neighbourhood Tomato Community Gardens has given the Carp project a real boost.
“Jeff Mills of the Mills Community Support in Almonte has been instrumental in organizing a number of very successful shared accessible gardens in his community in an initiative known as The  Neighborhood Tomato. By partnering with them, our project is benefitting from their experience and support.” says Michelle Rehkopf  “The mission of the Neighbourhood Tomato is “Growing Food, Building Community” and when we help something grow, we grow ourselves.  There are many people who would love to garden but don’t have the space.  There are also those who would like to try gardening but don’t know where to start.  We want to meet both those needs while also offering  people the opportunity to improve their health by eating locally grown fresh food.  One of our needs will be for individuals or organizations who want to help educate the people about gardening.  We envision having mentors give advice at different points during the growing season.  Our other need is for gardeners.  We want to reach as many people as we can to offer them a place to garden in fun and fellowship with their friends and neighbours.  We especially see an opportunity to engage young people to plant the seeds for the love of gardening at an early age.”
Interested volunteers and gardeners wishing to reserve a plot can email The Neighbourhood Tomato West Carleton at michellerehkopf@rogers.comfor details.