Neighbourhood Tomato Garden
The Neighbourhood Tomato Community Garden has become a space for individuals and families to garden together with others and produce food for their own homes and to work collaboratively to grow veggies for those families who seek support through the West Carleton Food Access Centre. The garden has 16 garden beds, a large open garden area and an expanding sunflower patch. The garden is an active place to be on Saturday mornings and has become a place of sharing, laughing, learning, and creating yummy healthy veggies!
‘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
The Neighbourhood Tomato garden boxes are all booked up for the 2018 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘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. The garden continues to add something new each year and in the spring of 2018 a new garden shed will be installed to provide space for tools, a chalk board for communication, and a porch for rainy days.
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.
In addition to the garden allotments there are collaborative garden sections where volunteers help plant, nurture and grow food that is harvested and donated to the West Carleton Food Access Centre.
Garden co-ordinator, Michelle Rehkopf says; “What I like best about the Neighbourhood Tomato 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 but that we have successfully provided fresh vegetables to families and individuals in need. The garden has become a great place to be community in Carp’
Located beside the Carp fairgrounds on land donated to the project by the Anglican Parish of Huntley, the garden features 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 are signed up for garden beds plant and grow heathy food, and often learn and share knowledge from their garden neighbours. They and anyone else who wishes can also volunteer to help plant, tend and harvest the collaborative plots where a range of produce is grown entirely for donation.
The Neighbourhood Tomato Community Garden is a wonderful partnership with the Almonte and Carleton Place Neighbourhood Tomato Gardens and has been financially supported by generous donations from various organizations and individuals.
Jeff Mills of the Mills Community Support in Almonte has been instrumental in leading the Neighbourhood Tomato in his own community. “By partnering with them, our project has benefitted 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. The Neighbourhood Tomato West Carleton is a place to educate and share knowledge with each other and to develop a love of gardening and local food. Gardeners of all ages can be seen throughout the week watering, weeding, harvesting, and being in community with others.”