Red River College is pleased to be participating for the first time in Winnipeg Harvest’s Grow-A-Row Project.
The initiative’s roots date back to 1986, when Winnipeggers Ron and Eunice O’Donovan produced more potatoes in their backyard garden than they could consume. Their vegetables were so well received by Winnipeg Harvest, the O’Donovans encouraged friends and neighbours to donate their surplus produce, too. Since then, Grow-A-Row has yielded millions of pounds of fresh fruit and veggies.
At RRC, the project is being led by Gord McLeod (shown, at left) and his Pavement & Grounds team. In between weed-whacking, mowing and other regular duties, staff and student employees take time from their schedules to tend to the garden and its bounty.
The 30′ x 60′ plot is located between the West Parking Lot and the old Greenhouse.
“Six weeks ago this was just a grassy area,” says McLeod of the space. “We tilled it and added 12 cubic yards of compost from our on-site compost pile to get the soil nice and healthy.”
The team then planted russet potatoes and carrot seeds, and in a matter of weeks, the garden had sprouted. Harvest is expected to take place in late September; during that time, staff and students will be invited to participate in a harvest-picking party.
“This is a great project for many reasons,” says Nancy Alexander, Vice-President of Human Resource Services and Sustainability at RRC. “It supports the College’s values of sustainability and wellness and strengthens our connection to the community. I want to thank Gord and his team for their work on ‘grow-a-row’ and look forward to expanding the project in years to come.”
Students and staff who’ve spent the summer months tending to their own gardens can participate in Grow-A-Row by dropping off fruit and veggies at Winnipeg Harvest from Monday to Saturday.