Grow-A-Row’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 the College, the project is being led by Gord McLeod and his Pavement & Grounds team. In between weed-whacking, mowing and their other regular duties, Sandhu, Brady, Rob, Ron and student employees take time out of their day to tend to the garden.
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. We tilled it and added 12 cubic yards of compost from our on-site compost pile to get the soil nice and healthy,” Gord explained. The team planted russet potatoes and carrot seeds and in a matter of weeks the garden has sprouted.
The harvest is expected to take place around late September. We’ll be inviting staff to participate in a harvest-picking-party, so keep an eye on All Staff News (green thumbs not required).
“This is a great project for many reasons. 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,” said Nancy Alexander, Vice President of Human Resource Services and Sustainability.
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 Mondays – Saturdays.