Ready, set, grow | Squamish Chief

Ready, set, grow

Interested in starting a garden? Squamish CAN has a new program to help with supplies and more

Has restlessness during the pandemic given you the hankering to start gardening?

If so, Squamish CAN has a program meant for you.

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The non-profit organization has recently launched “Let’s Grow Food!” which is open to residents in the Sea to Sky.

Wannabe green thumbs can apply for a garden kit, which includes supplies such as compost, plant starts, seeds, and containers at a subsidized cost or for free to locals.

"We wanted to offer some support for people and build community around it," said Constance Wylie, food project manager for Squamish CAN, noting the town doesn't have a huge food-growing culture to fall back on. There's not a large nursery here, for example, she said.

On the www.squamishcan.net/growfood website are listed resources and advice to get gardeners growing.

Squamish CAN also hosts gardening workshops that are promoted on its site.

"We are open to people contacting us with gardening questions," she added.

Gardening can be a big boost to people's mental health, especially in such an uncertain time, Wylie said.

"Gardening gives you something to look forward to and focus on... If you plant a seed, you are excited for it with anticipation that it is going to germinate and there's anticipation that in two months you are going to eat it. It gives you a timeframe in this timeless period we are going through."

Squamish CAN encourages people to donate excess food grown to Squamish Helping Hands and the Squamish Food Bank.

The organization received $15,000 from Community Food Centres Canada's Good Food Access Fund for the program.

Also recently launched is the Young Agrarians garden linking program for the 'urban' farmer.

This program connects those without garden space to others who want to share their plot.

"So people who have a yard, in their backyard for example, and are interested in having someone come to garden it, can post it on this web map," she said.

Information about this is also on the Squamish CAN website.

For more information about these programs, which are available to residents from Porteau Cove through Upper Squamish, email growfoods2s@gmail.com.

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