Savory greens for salads, flavorful addition to meat dishes and Ah Pi’s favorite; one of the main ingredients in a delicious cold soup. Who knew common weeds could be this tasty?
Now, this was not an anecdote made by one individual from one country. This was a claim verified by someone from each of the countries who were weeding that day. That means the countries of Burma, Vietnam, Colombia and China were all represented. Who knew that weeding could be so educational?
We laughed as people posed for pictures. We “chatted” as we worked, comparing our vegetables with the vegetables of other groups. Our plot gets a “thumbs up” except maybe for the carrots. We snacked on watermelon, grapes, and cookies. Who knew weeding could be so much fun?
Last week we harvested the radishes. It was hot and muggy and the ground was hard. This week we harvested the onions. We grew a lot of onions!! We are happy to give radishes and onions to the Food Bank. Who knew giving back could feel so good?
The people in the literacy class at Global Gathering Place come from many different parts of the world. We come from Iraq, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Colombia, Mexico, Vietnam, and China. Some of us have only been in Canada for a few months. We all work hard to learn English. It is not easy. Our class is constantly changing. Some who have started this garden project will not complete it and others will finish what someone else has started.
“I help this country by volunteer” was a comment made by Zahra, a woman from Afghanistan, after she realized the goals of the Food Bank challenge. It was also a challenge to have all students understand the project and its impact. To introduce these ideas I used pictures and more pictures! There were pictures of community gardens, pictures of rakes, of hoes, of gardening gloves and sun hats. A bag of soil, packages of seeds, bug spray and sun tan lotion were all brought in to prepare us for the Food Bank Challenge!
To help us learn about the Food Bank we volunteered in the warehouse. We learned a LOT!! We sorted! It was not easy even for those who could speak English. A big thank you to Sam and Michelle who helped all of us. They were patient, cheerful and encouraging.
Tuesday, June 5th was the long awaited planting day!! The weather was perfect. Matt and Jasmin were wonderful . They met us at the gate and helped with everything!! We planted onions, radishes, beets and carrots. We had experienced gardeners who helped less experienced gardeners. We had some “discussions” on how deep to plant, how many seeds to plant, which rows were planted and whether we should pack the soil or not. No small task when English is not your first language!!! We had fun! We laughed and we took lots of pictures. We were very happy when the rain fell later that week.