Rodrigo Santos and his son, Mateus (right), are cleaning up the box garden for planting.
Photo by Chung Chow
Haven belongs to all Richmondites
Published 12:54 PDT, Wed May 3, 2017
Whether you like fresh air, fresh vegetables, a day in the country or the sound of birds, Richmond’s Sharing Farm is for you.
Terra Nova’s pastoral haven smells of reawakening earth, growing garlic spears and crisp salad greens. It is open for a stroll any day and on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. former strangers, now friends, garden together weeding, digging and harvesting the bounty.
When one volunteer mentioned they are always looking for new volunteers, she enthused about her fellow gardeners: “You don’t get cranky pants; you get wonderful people.”
Sharing Farm executive director Sarah Drewery said the farm shipped 226 pounds of greens to the Richmond Food Bank in one week this spring.
“We donate our produce to the food bank, that’s primarily what we do and we also donate it to various community meals programs for instance, Gilmore Church” which serves the public a by-donation full meal every Thursday at 5:30 pm.
“Last year, we donated 21,000 pounds of produce,” she said. “Vegetables are nutritious. There’s no religious barriers; everybody can eat vegetables.”
And, thanks to the new barn, people can eat more of the farm’s vegetables all season because new plants can be started early under grow lights, she added.
The farm produces more than just vegetables. There’s the camaraderie, the fresh air, and the exercise.
“I like to be outside and dig in the dirt and the companionship. It’s back to nature, get your hands dirty. You can grow the operation only by having more volunteers,” said a volunteer.
(See the Sharing Farm’s volunteer-wanted ad in the classified section of the Sentinel.)
“It’s really nice to be part of an organization that is such a great cause,” says Drewery. “I’m just learning so much. I really believe in it. I’ve been really passionate about farming and growing my own food and to be actually working on it, that is really amazing.”
Adds volunteer, Genie Schaap, “It’s healthy. It’s great. It’s fun.”
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FreshSlice - Near Seafair Centre