Gardens Grow Volunteer Engagement

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This is the last post in a our week long series on the many gardens that have sprouted up around House of Friendship.  Aside from plants, there is a common thread that connects all of our different green endeavours together, and that is volunteers!

What better way to celebrate and recognize that amazing contribution than by sharing the words of Marlene, an all around incredible volunteer who was a dynamic presence at Supportive Housing last summer and fall.

She spent quite a bit of time working with tenants in the garden beds and kitchen, and shares some of her thoughts about what being a volunteer was like for her:

“Digging in the dirt, planting seeds, and watching things grow is every gardener’s delight. Last year, while digging in the dirt with House of Friendship residents, I had the opportunity re-visit the awe and wonder that comes along with seeing those little seeds sprout. We shared many laughs and chats while nurturing seedlings, creating new gardens and caring for mature plants.”

“Their innovative vegetable gardening techniques yielded a bounty that residents harvested, cooked, and shared in community meals. Those delicious end-of-season meals made our sore backs and broken fingernails all worthwhile. And when the weather finally clears up I’m looking forward to renewing friendships with my fellow House of Friendship gardeners, as we tend the plants that survived the winter, plant a new crop for this year, and watch to see what life lessons and wonders this year’s garden will provide.”

Would you like to be a part of this story and join Marlene and the people like her that make a greener, more connected, healthier region?

Supportive Housing has been blessed over the past two garden seasons with amazing volunteers, helping out in many different ways. We have had volunteers spend a day outside with residents, raking leaves or planting seedlings; volunteers have chosen to come one day a week to deepen connections with the garden group and we even had a group come out on a Saturday to help build a big new raised bed that we are excited to plant this year and put to use!

For this upcoming season, we are seeking volunteer support, in many different forms:

Enthusiastic gardeners willing to spend time in the gardens working alongside residents! You could choose to come just once, come periodically, or come once a week at a set time

Green thumbs who could share a workshop or an information session! Do you have a particular skill, gardening trick, or passion that you would like to share with others? We would love to have regular information sharing sessions, to help residents learn new skills and to keep developing our gardens with new found knowledge!

Occasional supports to help with some of the random ‘tasks’ that come up in the garden, such as: driving to the Region landfill to pick up some compost, helping us load it onto the garden beds, setting up rain barrels or trellises, picking up free/donated soil or mulch, or other small tasks that make a big difference!

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At the Emergency Food Hamper Program we are looking for people who are able to commit a few hours at least one day a week to assist with watering, weeding and helping to transform food waste into rich compost.

How to get in touch

If you have gardening expertise to share (or an interest in getting some)  or have something to donate please contact Matt at 519-570-3976 or  mattc@houseoffriendship.org or send us a tweet@HOF_housing

Not sure how you would like to help, or interested in learning more?  There are a tonne of gardening, or non gardening related volunteer positions and ways to help.  Contact Matt to learn more.

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One Response to “Gardens Grow Volunteer Engagement”

  1. guelphstreetgarden Says:

    Reblogged this on Guelph Street Garden and commented:
    This is a great series of blogs about community gardens from the House of Friendship Emergency Food Hamper Assistance program. Every community garden can learn something about how these dedicated gardeners work together!

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