With much of our food supply coming from far off places, more residents are thinking locally. The Neighbourhood Tomato Community Garden Project offers raised accessible garden beds for local groups. In addition, this year a successful grant application to Tree Canada’s Edible Trees program means apple and pear trees throughout Miss Mills. A truly community project, citizen volunteers from every hamlet in Mississippi Mills and the town of Almonte have planted 75 apple and pear trees! Naomi Redner, Almonte Country Haven’s Life Enrichment Coordinator said, "Thanks for our trees. They’re doing well and it’s so nice to have a volunteer (Almonte Horticultural Society’s Louise Marchand) coming to help us care for them."
Community partner groups sought out volunteers to locate, plant, and offer ongoing care while the trees establish. Trees were purchased from the Mississippi Mills Chamber of Commerce Tree Sale in May. Not only will these trees provide local food, the trees themselves were sourced locally. Our ‘Edible Tree’ order was the largest single order from Mississippi Mills and second only to the Town of Westport in the Chamber of Commerce Tree Sale.
A complete list of community partners and sites includes:
The Pakenham Horticultural Society: Pakenham Public School, Pakenham United Church, Pakenham Cenotaph, Pakenham Arena; Friends of the Cedar Hill Schoolhouse; Blakeney neighbours: roadside sites; Clayton Cares Community Group: Clayton Hall; Appleton Residents Association: Appleton Boat Launch Park, Appleton by the dam; Almonte Horticultural Society: TYPS Garden at the Library, Almonte Country Haven, Mills Community Support, Almonte and District High School, Kirkland Park, Houchaimi Park, Riverfront Estates neighbours, Intervention House and Edward Street Home.
The volunteer effort to coordinate such agricultural pursuits could not have happened without the kindness, generosity and good nature of all involved. High school students, university students, local experts, grant writers, neighbourhood tree waterers, the Chamber of Commerce, horticultural and other community groups and fine citizens all pulled together on this project. We anticipate great harvests in the future where fruit will be shared with neighbours and the Lanark County Food Bank!