New champ for the Great Veggie Grow-Off

DNE Squashes the Former Champion in the Sixth Annual Great Veggie Grow-Off
Mississippi Mills Mayor Christa Lowry, Shaun McLaughlin, Jeff Mills, David Hinks, Ed Lawrence, and Carleton Place Mayor Doug Black.

ALMONTE: The sixth iteration of the Great Veggie Grow-off will be remembered for three milestones: the haul of fresh produce set a new record, the winning town set a record, and five-time champion Mississippi Mills was knocked into second place.

Drummond North Elmsley, which had been in second place for several years, took first spot with 7,839 pounds donated. That is more than double the previous record of 3,365 pounds set by Mississippi Mills.

The overall county tally came in just shy of eight tons at 15,983 pounds. The previous record set in 2016 was 10,109 pounds.

When asked how she felt about falling out of first place, Mississippi Mills Mayor Christa Lowry said, “I am okay with us coming second when it means so much more food is available for people that need it.”

The Great Veggie Grow-Off is an initiative of the Neighbourhood Tomato. It began in 2014 as a way to provide healthy, fresh food for people faced with food insecurity. It started as a friendly competition between Mississippi Mills, Carleton Place and Beckwith to see which municipality could direct the most produce to people in need. In 2016, the group expanded the competition to all county municipalities and Smiths Falls. The competition runs from May 1 to the Thanksgiving weekend.

While the Great Veggie Grow-Off is aligned closely with Lanark County’s four food banks, the event recognizes donations from other groups providing a similar service. One such group is the Lanark Highlands Plan B Citizens Group. They grow, harvest and distribute food to needy families as fresh produce, canned goods and community dinners. The largest portion of their food donations this year originated on a farm in DNE, which catapulted that town into first place.

The individual municipal results were in pounds:

  • Drummond North Elmsley: 7839
  • Mississippi Mills: 2920
  • Perth: 1724
  • Lanark Highlands: 1665
  • Carleton Place & Beckwith: 1399
  • Smiths Falls: 745
  • Tay Valley: 691
  • Montague: 0

For more information, contact

Jeff Mills
jmills@themills.on.ca
613 256-1031 ext 263