David Hinks

Apparently my complaints the last two weeks that my garden was still bone dry and that it was impossible to keep everything watered was heard loud and clear by Mother Nature! Please make it stop already!!

 My concern about the garden now (please don’t let Mother Nature know that I’m still complaining!) is that we have not had enough heat and sunshine for the heat loving plants such as tomatoes to turn red – let alone the real heat lovers such as eggplant and sweet potatoes (it will be a challenge to get a reasonable crop before frost hits in the fall). All of which underlines the importance of planting a diversity of plants in the garden – some that love cool moist conditions and others that like lots of heat – thereby increasing your chances of having a successful gardening season.

 We want your thoughts on Food Security

 As I mentioned last week, the Lanark County Food Bank (that serves Carleton Place, Beckwith and Mississippi Mills) invites you to attend a Town Hall meeting this Wednesday August 20 from 1 pm to 4 pm at Almonte’s Agricultural Hall at the Fairgrounds on Water Street to talk about food insecurity in our community.

 The Food Bank plays a critically important role in our communities. Last month the Food Bank provided food to 379 adults and 239 children in our communities. The goal is to provide enough food for a minimum of three days once each month for those in need.

Many food banks are reinventing themselves – for example the Table in Perth has a range of programs and activities that include hot meals, cooking classes, a community garden and advocacy for their clients. The Lanark County Food Bank continues to follow a more traditional pattern but wants to talk to the community about whether this is good enough or whether we should explore new ways to combat hunger in our community.

The Neighbourhood Tomato hosts a weekly ‘weed and learn’ session every Thursday evening through the growing season 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Augusta Park as we share our knowledge, mentor new gardeners, weed our new garden and share some fellowship. The Neighbourhood TomatoHeads are also working with TYPS to create intergenerational educational/hands-on gardening sessions Tuesday evenings at the TYPS garden behind the library from 6 to 8 pm.

Don’t forget the “The Great Veggie Grow-Off”!!! The launch of the Veggie Grow-off took place May 1 in Augusta Park. The Neighbourhood Tomato Community Gardens in Mississippi Mills, and the Community Gardens at St.Gregory’s Next Door in Carleton Place, challenged the towns of Beckwith, Carleton Place, and Mississippi Mills to see which town can grow the most local produce for the Lanark County Food Bank in 2014. Bring your bags and armfuls of produce to the Food Bank at 5 Allan Street in Carleton