Gettin’ Healthy Springhill

Jamie Heap
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Springhill Community Garden Planted

SPRINGHILL-The multi-purpose and organic Springhill community garden was planted Saturday behind the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre.

After being welcomed to the opening of the community garden by Maryanne Jackson, Amherst native Josh Best, a summer student with the Ecology Action Centre, reviewed the community garden guidelines with participants in advance of their preparation of their individual 4 x 8 x 1 foot plots (15 total) for the planting of such crops as broccoli, carrots, chives, cucumbers, green beans onions and radish.

‘Gettin’ Healthy Springhill’ summer cooperative student Erin O’Flaherty, a fourth-year nutrition student at Acadia University, is the community garden coordinator.

When asked by Su Morin, the Community Food Security Network Coordinator for Cumberland County, a division of the Ecology Action Centre, asked those in attendance why they were interested in contributing to the Springhill community garden, she received a variety of responses. “I had some experience with gardening at home with my Dad,” stated King Leo Cody Ross of the newly chartered Springhill Leos Club. Conversely, Gabriel Gough said that he wanted to contribute to the community garden because he thought it would be a good experience. It was.

The Springhill Leos (represented by president Cody Ross, vice-president Ocean Burgess, treasurer Becky Plamondon, Justin Gabriel, and Leo advisor Lance Lockwood), Josh Best, Cathy Canning, Lisa Hunter Tammy Hutton, , Erin O’Flaherty, Su Morin and Jo-Ann Potter were among those who have, or will be contributing, to the planting of the Springhill community garden.

 Other volunteers were expected to prepare and plant their plots on Monday.

According to Trudy Reid, a nutritionist operating under the THRIVE strategy, an initiative of the provincial government that aims to improve the health of Nova Scotians through locally produced food in partnership with such communities as Springhill, the Town of Springhill was selected for this initiative (‘Gettin’ Healthy Springhill’) because it was considered to possess the readiness for it. “Originally, we were only aiming for $15,000.00 in funding through the ‘Gettin’ Healthy Springhill’ initiative. Due to our readiness, we received a total of $45,000.00.”

Reid discussed the possibility that some of the food grown in the community garden would benefit the Springhill Food Bank (Salvation Army) through the food box program at the Springhill Farmers’ Market at the community centre. “Among others, Erin (O’Flaherty) will be at the centre this summer offering free samples,” stated Reid. “Eventually, we want to invite people to the centre to do some cooking.” she added. “Like the garden, this could turn out to be a social event.”

“The Town of Springhill and Nova Scotia Community College (especially librarian Jo-Ann Potter) has been very supportive of the community garden,” stated Reid.

Volunteers and community garden participants alike enjoyed barbecued hamburgers and barbecued corn-on-the-cob cooked by Kenny John Jackson.

Organizations: Springhill and Nova Scotia Community College, Ecology Action Centre, Acadia University Community Food Security Network Coordinator Springhill Leos Club THRIVE Springhill Food Bank Salvation Army O’Flaherty

Geographic location: Amherst, Cumberland County, Nova Scotians

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