OTTAWA — The Ottawa Food Bank Farm is not only harvesting food but also a sense of community.
“This one really sparked my interest because it is giving back to the Ottawa Food Bank and helping my community that I live in,” said Christine MacFarlane, one of a few volunteers at the farm in the city’s rural west end.
“It was right up my alley,” said volunteer Sarah Poole. “I enjoy gardening a lot so this was a really fun day.”
They’re harvesting potatoes as part of the food bank’s community harvest program, which provides fresh food to the more than 39,000 people who rely on the food bank every month.
“This year our goal was 130,000 lbs. and we’re now, as of today, at about 138,000 and we’re aiming to hit maybe 150,000 this year,” said Jason Gray, the community harvest manager.
“It tackles two main issues,” Gray said. “One is affordability because fresh food tends to be some of the highest-priced items at the grocery store but also it’s providing essential nutrition and nutrients.”
About 20 different crops are grown at the farm including potatoes, beans, tomatoes, lettuce, melons and peppers.
“This is my first time doing this,” Babak Anvari. “I find it extremely interesting the machinery and the process of doing this potato harvest, it was pretty cool.”
“This is our chance to give back, this being harvest time, it takes very little time and we’re glad to help,” Anvari said.
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