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Cowichan garden club grows a lot more than a row for food bank

11 club members took up the challenge
Henry Wikkerink, manager of the Cowichan Valley Basket Society, accepts homegrown produce donated by Cowichan Valley Garden Club members, from left, Judith Appleby, Wilma Harvie, and club president Darlene Veitch. (Photo courtesy of Cowichan Valley Garden Club)

By Judith Appleby

Early in 2022, the Cowichan Valley Garden Club instituted a Grow A Row project.

Grow A Row is a world-wide movement that encourages gardeners to donate home-grown produce to their local food banks. It can take many different forms, but in this case, garden club members were asked to plant a little extra and take it in to the Cowichan Valley Basket Society to be used either for their food bank or their meals. The goal for this first year was to donate, as a club, 100 pounds of fruits and vegetables.

Eleven club members took up the challenge, donating, in total, more than 160 pounds (73 kilograms) to date. Produce donated included: basil, beans, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, kale, lettuce, parsley, peas, potatoes, raspberries, rhubarb, sage, spinach, Swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips, and zucchini.

CVBS manager, Henry Wikkerink, says of the program, “We are so thankful to the Cowichan Valley Garden Club for the Grow A Row project. The fresh produce was a great addition to hampers and the lunch program. It was muchly appreciated by all. I am so thankful to each gardener for sharing with others in need.”

The Cowichan Valley Garden Club meets monthly on the second Wednesday at 7 p.m. at St. John Anglican Church, 486 Jubilee St. in Duncan. New members are always welcome. Their annual general meeting will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 9. Dues are $20 per year.