Jane Grueber with another healthy supply of items for the Sunday Garden Surplus To Table Pop-Up Farm Stand in Crofton. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Garden surplus being utilized through farm stand in Crofton

Woman’s vision improves accessibility, affordability of good local food

Jane Grueber hates to see good food go to waste.

That’s one of the reasons she created the Garden Surplus To Table Pop-Up Farm Stand in Crofton that’s been capturing attention and serving a valuable need in the community. It’s been going Sundays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. since the first weekend in July at the corner of Queen and Chaplin Streets and it’s been so effective Grueber has decided to extend it into October.

“It’s sort of a community vision I had,” she said. “I have a compassion, deep empathy to making sure people have access to good food on a regular basis.”

The concept of bringing pure local food to neighbours is very simple but effective.

Garden Surplus To Table works with local gardeners and small-scale growers, supporting local food security, keeping food from the landfill, lowering carbon emissions and contributing to a vibrant regional food system in the Cowichan Valley.

The program turns the surplus produce of backyard gardeners and small-scale growers into profit by bringing fresh food directly to the community at affordable prices.

Possible sources include: fruit trees and shrubs; the garden and culinary herbs.

Participating gardeners and growers receive half the proceeds from the sales of their surplus.

Grueber, who used to do urban farming, moved to Crofton last August and operates Seedling In The Wind Microfarm on Chilco Road. After talking to neighbours who are green thumbs, she decided she wanted to do something for excess product to reach the public.

“We can’t let all this food go to waste,” Grueber indicated. “There’s a lot of people on Vancouver Island who do without food on a regular basis who can’t afford it.”

She proposed bringing it to a central location where it can be offered and, thus, the pop-up farm stand was created.

“I started with two contributors,” said Grueber. “I’m up to 25 and they come and go. Every day I get more and more phone calls and emails. People love the vision.

“For me, this is the grass roots community movement,” she added. “This is about the people for the people and that’s important to me.

“I want to continue to stimulate that vibrant food system. The people that contribute to this, they’re so glad people can use the food and they’re not going to compost or whatever. For me, the more of this we can start up in different places I would be happy to support in any way.”

People interested in the program can contact Grueber at 250-714-3450 or by email at seedlinginthewindmicrofarm.ca to join. She’ll take surplus garden produce from Cedar to Cobble Hill.

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