Large-scale community garden aims to tackle food insecurity in Kawartha Lakes

Last month a 30,000-square foot community garden was launched in Lindsay and it is already helping address food insecurity in the Kawartha Lakes.

A large-scale community garden in Lindsay aims to address food insecurity in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

Launched in early June, the 30,000-square foot garden is a partnership between the United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes and Crayola Canada, which is leasing the land for $1 a year.

Named after Crayola’s founder, Edwin Binney’s Community Garden was a project three years in the making. Penny Barton Dyke, executive director of the United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes, says the former corporate land has the potential to grow several tonnes of food annually.

All the food harvested will go to food banks, not-for-profit organizations and homeless shelters in the region. Barton Dyke notes the City of Kawartha Lakes Poverty Reduction Strategy estimates between 1,600 and 2,100 people use the food bank on a monthly basis.

“We know through statistics that we have increasing numbers,” she said. “We have a lot of children and families who aren’t eating enough food.”

The garden is managed by volunteers and students at Fleming College’s Frost campus in Lindsay.

“For our program, we need 805 hours for our co-op semester,” said student Courtney Gates, . “So my professor reached out to me and said we had this opportunity here and she said come out and give it a try and here I am.”

Fleming sustainable agriculture technologist Rick Cornelissen has been helping plant up to 60 different vegetables and fruit such as raspberries.

The United Way’s program also includes food literacy programming to help youth make educated choices about nutrition.