Despite a dry and smoky summer, it was still a bountiful year for Jessy’s Garden, and the Prince Albert Food Bank.
© Herald photo by Jason Kerr.
Half is gone, but the other half still remains. Volunteer efforts at Jessy’s Garden (picture) on Sunday produced roughly 1,300 lbs of food this year for the Prince Albert Food Bank.
Volunteers of all ages were at the garden on Sunday pulling and digging up close to 1,300 lbs of vegetables, all of which will be donated to the food bank this year.
“It’s amazing to see the people who do show up,” said Bonny Sanderson, who tends the garden along with her husband Mel. “Every year it surprises me.”
By the end of the day, roughly 1,000 lbs of carrots and 3,00 lbs of beets were packed in crates and ready to be shipped back to Prince Albert. It might have been more, but the weather made it nearly impossible to grow some vegetables, like potatoes. The Sandersons lost a whole crop of them this year and were forced to replant.
“We’re like many people this year in that the potatoes were there, but they were very small,” Sanderson explained. “Then there are other farmers who had huge potatoes.”
Located east of Prince Albert along Hwy 302, Jessy’s Garden has held these volunteer “Garden Parties” for the past three years. Normally they pick all the vegetables in one day, although that didn’t happen this time around.
“Our numbers were down for volunteers or we would have had more carrots pulled, but that’s okay because it was a great day,” Sanderson said.
Despite the lower turnout, Sanderson is quick to point out that she’s very thankful for the passion and dedication of the volunteers who did come. She said it’s amazing to see individual helpers, as well as a few community organizations, lend a hand during a busy time of year.
“It doesn’t matter what age you are, these people are dedicated to the garden.”
Jessy’s Garden is a memorial garden created in memory of the Sanderson’s deceased daughter, Jessy Plaskitt-Atkins. The Sandersons frequently allow low-income families and non-profit charities to stock up on vegetables as a way to honour Jessy’s generous nature. The garden has been going since 2008.
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