Island ‘Good Food Box’ wants your produce

Gardeners asked to  plant extra, share their bounty

LITTLE CURRENT—Good things grow in Manitoulin gardens and Wendy Gauthier of Little Current plans to harness the Island’s green thumbs to help augment the local Good Food Box program through the Plant a Row, Grow a Row program.

“Plant a Row Grow a Row is a people-helping people program that encourages gardeners to plant an extra row of veggies and to share the harvest with those in need,” said Ms. Gauthier. “The program is spearheaded by the Compost Council of Canada and the Garden Writers Association, with the help of local food banks.”

The Plant a Row Grow a Row program encourages gardeners, whether their garden is large or small, to add an additional row, bed or pot and to plant a little extra and then to donate the extra produce to the Manitoulin Good Food Box program at the Little Current United Church. “We are asking people to spread the word and to encourage their friends and neighbours to do the same.”

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Ms. Gauthier notes that although any fresh produce is a good bet for the program, the best produce tends to be root vegetables such as carrots, beets and potatoes. “But any produce that can be easily handled and stored (including broccoli, cabbage, peas, beans, tomatoes, radishes, peppers and summer squash) are more than welcome,” said Ms. Gauthier. The produce should be free of any soil. “Just remove any soil and bring it in.”

Distribution dates over the next few months are: June 17, July 15, August 19, September 16 and October 21.

The Plant a Row Grow a Row donations will help to augment the bulk food purchases for the Good Food Program. The Plant a Row Grow a Row program doesn’t have to be limited to just the produce from the extra row, either. Any bumper crop is more than welcome too. How many times have ardent gardeners found themselves with a plethora of zucchini or an over abundance of yellow beans? The Good Food Box would be an ideal solution to that avalanche of Mother Earth’s bounty.

Getting the produce in to the program from across the Island shouldn’t present too big a challenge, noted Ms. Gauthier. “Everybody knows somebody who is coming into Little Current,” she said. It would be a good idea to get the produce in during the morning, as the bins are filled around noon on distribution day (third Tuesday of the month) at the Little Current United Church hall.

Seeds for the Plant a Row Grow a Row Manitoulin program are supplied by McKenzie Seeds and will be available at the annual Seed and Plant Sale at the Little Current United Church, Saturday May 10 from 9 am to noon. To register for the program or for more information call Wendy Gauthier at 705-368-3247 or email her at