Peterborough Growing Food That’s Good for the Belly and the Soul

Learn how to ‘Nourish’ appetite, community

Peterborough residents can get a good thing growing this spring by planting and harvesting their own fruits and vegetables.

Whether it’s a container garden on a fire escape or a community plot in the neighbourhood, Nourish is inviting citizens to explore the rewards of growing their own food.

Nourish hosts a five-part interactive learning opportunity called the Urban Agriculture Series, which covers basic garden plans, starting indoor seeds, pest control, soil building, succession planting and other tips for growing gardens.

Nourish kidThe next workshop is April 11 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Peterborough Public Health at 185 King St.

Called “Growing Together,” participants will learn how to start or expand urban agricultural projects with their neighbours. They’ll garner tips for planning, organizing and planting boulevard, community, school, church and other shared spaces.

Jill Bishop, community food cultivator with Nourish, speaks with Electric City Magazine about the impetus for the series and the benefits of growing food.

“This is the time of year when people are really excited about the idea of spring and getting into the garden,” Jill says.

It’s the perfect window to start planning in order to maximize the variety and amount of food the gardens generate.

Nourish welcomes all people who have an interest in gardening, whether it’s of a small or grand nature, to attend the education series.

Through the sessions, Jill hopes to elevate the interest in growing food and provide citizens with both the impetus and the skills to garden. “I would hope that people are feeling more confident and ready for the season,” she says.

The series also has a community-building aspect as the 25-30 participants mix, mingle and share knowledge during the sessions.

“A lot of people have trouble affording fresh and healthy food so this can help them supplement their budget in that sense.”

There are many reasons why growing one’s own food is a good idea, Jill says.

“A lot of people have trouble affording fresh and healthy food so this can help them supplement their budget in that sense.”

Meanwhile, there’s a growing interest about the origin of the food that winds up on dinner tables.

In addition, there are projected health benefits for individuals and the community. “Eating healthy, fresh food is great but getting outside, exercising and getting more fresh air — people identify that’s good for them both physically and mentally.”

Community gardens bring people together and help ease isolation and promote emotional well-being, she notes.

Beyond next week’s workshop, the focus on food will continue on the ground — helping people get their community gardens going, connecting people with plots and providing hands-on education in the 47 community gardens in the city and the county.

Nourish supports the development of places for food in the city, in each township and within both First Nations communities and delivers programming that focuses on access to healthy food, food literacy, advocacy and civic engagement.

Nourish offers programs in eating, cooking, growing and advocating for good food, while cultivating health, building community and promoting fairness.

The workshops are free but registration is required.

For more information about Nourish, visit their Facebook page.

Images courtesy of the Nourish Facebook page.

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