The Hope Community Garden was started in 2009 on the front lawn of the First Muskoka Church in Glen Orchard. There were 5 satellite sites at private homes located in Bala, Torrance and Glen Orchard. The purpose is to involve the community in raising fresh, healthy food for personal use and for the food bank.
Yoke Chan of Bala was one of the visionaries to start the garden, and he remains the current supervisor.
We learned as we went. In the first few years the 4 legged residents of Muskoka got more of the harvest than we did. It became obvious that we needed a proper fence to keep the critters out.
A Pay It Forward grant from the District of Muskoka provided funding for the materials, and the “Bush Gang” from Beaver Creek Correctional Facility provided the labour. We now have a secure 20 ft x 40 ft garden, recently refurbished with a fresh load of topsoil courtesy of Brent Quarries.
Our garden is divided into 8 individual plots, each 10 ft x 20 ft. The owner of each plot has the choice of donating the food grown to the food bank,or bringing it home for personal use.
Our participants range from age 21 to 75.
We are growing people as well as food.