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Grizzelle’s Greenhouse site to become new home of Nelson Food Cupboard Garden

By Contributor
February 22nd, 2015

Over the next few months, the Nelson Food Cupboard will be transforming the site of the former Grizzelle’s Greenhouse on Hoover and Ward Streets into a large-scale vegetable garden. Use of the land has been donated to the Nelson Food Cupboard by Brooke and Sandi Leatherman and the Columbia Basin Trust has stepped in to fund much of the project.

“Over the last two years, we have involved our customers in various gardening initiatives to great success – they claimed the gardening experience was beneficial to their physical and mental health, they appreciated having a way to give back to the Food Cupboard, and they helped grow a lot of vegetables to stock our shelves,” says Kim Charlesworth, Nelson Food Cupboard Coordinator.

“So when the farmer who has grown our vegetables for the last seven years told us she would no longer be able to do so, we decided we wanted to give it a try ourselves.”

Charlesworth said the key to success was finding a plot of arable land in close proximity to the Food Cupboard so that Food Cupboard customers could easily get involved as volunteers.

When she called on Brooke and Sandi Leatherman to ask if they would consider donating the use of the property on the corner of Ward and Hoover Streets that is just 4.5 blocks from the Food Cupboard they immediately agreed to the idea.

“As long as Sandi and I have owned the property, we have held a vision for its use in ways that could provide direct benefit to the community. As such, when we were approached by the Food Cupboard for a garden, not just as a source of fresh vegetables, but as a potential community destination and connection our positive response was immediate,” commented Brooke Leatherman.

“We also see the aesthetic benefit to the surrounding neighbourhood.”

This garden will be a community garden, but for a specific community – Nelson Food Cupboard customers. With the support of a garden coordinator, they will be growing vegetables for themselves and others who rely on the Food Cupboard.

Food Cupboard customers will be encouraged to join work parties to build infrastructure such as fences and benches; volunteer to plant, weed and harvest the vegetables; deliver the produce to the Food Cupboard; and more.

“They will develop pride in the project and their contributions; and these positive feelings will carry over to other parts of their lives,” added Charlesworth.

Volunteers from the general public will be welcome to contribute in similar ways.

Many businesses are already volunteering their expertise and labour.

Soon, DDC Excavating will be re-contouring the land to better suit the needs of the garden. Bloom Garden Design is creating the site plan in consultation with Thomas Loh, Urban Systems, Glade Valley Gardens and Deverney Engineering Services.

And then volunteers will get to work planting the garden.

“We are grateful for and inspired by all the support we have been receiving. We’ll continue to welcome donations of gardening and building materials, volunteer expertise and of course, financial donations,” finished Charlesworth.

If you would like to contribute, please contact the Nelson Food Cupboard at (250)354-1633. And to stay up to date on garden developments, visit their website: and facebook page.

Photo Caption: Excited members are, from left, Tim Powell, Nelson Food Cupboard Board Chair, Marilyn Lawrence, Nelson Food Cupboard Board member, Am Naqvi, Columbia Basin Trust Board members, Marya Skrypiczajko, Nelson Food Cupboard Coordinator, Sandi and Brooke Leatherman, property owners, Kim Charlesworth, Garden Coordinator. — Submitted photo


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