Things at Greener Village are growing and changing, as you may have noticed from our name.
The move to our new location on Riverside drive as allowed the Fredericton Food Bank to bloom into so much more. We are transforming into the Maritime’s first Community Food Centre combining clothing distribution, community gardens, food distribution, and teaching kitchens.
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The Gardens, the Compost, & More
This year we have begun to plant our gardens and, nine in ground beds, and 14 raised boxed beds of various sizes; with more to be built.
The gardens have been planted by our staff and volunteers to create a beautiful and educational display for the public and to spark the gardening interest. Next year, the gardens will be available to clients to give them a chance and a place to grow their own food. Supplies, tools, and mentoring, as well as general support and inspiration will be available from our staff and volunteers.
The greenhouses will be planted by our staff and volunteers to grow food that will fill our client’s hampers. We want to improve the quality and quantity of fresh produce available to our clients in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way.
So far this year our summer student, Briana, has planted lettuce, beets, Swiss chard, radishes, carrots, bush bean, pole beans, many herbs, flowers, onions, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, peas, squash, and corn. Our administrative assistant, Edee, is using one of our raised beds to demonstrate square foot gardening; showing just how much you can grow in a little space. Our volunteer coordinator, Vadini, is also using the space to begin her gardening career and she’s learning a lot!
Our raised beds are both fun and educational; showing how you can grow many, complimentary vegetable in the same space, how to use vertical space when that’s all you have, and how you can make your garden show your artistic and creative side.
We have planted many native and edible trees and shrubs as well. These areas have been planted to showcase native trees and shrubs of New Brunswick that are both beautiful and edible. Our goal is to share the knowledge of these plants with the public and to help support our native ecosystem.
In addition to the gardens, we are Fredericton’s newest community compost demonstration site; providing the tools and education to get people compositing in their own backyards. We have been composting on site since last year, any produce that is not fit for our food hampers it is composted and then we have used the compost in our raised beds, native edible garden, and other planting sites around the property. We have many different composting methods in the works here including cold compost, hot compost and worm compost sites. We also have Earth Machine Composters available on site for the public to purchase.
In an effort to expand the interest our outdoors site we are also looking at having some pets around; chickens and a couple of rabbits are what we’re presently working towards. We will be hosting many different workshops including an introduction to backyard composting and rainwater catching systems.
We are striving to create a fun, interactive, and educational environment to promote food, health, and community.
The Teaching Kitchen
It is important to know how to grow your food, but you also need to know how to cook it.
With our new facility we have had the pleasure of building a large teaching kitchen and we have are working with many different health and food specialists to host workshops, classes, and mentoring for the public. We have three stations for teaching and all the utensils and tools needed for a beginner to an advance student.
We are very happy to have the gardens, the compost, and the kitchen all on one site because they are part of a circle. Most waste and leftovers from the kitchen can be composted, that compost grows new vegetables that end up being cooked in the kitchen. One shouldn’t stand without the others; they work together to create a greener living.
The Clothing Boutique
With our expanded location we have greater opportunities all around.
We have served our food bank clients with free, lightly used clothing for the last 28 years. Now we are growing to open a second hand clothing store for the public as well.
During food bank hours (Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 10am-2:30pm) the clothing boutique will be only to our clients for their free clothing pick up. During non-food bank hours the boutique will be open to the public as Fredericton’s newest adorable second hand clothing store. This means we will be extending our hours into the evening on weekdays.
With the increase in hours we are looking for many new volunteers to join our team for running the cash, assisting patrons, sorting clothes, and keeping a clean and productive environment. Get in contact with us as soon as possible to add your name to our volunteer list and begin your training.
An increase in cliental means we will need more clothes as well. To donate your items to us please stop in at 686 Riverside drive with your lightly used, clean clothing; our site is the only place that accepts clothing donations for our boutique. We will only be accepting clean items; anything else will be thrown away. We would like to put out a priority request for teenage and youth boys clothing, as well as women’s large sized clothing. By donating your clothing to us you are helping local families.
The money earned from our sales to the public will be used to support our other programs and help pay bills of the facility.
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Things at Greener Village Fredericton Community Food Centre are growing! Be it outside or inside.
Our volunteers make our vision reality and we can always use more help and with the diversity of programs we’re certain your interests and talents will be an asset; whether it’s for a day or two or years.