Jared Foster uses a roto tiller to turn over soil for a vegetable garden near Chatham. Use of the land has been donated so that the produce can be made available for local food banks across Chatham-Kent.
The many users of Chatham Kent food banks will be eating healthier this year thanks to the efforts of a father/son team and a generous property owner.
Jared Foster and his dad Chris will be tilling a nearly half acre vegetable garden whose crops will be distributed to food banks as they are harvested.
Jared, a Dresden area resident who has maintained a large vegetable garden on his property for several years, said the inspiration for the project began when his uncle made him aware that owner of a rural Chatham-area property was making a portion of it available.
“I know I’m a really fortunate person to have the kind of family and life I have,” he said. “I’d like to help others, and with the help of my dad we’re going to make it happen.”
Chris Foster, who has been active in helping with local charitable groups, said the need is there so why not fill it.
“You get a good feeling planting something and watching it grow, and when it’s for a good purpose it’s even better.”
Both father and son would welcome any help or donation of labour to keep the garden in good shape.
“We both have full-time jobs so we’re appealing to anyone who has a couple of hours here and there to come out and help,” Jared said. “All you need is a hoe, a hard rake and some gloves.”
Chris said anyone who has seeds, mulch or vegetable plants is welcome to donate them.
“We’re not looking for monetary donations,” he said. “We’re doing this out of pocket, but if someone has anything they want to give, we’ll gladly take it. If you have five tomato plants, we’ll take them. If you have some seeds or mulch, let us know.”
Jared said the garden would have a variety of vegetables, including potatoes, onions, carrots, squash, beans, tomatoes and peppers.
The property owner has also given them access to pear, apple and apricot trees that they’ll pick later this year.
“Ideally, we’re looking for teams of two who can come out and do some planting or weeding when they’re available,” Jared said. “It could also be something a group of people want to come out and do on a Saturday morning.”
For more information, contact Jared at 519-350-0097 or Chris at 519-401-6037.