The Plant a Row Grow a Row program is kicking off its 2021 season with a “super safe” gardening giveaway event.
Now in its 22nd year, the program encourages gardeners to help local shelters, recovery homes and the Union Gospel Mission by planting an extra row in their gardens and donating the proceeds to the program. Although last year’s kickoff event, a spring gardener’s party, was cancelled by the pandemic, the program continued to collect produce and donate produce to local organizations.
Claude LeDoux, who has coordinated the New West program since its inception, said organizers wanted to thank folks for their continued support of the Plant a Row – Grow a Row program by holding a special drive-thru event this year.
“You won’t even need to get out of your car,” said a notice about the event. “We will be giving out vegetable transplants, decorative containers pre-planted with vegetables, limited numbers of blueberry, raspberry, and rhubarb plants, as well as seeds to start your garden off.”
These gifts of containers, plants, seeds and soil have been donated by Brian Minter, Compost Council/Plant a Row – Grow a Row, GardenWorks, LeDoux and a local horticultural supplier. Other items were intended to be gifts to be given out at last year’s kickoff event, which was cancelled because of COVID-19.
LeDoux said this year’s “super safe” event will launch the 2021 program. It’s on Sunday, April 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of St. Thomas More Collegiate, just across the border at 7450 12th Ave. in Burnaby.
“We are just doing a drive by,” he told the Record. “We will set up stations and you drive by, get what you get, and off you go. We are making it simple.”
Attendees will drive into the school’s parking lot and pull up to the curb, where Plant a Row volunteers will provide them with vegetable plants and seeds for their gardens. Everyone is asked to stay in their car and to wear a face mask.
Items will be available on a first-come first-served basis, but lots of plants are available for the program’s dedicated growers.
The Plant a Row – Grow a Row program will also be accepting donations of non-perishable food items and/or monetary donations at the drive-thru event.
Once the growing season is underway, donation collections will take place at St. Thomas More on Sunday mornings from June 13 to Oct. 3 from 8:30 to 9:15 a.m.