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Each year about 20 types of vegetables, fruits, and herbs are harvested, including carrots, beans, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, asparagus, rhubarb, squashes, beets, turnips, oregano, parsley, chives, grapes and apples.
Since its inception, the garden has produced thousands of pounds of produce that are delivered to the Mustard Seed Food Bank in Victoria weekly or biweekly from May to October. Saanich Community Church is one of the few places that donates fresh produce to the food bank, which welcomes as much as it can get.
The garden is planted again this season, and we look forward to seeing God bless our efforts with rain, sun, and nutrition from the soil! The history of the Interbay P-Patch is a long and twisting one – it was originally established in 1974, and then survived two subsequent moves in 1992 and 1997. One of the most notable aspects of this particular P-Patch is Food Bank Gardening team, and they’re celebrating the 25th season of growing food for giving. Since 1988, the Interbay P-Patchers and volunteer Food Bank Gardening crew have grown and donated more than 10 tons of organic veggies to local food banks, shelters and meal programs. At the opening celebration, P-Patch gardeners and volunteers will be be joined by representatives from the Ballard Food Bank, the Department of Neighborhoods, and the City Council.
After introductions and brief speeches by those on hand, the celebration turns to food with the traditional first kale harvest and a cup of hot homemade soup for those in attendance. If you can’t make it, but would like to connect with the Interbay volunteers, make plans to stop by on any Tuesday through the end of October.

Magnolia Voice is part of the Next Door Media™ neighborhood network, a Ballard startup that won a national Online Journalism Award.
All produce harvested is donated directly to the East Haddam Food Bank which serves over 100 families in East Haddam and Moodus, CT.
The "Victory Garden: takes underutilized land and converts it into an educational organic garden that is in keeping with our town's historical agrarian rural character, and supplements the local Food Bank with fresh produce. KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same. Melissa has a small sunken bed and container garden at her home on the southwest side of town and she also oversees the quarter acre Learning Garden at the main Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona facility at 3003 Country Club. I am really resistant to watering very much so I usually let my spring garden crispy fry in June and then replant with monsoons.  At the Learning Garden we have predominately low water use cover crop in this time of year so we can water as little as possible while still feeding our soil. As a working mom, I keep it simple and fresh garden veggies have so much delicious flavor- many things I just lightly steam then add yummy butter or olive oil, some sea salt and maybe a dash of good balsamic vinegar. Right now, I’m doing a lot of seed saving off the winter veggies (lettuce, fennel, wheat, calendula, cilantro), harvesting loads of cherry tomatoes and with monsoons I’ll plant zucchini, butternuts and cucumbers.  And probably some other weird squash varieties- always have to try something new! Planting dates - do follow religiously or do you tempt fate and experiment with when to plant? Digging fork- I use it for soil prep, in the compost, raking in seeds, spreading mulch, harvesting root veggies, weeding, exploring the worm bin- they’re great!

Representatives from the Mustard Seed gratefully accept the donations, and say the nutritious produce goes into the hands of needy folks as soon as it is received. The P-Patch hosts Giving Garden Workparties every Tuesday at 5:30pm from April through October – and this year’s season kickoff is today, Tuesday, April 9th. The latest stats from 2009 show that the total for the year was 5,218 pounds, and it was nearly evenly split across Food Bank Plots (2,728 pounds) and Individual plots (2,490 pounds). Volunteers will be available from 5:30pm til dusk, tending the garden plots, answering questions, and building community through giving back. Organically grown, non GMO produce is too cost prohibitive for many families, given the labor intensive nature of raising crops by these methods.
The Learning Garden is a beautiful demonstration of an abundant desert garden ecosystem that is tended by many people.  Please stop by and visit to check out all of their interesting experiments weekday and Saturday mornings. It's support comes from the Town of East Haddam which allows us to sustain a garden plot on town owned property, and the East Haddam Green Committee which organizes volunteers and publicizes the result of each harvest. However, the nutritional value and vitamin content of the heirloom varieties that we grow is well documented.

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