Community Papers

The EATEN PATH: Chilliwack plant-a-row grow-a-row harvest begins

Alanna Clempson of Food Matters shows off some of her homegrown potatoes at the first PARGAR drop-off on July 7. - Paul J. Henderson
Alanna Clempson of Food Matters shows off some of her homegrown potatoes at the first PARGAR drop-off on July 7.
— image credit: Paul J. Henderson

Seeds were planted, soil was tilled, plants were watered and now the good stuff comes.

Home vegetable growers involved in the annual Food Matters Chilliwack plant-a-row-grow-a-row (PARGAR) have begun to drop off surplus fruit and veggies for charity.

This year, Ruth and Naomi’s Mission is the beneficiary of the local PARGAR movement as homegrown produce will go for the local charity’s dinner program and weekly produce bags.

PARGAR kicked off back in April with gardening workshops hosted by Jack Kouwenhoven and Brian Minter. The first 100 gardeners received garden starter seed kits, and off they went to grow.

The PARGAR movement is based on the principle of growing one row for your family and one row for charity. More practically, organizer Alanna Clempson said the mandate is for participants to feed their family first and donate anything extra to Ruth and Naomi’s.

Every Monday evening between 5 and 7 p.m.—starting last week and running until Oct. 6—Clempson and volunteers are at Central Community Church (46100 Chilliwack Central Rd.) to collect and weigh the donated veggies.

This is the first year Food Matters has partnered with Ruth and Naomi’s Mission. The first three years the PARGAR donations went to the Salvation Army. The first year, 2011, PARGAR participants donated 572 kilograms of locally grown produce to the Salvation Army’s soup kitchen. In 2012, that was up to more than 1,000 kilograms. Donations appeared to be down in 2013, but Clempson said a considerable volume of food went unweighed, skewing the numbers.

Monetary donations are also accepted and will go to benefit Food Matters Chilliwack’s gleaning team and future community garden endeavours.

• For further information email or call Clempson at 604-795-9880.

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