Fresh Ingredients for Fenelon Food Bank - The History and Accomplishments of Fenelon's Victory Garden

Submitted by Alex Tan

After last years successful harvest consisting of hundreds of pounds of fresh produce donated to the Salvation Army’s food bank the Fenelon Falls Horticulture Society are gearing up for round two. The Victory Garden is located at 50 Oak Street in Fenelon Falls, right on the north side of the historic Maryboro Lodge - Fenelon Museum. The garden consists of ten elevated planters that grow a plethora of herbs, fruits and vegetables. From butternut squash to dill, the garden grows over 20 edible species of plant. 

Below is the Victory Garden at the beginning of summer followed by a picture just a month later. 

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As I talked to the organizers and community leaders working on this amazing project I learned a little bit about the history of Victory Gardens and how that vision has been scoped to tackle modern issues. 

First a bit of context. The term victory garden was first used to describe the mobilization of Canadians as they used rooftop gardens, planter boxes and a converted flower gardens to grow food to feed the brave Canadians and their allies fighting in WWI. It was seen as a leisurely way to be patriotic on the home front. This grassroots movement supplied food for the war effort while boosting moral across the country. This practice continued through the Great Depression and found a resurgence in WWII.

The spirit of victory gardens pushed everyday Canadians to turn their rooftops, vacant lots and balconies into a force for positive change. Today, Fenelon’s Victory Garden is taking on another war. The fight against hunger is being attacked head on as members of the Horticulture Society harvest pounds of fresh produce for the food bank. The Salvation Army receives 3 to 4 kgs of food each week and that number grows every week. If you wish to get involved with this amazing project, you can visit the Fenelon Falls Horticulture Society on Facebook or visit their website backyardbuzz.ca

The food bank would also like to thank the many individuals, other community gardens and local businesses that are so generous in donating fresh produce.