Rencontre East Community Led Food Assessment
& Resulting Programs
This project facilitated a Community-Led Food Assessment in Rencontre East, and is supporting the creation of new programs that will give its residents better access to healthy, affordable food.
Backyard Gardening Program
Rencontre East is establishing a comprehensive backyard gardening program, as well as a composting program that will keep their gardens vibrant and fertile. Plots will exist in people’s backyards, as well as in certain indoor areas, outside the school, and in community plots. The harvest will be used for community gatherings, and be shared with seniors.
Students were hired to find, identify, and catalogue wild fruit trees in the area, so the public could access them. The process has already identified some surprises, including plums, cherries, and nearly 30 apple trees. A bulk ordering program for fruit has also been established, as well as a fruit preserving program, to improve residents’ access to fruit.
Food Education & Skills Program
The community will also launch a program geared at sharing food skills and knowledge, both new and traditional, through workshops and events for all ages.
Keeping 150 Year Old Rhubarb Plants Alive
In A New Community Heritage Garden
Peggy Caines is our Food Security Coordinator in Rencontre East. There has been a line of rhubarb plants in her family for over 150 years, since her great-grandparents set them in soil on a family plot. In the summer of 2018, Peggy decided to uproot the rhubarb and replant it where the whole community could access it.
The rhubarb is now available for the whole community pick and use as they wish. Peggy built some raised beds for the rhubarb, and we had local artist Nadine Hodder make the sign above to mark the new heritage rhubarb garden. Future signage will bring people’s attention to wild fruits and berries growing in the area, to raise awareness and access to healthy produce in Rencontre, that is freely available to all.
Since establishing this heritage rhubarb garden, other members of the community have started sharing stories about vegetable plants that have been in their respective families for decades too. Perhaps in the summer of 2019, some of these family vegetable lines will make their way beside Peggy’s family’s rhubarb, in this new heritage garden.