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Alexandra's Bounty - Partnership Update

A partnership that began just over a year ago has been renewed for three more years.

After many great harvests at Alexandra’s Bounty in 2022, Lakeridge Health Foundation and the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Charter Community Council - Oshawa and Durham Region Métis Council (ODRMC) have officially agreed to continue their partnership.

Helen Giacchetta, President of the MNO-ODRMC, was pleased with the way the first year went in the garden just north of the Oshawa Hospital.

“It was all quite new to me,” she admitted. “I’m not a gardener. So, it was all a good learning experience.”

Delivery of the soil and planting started in early May 2022, and Helen said the plan is similar this year. The Council will also continue to host a number of events that began last year.

“We hosted a camp for the kids,” said Helen, “where they learned about the plants, how to harvest, and participate in other fun activities. We also had a number of gatherings for the families in the community.”

The Council also dedicated a small piece of the property to Community Living Durham and the adults living with autism that the organization supports.

“The group came out last year and found it quite beneficial,” Helen recalled. “We gave them a little spot to use and grow their own garden. It helps get them all out, and they also began to volunteer.”

There was also a lot of work involved to make sure the garden was thriving for these events and groups, all of which required a great effort by many people. There were nearly 20 volunteers on a regular basis planting, cleaning and harvesting at Alexandra’s Bounty. However, it wasn’t always enough and more help is needed.

“We can always use more volunteers to continue the success of the garden and what it has to offer the community,” Helen said. “People go on vacation and others may get sick, so we really want to keep it going.”

One volunteer really stood out in Helen’s memory.

“As a member of Knights of Columbus, Jerry Ashworth stepped up to be the manager of the garden,” she said. “He would be out there almost every day.”

The Knights of Columbus sponsored the garden and provided the funds for necessary materials.

Some of those materials were used to support the garden. “We added some more boxes in front of the greenhouse,” said Helen, “and three more planters adjacent to it.”

All this means there will be more to harvest in 2023! Last year, Sundays were harvest days and the group plans to continue that tradition this year once the garden is planted and harvesting begins.

“When the fruits and vegetables are ready, the community is more than welcome to come by and help themselves,” said Helen.

Residents of Durham Region can also visit Alexandra’s Bounty when it’s part of the Doors Open Oshawa event on Saturday, May 6, 2023. This year's theme is FOOD, exploring Ontario’s food traditions and history of food production as well as the spaces that shape and define our culinary traditions.