Date(s) - Friday, Jun 23, 2017
St. John's Church
The Grow on the Go program of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County is being expanded to Lockport and the LaSalle neighborhood of Niagara Falls.
In the city of Lockport, Cornell Cooperative Extension has partnered with Outreach at St. John’s Church, 168 Chestnut St.
Outreach at St. John’s is dedicated to providing various services and programs to lower income families throughout Eastern Niagara County. Eat Smart NY nutritionist, Marla Guarino, who has worked closely with the Outreach Center, hopes this program will allow more individuals and families to have fresh vegetables in their homes.
“Adults can learn to prepare easy, healthy meals for themselves and develop a love for fruits and veggies,” Guarino said. “Our participating families can share the experience of keeping a garden healthy, picking fresh food, and being excited to taste it together.”
Anyone may attend any of the events.
St. John’s Outreach
The first gathering for Grow on the Go at St. John’s Outreach in Lockport will be held at noon Friday, June 9. This event will be a celebration of spring and an opportunity for garden owners to plant their gardens.
The cart clinics will be held at 11 a.m. Fridays:
- June 16
- June 23
- June 30
- July 7
- July 14
LaSalle Branch Library
Cart clinics will be held at 3 p.m. Monday, July 10 and Aug. 7.
The LaSalle Branch Library, 8728 Buffalo Ave., is the host site for the LaSalle neighborhood.
“By partnering again with the Niagara Falls library system, we are able to break down the barriers of knowledge and previous experience,” said Justine Hays, senior nutritionist with Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. “The library is filled with books and computer resources on how to grow, harvest, and cook the nutritious foods we will be growing in the carts. The location of the LaSalle branch helps us reach even more Falls’ residents.”
This program will help Lockport and Niagara Falls residents grow fruits and vegetables in an urban environment where there can be many challenges in maintaining a successful garden including apartment living with no greenspace, rental homes with limitations on yard space, lack of sunlight, lack of equipment and lack of previous experience or knowledge of gardening.
“Grow on the Go” is based off the North Coast Food Web mobile gardens concept, using old shopping carts as gardens. The shopping carts are repurposed and filled with weed block liner, soil, and plants. The program allows one shopping cart per household, giving individuals and families their own “greenspace.” Using shopping carts allows the garden to be wheeled into buildings, onto elevators and into apartments. If sunlight in an apartment is an issue, the cart owner can take their garden for a walk to give the garden the sunlight it needs to grow.
“We had such a tremendous community response last year and participants really enjoyed the program,” said Hays. “Many of them reported eating more fruits and vegetables by the end of summer. That kind of response and feedback is what helped us grow the project.”
The library and outreach center will also serve as a common gathering site where cart owners can meet for bi-monthly “Cart Clinics.” These clinics will include an Eat Smart New York nutritionist, who will provide support to the participants so they can learn how to use the healthy foods they are growing and incorporate more healthy foods into their diet. The clinics will also periodically include a Master Gardener from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County, to provide hands on support for gardening questions or concerns.
All are welcome to attend the planting party and cart clinics, even if they don’t have a garden.
“We will be doing lots of hands on cooking and exploring how to bring MyPlate into our lives at every meal. It’s a great opportunity for community members who want to get some nutritious recipe ideas and practical cooking skills, especially since it’s all free!” said Hays.