MONTREAL – Bois-de-la-Roche Agriculture Park in Senneville has undergone a makeover.
A once seemingly abandoned park with scraps of machinery and grassy hills now boasts acres of land used to grow fresh, local and organic produce.
“It’s great to see this land being farmed again,” said Senneville Mayor Jane Guest.
“It’s been over 20 years that it’s been fallow. It’s a wonderful program and we’re really glad to see the land being put to such good use.”
Cultivating Hope is a project created to feed underprivileged families in Montreal.
“We have an estimation of 25 per cent of families that are in a situation of poverty in Montreal and they will not pay to have these vegetables,” said Réal Ménard, Montreal executive committee member for sustainable development.
So far, only two hectares have been used to cultivate produce.
In a few years, organizers are hoping to transform 24 hectares, creating 250,000 bags of vegetables.
“It’s really exciting for Senneville to be able to be producers of organic vegetables for local use as well as for bigger causes like this one,” said Guest.
Throughout the summer, farmers were busy producing the first batch of vegetables.
“October, November is often a hard time, especially for fresh vegetables like this,” said Sun Youth’s coordinator of emergency services, Eric Kingsley.
“Sometimes, we have canned vegetables, so I think this will be great for the baskets at Sun Youth.”
The harvesting has been taken care of by D-3 Pierre, a group that helps young people find work where they otherwise could not.
The plan next year is to produce carrots next year and beats with hope of continuing to help Montreal families, one vegetable at a time.