To many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, Government House is an imposing grey-stone building in downtown St. John's, and the home of Their Honours the Honourable John C. Crosbie, Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador and Her Honour Jane Furneaux Crosbie.
Many people may not know about the vegetable gardens behind the residence, and what happens to the food that's grown there.
The Government House Garden in 2012. Pictures will be added as the gardening season unfolds.
The Government House Vegetable Garden Project
by Jackson McLean
Initiated in 2010 by a collective of dedicated volunteers, including Her Honour Jane Furneaux Crosbie, the Government House Vegetable Garden Project is a unique opportunity for high school and junior high youth to learn the basics of food production. A 50 foot by 60 foot plot of 42-raised beds has been cut on the beautiful Government House grounds to accommodate weekly volunteer sessions that run from May to October and include soil preparation, planting, weeding, harvesting, and everything in between.
An additional plot was cut in 2011 and the new soil was used to grow an abundance of potatoes, turnip, corn, and squash.
As the vegetables grow, so does the young person's understanding of the delicate relationship between humans and nature, and the crucial steps that precede supermarket freshness. Issues of food preservation and security are addressed in workshops with guest facilitators from local organizations such as Food Education and Action St. John’s (FEASt). Most of the produce is donated to the local food sharing organization: Bridges to Hope.
The success of the program has allowed it to expand and flourish, thereby providing more opportunities for young people to engage in a meaningful volunteer experience that will forever change the way they think about food. Current partners of this project involve Gonzaga High School, Macdonald Drive, and the Duke of Edinburgh Program. If you would like to learn more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Government House Garden 2010
Government House Garden 2011