PEI

Why Habitat is encouraging its homeowners to garden

Habitat for Humanity on Prince Edward Island is not only helping Islanders with affordable shelter, it's now encouraging people to grow their own food.

'Having a garden, good nutritious food for the family, is all part of that we believe in'

Volunteers from HMCS Queen Charlotte were busy Tuesday in Charlottetown building more than a dozen garden boxes. (Al MacCromick/CBC)

Habitat for Humanity on Prince Edward Island is not only helping Islanders with affordable shelter, it's now encouraging people to grow their own food.

With some help from crews from P.E.I.'s naval reserves at HMCS Queen Charlotte, Habitat is building between 12 and 20 garden boxes to give to families to grow their own backyard gardens. 

"In the spring next year we'll be taking them out to the families and providing soil and seeds and doing some training on how to maintain a garden," said Aaron Brown, CEO of Habitat for Humanity on P.E.I. 

'A nice place to live'

The idea of helping families grow their own food fits in with Habitat's ideals about creating strong, healthy communities, Brown said. 

"It's more than just providing affordable home ownership — an important part of what we do is community building," he said. 

The garden boxes will be given to existing and future Habitat families on P.E.I. to make sure they have healthful food to eat. (Al MacCromick/CBC)

"We encourage our homeowners to make the community they live in a nice place to live. Having a garden, good nutritious food for the family, is all part of that we believe in in terms of the holistic picture of community building."

The budget for the project is about $7,000. Habitat received a grant from P.E.I.'s Community Food Security Program for that amount, Brown said. 

The boxes will go to nine Habitat homes in a subdivision in Harrington, P.E.I., where the organization is planning three more homes in 2019.

Habitat is currently in the midst of a three-year project to provide housing for P.E.I. veterans, refugees and families living with disabilities. 

More P.E.I. news

With files from Al MacCormick

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