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Acton Community Garden nourishing residents with free food

“People can come by and harvest any time. Take home what you need,” says the Halton Environmental Network
The Halton Environmental Network team and volunteers gather weekly to look after the Acton Community Garden.

Nestled in the green space around Fairy Lake is a quaint gathering place for local green thumbs; a spot where anyone is welcome to stop by and help themselves to what's available.

The Acton Community Garden has been providing freshly-grown produce at no cost for over a decade.

The volunteers, donors and community partners who make the initiative possible were celebrated at a garden party this week.

Volunteers meet up every Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. to tend to crops and harvest the freshly-grown foods, including things like zucchini, cucumber, peas, beans, tomatoes and herbs.

“Our youngest regular volunteer is 12 years old, and we also have folks in their 60s and 70s and everyone in between,” said Elin Marley, director of garden programs and environmental education with the Halton Environmental Network (HEN).

“It’s really nice to have a place where we can gather with people from different age groups who all share an interest in gardening.”

Whatever produce isn’t taken home by the volunteers is dropped off at the community fridge in the Acton branch of the Halton Hills Public Library. The fridge is a free resource stocked with food that anyone in the community is welcome to access as needed.

Marley said her team is also trying to spread the word that everyone can help themselves directly to the garden, regardless of whether they volunteer there.

“People can come by and harvest any time. Take home what you need,” she said. 

HEN is always looking for more volunteers to help at the garden.

Those interested in becoming involved can reach out through the Acton Community Garden Facebook page or email [email protected].

HEN also hosts a Little Hands in the Garden drop-in program on Wednesdays from 4 to 5:30 p.m. for children and parents/caregivers.

Participants help tend to the garden and also read garden-themed stories, sing songs and create art with natural materials. No registration is required - simply stop by.