London Food Bank is going green-er with greenhouse
LONDON, ONT. -- The outdoors may be covered in a blanket of white in January, but at the London Food Bank these days everything seems to be coming up green.
After a year of planning and with donations from the community, the new greenhouse is bearing fruit - or in this case vegetables.
“This is what Londoners a few years ago wanted more than anything else, to donate funds towards fresh fruits, fresh produce and that's what they have done,” says Glen Pearson from the London Food Bank. “So we've just taken it to a different level so we can grow our own as well.”
The man with the green thumb here is horticulturalist Luis Reyes.
“A couple of weeks ago we received the heaters and since then you can see the growth in only a couple of weeks,” says Reyes.
Like many from the food bank, Reyes is passionate about helping those in need.
“I am a grower and that's what I like to do and now to do it directly to people makes me proud,” he says.
The greenhouse is expected to grow about 15,000 plants a year which amounts to about four tons of food.
“You're not going to get anything fresher than this in a supermarket,“ says Reyes. “So probably you're going to harvest today here and the people or clients are going to receive it tomorrow or the same day.”
In the winter months they are growing cold weather plants like lettuce, spinach and even kale, but once summer arrives they will switch to tomatoes, cucumbers and fruit-bearing plants.
Adds Pearson, “It just expands the nutrition we're able to give to other people.”