By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – A pair of busy beavers made light work of getting their garden at the Morinville Centennial Community Gardens ready Tuesday night. 1st Morinville Beavers Alex Steele and Kyle Campbell, together with leader Melodie Steele, planted a variety of plants, including potatoes, tomatoes, squash and other veggie varieties in one of the new garden plots.
While the gardeners will tend the crops from planting to harvest, the food will be donated to the Morinville Food Bank Society to provide some fresh vegetables to those who otherwise might have none.
Leader Melodie Steele said the beaver’s plot was donated to the scouting organization by a community member who wanted to contribute to the community garden initiative but who did not actively want to tend to a garden.
“We’re basically going to pay it forward,” Steele said. “The Beavers are going to grow a crop of vegetables over the summer. They’ll get to learn the whole process from seeds to planting partially-started plants. We’re going to tend the garden all summer, watering and weeding. And they’ll get to see the fruits – or vegetables in this case – of their labour.”
Donating the food to the local food bank once harvest arrives was not a difficult decision, and one in keeping with the Beavers’ philosophy. “The motto of the Beavers is Sharing, sharing, Sharing,” Steele explained. “And I think this really helps to foster that within them, the sharing spirit and volunteerism at a very young age.”
For seven-year-old Beaver, Alex Steele, the summer of gardening is important work. “It’s important to help the food bank [because] it’s not fair to the people who don’t have [any food],” he said.
Steele said the season-long project also follows the Beavers’ desire to get children outdoors and respecting nature. “I think that learning about growing gardens and where food comes from goes hand in hand with what schools are teaching.”