A retired farming couple from Pansy is now harvesting vegetables grown this year in their community garden.
Melvin Kachur and his wife Helen say they have a garden that is about two-and-a-half acres in size. This year they grew potatoes, corn, tomatoes, beans, raspberries and strawberries, thanks to some large donations from seed companies and potato growers. The goal is to donate the goods to local food banks at the end of the season.
Kachur says this is all possible thanks in part to the volunteers who came to help. Not only did they assist the Kachurs with the planting, but they also took care of some fertilizing and now have also been helping with harvest. He notes many of the volunteers who came out were newcomers from Ukraine.
"There was probably a group of three families with five or six kids and they helped me plant the garden," he recalls. "Then about a week ago, they came to harvest."
Kachur notes these families helped collect a lot of vegetables to be sold at the Pansy Fall Supper last weekend. Proceeds from sales there, as well as from farmers markets, they have attended this summer are helping to fund their mission. Kachur explains the money allows them to pay for some of their expenses this year, plus it helps them to set aside money for next year's operation and then whatever surplus they might have gets donated to food banks.
Another group that helped harvest this summer was the Eastman Flames ringette team.
Kachur says their garden looks great this year, noting they had lots of moisture in Pansy this summer, which has produced a bumper crop. For that, Kachur says he is very thankful, noting he believes God is calling him to feed His people.
According to Kachur, they have been able to help a number of organizations already this summer. He notes they have already made a donation to the food bank in Steinbach, with plans of doing the same in Vita and Grunthal. They have also dropped off vegetables several times at Steinbach Community Outreach. Kachur has also dropped off vegetables at some Winnipeg churches and organizations, including Siloam Mission.
"The food banks are always short of veggies," he notes. "Everybody seems to be short of veggies."
Kachur says right now they could use more help with harvest, noting they have some big orders to fill for potatoes and could use a hand to dig them out of the ground.
Kachur's motto is 'Let's fight hunger.'
He notes with all the immigrants from Ukraine this year, and their own family being of Ukrainian descent as well, they wanted to do what they could to help them out.
With files from Adi Loewen
In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, PembinaValleyOnline encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the PembinaValleyOnline app.