By Heather Cameron
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The second annual Guns and Hoses event will take place at the Taber Vegetable Garden on August 29.
“This event is to help promote the Vegetable Garden and all that it does, while also bringing in other organizations and community members,” Naomi Wiebe, Manager of the Taber Food Bank Society, said.
Andy Puskas, liaison for the Vegetable Garden, says that the garden is in its eighth year of operation and has provided up to 25,000 lbs per year of fresh produce to the Taber Food Bank, who has in turn distributed the excess throughout the province.
“The Guns and Hoses night is meant to involve more of the community in volunteering at the Garden from week to week,” Puskas said. “Organizers are trying to involve more local businesses in these weekly nights in the Garden.”
Wiebe says that this year’s event will kick off at 6 p.m. with a corn roast. The food for the evening, Puskas says, will be cooked and served by volunteers from the Taber Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and members of the Taber Food Bank Board. The music, Wiebe says, will be provided by Wild Bill and Friends. After that, she says, participants will have a chance to go out in the garden to help harvest the bounty.
“The produce is sent to the Taber Food Bank,” Wiebe said. “Anything we will not be able to utilize is shared with other agencies in Taber and Lethbridge. If there is a large amount of excess, it will be sent on to Food Banks Alberta, who will be able to redistribute to other member food banks.”
The Vegetable Garden, Wiebe says, is volunteer led and run, and is an amazing resource not only for their food bank, but other organizations in the community and across the province. Last year’s event, Puskas says, had about 70 people in attendance. There was no food or music last year, Puskas says, only a night of volunteer service from the Taber Police Service, RCMP, Taber Fire Service, and the MD of Taber Fire Service and a group from Barnwell.
“Holding an event such as this helps promote comradery and is an invitation for anyone who would like to volunteer or know more about the garden to participate,” Wiebe says. “It is a fun no cost event for anyone who is interested in a great evening of food, friends old and new, and entertainment, while having the chance to help our neighbours in need. It is a unique event for anyone who wants to participate. Help wrap up your summer with an enjoyable evening.”
The Taber Vegetable Garden is located just off Township Road 100 north of Barnwell.