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June 15th - Update City of Ottawa’s The Seeds and Soil Home Garden Project

City of Ottawa’s Human Needs Task Force and Just Food would like to announce

The Seeds and Soil Home Garden Project


June 2020

Are you looking for a way to increase your food supply with a home garden?

The City of Ottawa’s Human Needs Task Force and Just Food are partnering to provide seeds and soil to 3000 households living on lower incomes in Ottawa. Home gardens are a great way to grow your own food, stay active, and support positive mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Who can get a seed and soil package?

• People in Ottawa living on lower incomes or who have lost their job due to COVID-19.

• Must have access to a personal yard (can be small).

• There are 3000 seed and soil packages available to distribute throughout the community over the next 2 weeks.

• Given out by registering on a first-come, first-served basis.


What is included in a seed and soil package?

Each package comes with:

• 6-7 different types of seed (swiss chard, kale, turnip, cabbage, beets, peas, yellow and green beans)

• Soil: an amount equal to 3 black/blue recycle boxes full

• Basic instructions and links to other information on how to grow

Maximum 1 package per household


Can I pick which seeds are included in my seed package?

All seed packages come with the same quantity and type of seeds.

These seeds have been chosen as they are compatible with Ottawa’s weather and shorter growing season. (There is still enough time to plant in June!)


How do I register for a seed and soil package?

Fill in the registration form at https://justfood.ca/garden2020/

You will then be contacted by a member of our joint team to schedule a location and time for pick-up and get a list of gardening resources.


What if I have issues with registration?

If you have issues with registration, such as not having internet or unable to access the form, please email seedsandsoil@ottawa.ca or call 613-580-2424 ext. 26753 to register.


How do I get my seed and soil package?

Loose soil and seed packets are ready at sites around Ottawa. You will need a vehicle as the soil is heavy. Please bring three recycling blue or black boxes (or similar sized containers) to shovel soil into. A limited supply of bags will be available at the pick-up location if you do not have access to your own bins. If you are unable to load the soil into your vehicle, on site volunteers will be able to assist.

In order to ensure physical distancing, only scheduled pick-ups will be available.

After you register, a time slot will be confirmed with you for pick-up.


What if I don’t have access to a vehicle?

If you do not have access to a vehicle, please let us know. Delivery options are being made available from the support of volunteers and based on availability.


Can someone pick up seeds and soil packages for multiple families?

If someone wishes to pick up a seed and soil package for someone else, the person who registers must include the name and email address of the person who will pick up their package in the registration form.


Is there a cost for the seeds and soil packages?

No. The seeds and soil packages are being provided free of charge to people living on lower incomes or who have lost their job during COVID-19, through the generous support of the City of Ottawa, Just Food and Greely Sand & Gravel.


Where can I go to learn more about gardening?

Garden Guides are available free at www.justfood.ca/garden-guide/ in 5 languages:

English, French, Arabic, Mandarin, Spanish.

• Adults can ask questions by emailing Master Gardeners at: mgoc_helpline@yahoo.ca

Gardening resources for kids can be found at: https://justfood.ca/ottawa-farm-school/

• Kids can ask questions by emailing farmschool@justfood.ca


What if I don’t have internet at home and have a gardening question?

If kids or adults don’t have access to internet, you can call Just Food Farmers and leave a message with your phone number and questions and a farmer will call you back.

613-824-7771


To get up-to-date information on the Seeds and Soil Project visit: https://justfood.ca/garden2020/ or https://ottawa.ca/en/family-and-social-services/familyand-social-services-covid-19-info/resources-people-need#seeds-and-soil-homegardening


This is a joint project with the City of Ottawa’s Human Needs Task Force and Just Food. By agreeing to participate in this project, you agree that information collected will be shared across these two organizations and provide consent to be contacted for the purposes of this project

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©2019 by Jan Harder.