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Sudbury Shared Harvest workshops focus on cold-hardy crops

'Even if you’re an experienced gardener, there’s opportunities to learn something new'
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Learn to grow food in your own yard or in a local park this fall with a series of workshops offered by non-profit group Sudbury Shared Harvest. 

If you’re a senior, there’s a bonus: the workshops are free for those over the age of 55.

Colleen Zilio, a board member with Sudbury Shared Harvest, and one of the seniors involved in the project, explains that the workshops are open to all, but they are targeting seniors this year as part of a project supported by a $23,000 grant from the federal government’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.

“The project is enabling us to reach out to a lot of people who weren’t involved with our activities until now,” Zilio said, in a press release. 

“The workshops really serve two purposes: building food literacy skills and building our roster of volunteers who can teach those skills to others.”

There’s something for people of all gardening abilities, from absolute beginners to the more experienced.  

“Even if you’re an experienced gardener, there’s opportunities to learn something new because we focus on fruit trees, shrubs and other edible perennials, and we use some techniques many people are not familiar with,” she said. “The main goal is to have seniors become garden leaders who can then pass along the new skills and knowledge they gain through working with us.” 

Some of the topics to be covered include how to create a strawberry patch from a few plants, caring for cold-hardy fruit trees and how to create a garden from “second-hand plants.” 

Some, but not all, workshops will take place at the Delki Dozzi Community Food Forest, which was planted in the spring of 2017 and is now thriving. 

Zilio adds that several new “edible forest gardens” are in the works for next year, each a much smaller version of the Delki Dozzi one. 

The group’s goal is to establish one in each of Greater Sudbury’s wards by 2023. They are researching locations where small groups are willing commit to maintaining the gardens in the long term. 

Workshop details can be found at