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Christine Townley is a Community Connector in Powell River, BC. The work that she and George are doing at the Potatoe Co-op was recently highlighted in the local paper! Check it out:

Tucked away behind the Community Resource Centre (CRC) on Joyce Avenue, a potato patch is growing, people are hoeing and a community of friends is developing.  Beside their 10 neat ridges of dark soil, a simple sign reads “Come Join Us.” CRC summer intern Garrett Townsend said that every week people come and ask how to get involved. Typically 10 people show up on Thursday mornings for an hour or more of weeding, digging, and hilling around the potato plants. Townsend tries to find work suitable for all ages and abilities. The children like to rock pick, and now the soil is much easier to work with. “But it is not just about work,” he said. “We laugh and have conversations. Really if 15 people work for just 15 minutes that is like four hours of work—half a day—so we get lots done too.”

Community members have also stepped forward to help. CRC’s neighbour lent them the land adjacent to the Community Garden for the season, and First Credit Union donated money for developing the soil. Donations from Skookum Food Provisioners’ Cooperative helped them to plant 400 potato starts. And they expect to have thousands of potatoes to share among the participants and to give to the CRC lunch program.

“I feel completely supported by Powell River,” added Townsend. “I found a rototiller on Craigslist for sale, and the owner lent it to the project. People who come into the CRC, especially the seniors, are a great resource. If I have a problem, like the lawn mower has broken down, I go in and talk about it and soon we are outside taking apart the mower. When I come back from lunch I am told ‘The lawn mower is working.’ I will really miss them.”  Christine Townley from inclusion Powell River (formerly Powell River Association for Community Living) said that the potato co-op is a great fit for her clients. “The people I support are often shy and feel isolated,” she said. “I can introduce them to the other people working here. We share work and then we share food at the CRC. My job is to reduce isolation and this project is one of the most awesome things ever.”

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