Woodwynn Farms has been bought by the Province and is undergoing a shift in approach. In the meantime, a crop of garlic awaits harvest and is available at no cost to volunteers. (Hugo Wong/News Staff)

Woodwynn Farms has been bought by the Province and is undergoing a shift in approach. In the meantime, a crop of garlic awaits harvest and is available at no cost to volunteers. (Hugo Wong/News Staff)

Free garlic for Woodwynn farm volunteers

More than 5,000 plants need to be harvested

LifeCycles, in conjunction with the Farm Gleaning Project team, is helping to organize a volunteer effort to pull, trim, bundle and distribute a fabulous one-acre crop of more than 5,000 garlic plants at Woodwynn Farm.

The hope is to have the entire acre harvested by volunteers within one day, with volunteers invited to take home what they need for themselves and to share with neighbours and friends.

The harvest comes at a time of transition for the farm that was recently purchased by the province with an aim of establishing a therapeutic community on the land for people dealing with substance abuse and mental-health challenges.

The entire 78-hectare farm, located on the 7700 block of West Saanich Road was purchased after a previous non-profit treatment program, the Creating Homefulness Society, at the farm collapsed.

Under the new provincial plan there will be no housing on Woodwynn lands, with clients of the program receiving help at off-site supportive housing.

During the transition, however, the garlic is ready to be harvested.

LifeCycles is organizing two volunteer shifts on Friday, July 27 at Woodwynn Farm. One shift is scheduled for 10 a.m.m to 1 p.m. and the second is scheduled for 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. However, volunteers are not required to stay for the entire shift and may choose to come for only an hour, of come and stay for the entire day.

As parking is limited, ride sharing is recommended, and volunteers are urged to wear long pants, a sun hat, and closed toe shoes.

Folks should also bring along sunscreen, a water bottle and containers in which to take their garlic home.

The group is looking into renting the Community Action Bus to support transport to and from town and details will be available at diggers@lifecyclesproject.ca. Parking is somewhat limited on-site, so they encourage ride sharing. If you are able to offer a ride, or are in need of a ride, please send details about your location and desired arrival/departure time to the same web site and they will send out an email with details about ride sharing and parking no later than the afternoon of Thursday, July 26.

Visit eventbrite.ca/e/community-garlic-harvest-tickets-48265107235 for further information