Reducing our carbon footprint is the most important step we can take to help us live within the means of our planet, and this goal forms the foundation of all our activities. In the coming months, we hope to create opportunities to learn more and develop practical ways to work toward climate solutions that we can apply in our region.
As we face our current crisis, we recognize that sustainable locally grown food is key to providing long-term food security. On March 20, we launched the new Merrickville Seed Library in partnership with the Merrickville Public Library. The launch was aided by a generous donation from the Lions Club to buy storage bins and a seeds to get the project started.
When planting your vegetables, consider Growing-a-Row to share with the local foodbank. Last fall, our first campaign to share our harvest with the Merrickville Emergency Food Cupboard was a great success, and we look forward to another bountiful year!
The interest in gardening and brings a new challenge as we determine how best to overwinter our produce and keep it as fresh as possible. SMW would like to hear about how you store garden produce over the winter months. In particular, we are seeking advice from those that have experience with root cellars and other forms of cold storage. If you have developed or inherited energy-saving, successful storage systems we would like to hear from you and share your story. Also we are wondering if you think there is a need for a communal root cellar? Contact us at info@sustainableMW.org.
If you are interested in participating in one of the projects below, if you have other ideas or experience to share, or if you just want to learn a little bit more about what we are doing, contact us or join us at any of our meetings or events. Everyone is welcome!
In keeping with the notion of rethinking how we do things, we are connecting those who have something they’d like to repair with a fixer-upper who can guide them through the process.
Over the upcoming months, we will feature free workshops on the repair of bikes, clothing, small electrical appliances, and so much more. If you are interested in sharing your skills and knowledge, please let us know. Whether you are a beginner, hobbyist, or professional, you are needed and welcome.
Connect with Local Farmers
Access to sustainable, affordable food sources is more important now than ever. This group looks for ways in which our community can contribute to food security and connect with local farmers.
The Ask a Farmer series, which provided the opportunity to meet a local farmer and to learn more about their background and growing/livestock-raising practices had to be haulted due to the COVID crisis. However, we are planning to continue the series as a podcast to be launched later this year. More information on this exciting new initiative will be available in the late spring or early summer. We welcome anyone with experience, ideas, questions, or just plain enthusiasm to join us in supporting access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food. See Buy Local for a list of local farms.
Greening Your Lawn
We want to shift paradigms by answering the question - what makes a beautiful yard?
We have become accustomed to manicured, monoculture, close-cropped grass lawns as the ideal of yard-perfection. But why? Picture instead a plot of multicolored wildflowers, magnificently scented, and abuzz with native bees, butterflies, and damselflies. A mulched pathway winds around thyme, basil, and cherry tomato plants, all ready to harvest and add to tonight's meal. Birds flit and flutter by, catching insects and singing happily. With little maintenance (and lots of harvesting!), this yard takes care of itself and gives back in abundance.
Do you want to have your voice heard? In response to recent changes to the municipal recycling program, we circulated a petition to expand the recycling and waste management options for the Village. The Council will be considering available options in one of their upcoming meetings. We hope to have more news soon!
In the fall of 2019, Sustainable Merrickville-Wolford presented a petition to the Leeds-Grenville County Council to declare a climate emergency and create a climate action plan. After receiving the petition, the Council initiated a climate action planning process in January 2020. This group is continuing to follow their work and look for ways to support and partner with them, as well as with the individual municipalities. We are also supporting our Merrickville-Wolford Environmental Advisory Committee as they continue their important role here in the Village.
Support the Sharing Economy
Sharing, borrowing, exchanging, or providing is all part of building strong community connections and reducing consumption.
Sustainable Merrickville-Wolford is always interested in promoting or supporting local activities. This spring we hope to host a seed and seedling swap in support of the seed library. More news on this to come. Many other ideas are for post-COVID are brewing including building a tool library and organizing a clothing swap.
Initiatives We Support
Merrickville Emergency Food Cupboard
Together with an exceptional group of volunteers and donors, we have raised thousands of dollars and several thousand pounds of food for individuals and families in our community who need our help. This includes approximately 400 pounds of locally grown vegetables donated through our first share our harvest campaign. Thank you to everyone for your ongoing support in both time and donations! We hope this generosity will become part of our new normal going forward.
Special thanks to Merrickville Car Show Club, Main Street Restaurant, Herb White Automotive, Baldachin Restaurant, Merrick Preparatory School, Healthily Ever After, Merrickville Food Market, Mrs. McGarrigle’s, Nana B’s Bakery, Brockville Superstore, Flycreek Farm, Little Window Farm, Of Field and Forest, Bluegrass Farm, Prescott Food Bank and The Table Community Food Centre in Perth. As we learn of others, we will add them to this wonderful list!
If you are interested in learning more about what you can do, please contact us any time.
- If you would like to donate: Healthily Ever After, at 118 Brock Street West, continues to accept donations of non-perishables.
- Financial donations can be made by e-transfer to email@example.com, or you can drop off a cheque at the Health Centre reception. Please mark your donation for the “Client Needs Fund”.
If you or someone you know needs to access the Food Cupboard, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 613-269-3400.
Merrickville Seed Library
How to donatePlease make sure that your seeds are clearly marked with the
- Year collected
- Type of plant and variety of plant (e.g., red cherry tomato; autumn beauty sunflower)
- Any extra information that may be helpful (how deep to plant seeds, when to start them, amount of sun, soil, etc.)
Donated seeds will be collected, organized, and distributed through the library. If you have some extra seeds, we are still taking donations. Seeds can be dropped off at the Public Library or at Healthily Ever After in Merrickville.
Thanks to your generosity, the first year of our grow-a-row initiative was a great success, with about 400 pounds of locally grown produce donated to the Merrickville Food Cupboard. We are hoping for another banner year in 2021. For inspiration, check out this national Grow-A-Row website with resources and some recipes. It's never too early to start planning!
Merrickville District Trails Society: Riverwalk Trail
We are pleased to support the development of the Merrickville District Trails Society's new Riverwalk Trail for residents and visitors to Merrickville. The new trail is being built in stages along the shoreline of the Rideau River near the Merrickville Public Library and will include a viewing platform overlooking the Rideau Migratory Bird Sanctuary.
Walkers, joggers, and woodland explorers will meet shoreline wildlife and vegetation, learn about the richness of the ”riparian” area, and feel the importance of wetlands within the Rideau River Watershed. Interpretive signs will be added. The nearby public library is developing a collection of information relevant to the trail.