People overseeing the P.E.I. Farm Centre's Legacy Garden say it is "really struggling" with the dry weather the region has experienced this summer.
The garden is on 8.5 acres of farmland and 160 community plots in downtown Charlottetown. Two acres of this is reserved for the Goodwill Garden, which supplies food to local charities.
The Goodwill Garden project usually ends up with about 20,000 pounds of produce to donate in a good year. General manager Phil Ferraro said they will be lucky to get 1,000 pounds this year.
"We're just really hurt in that way," he said. "From what I understand talking to other farmers … Island wide, we just really need rain."
No rain and hurting
Ferraro said they have a good crop of garlic, because it was heavily mulched and planted last fall. The same goes for the berry season.
"The berries ripen before it really got dry, but things that we started from seed late spring just did not have an opportunity to germinate," he said.
"The food banks ... we haven't brought any food to them at all this year."
The crops are just dying in their fields. — Phil Ferraro
Ferraro said they had to buy cucumber transplants when the seeds did not germinate, something they never have to do, and they're really hurting for winter squash.
"I made some calls thinking, well, our production is so low, maybe we can continue to meet our obligations by taking our staff and going out and harvesting at other farms in exchange for some of the food that we harvest," he said.
"The response I got was that they were in the same boat and that the crops are just dying in their fields as well."
The garden also transplanted strawberries this week to expand the product. Ferraro said even though the crops looked quite healthy, it was shocking how dry they were.
"There was absolutely no moisture in the roots, like, I don't know how these plants are alive really."
Legacy Garden head gardener Leah Collett said having little food to donate toward food security initiatives is very disheartening.
"When I started here, that was something I was really excited about, to be able to help people in need and be able to give to local charities I volunteered at in the past," she said.
"Just to see that possibility slipping away with no rain, yeah... it's really sad."
Ferraro said going two or three weeks without rain usually makes farmers a little nervous.
"Now we've gone six, seven, eight weeks without any significant rain," he said.
"Pray for rain."
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