The guests of Steinbach Community Outreach are planting an orchard.
Outreach Board Member Eric Rempel says he noticed some free space behind the Steinbach Mennonite Church where the organization is run. He figured the area could be used to plant fruit trees and asked any available Outreachpatrons to come join him.
Ben Reimer was one of three guys who showed up Thursday afternoon for the inaugural groundbreaking.
“It was a nice day outside and I had nothing else to do so I figured why not do something with friends and for the community?”
For another guest, Josh Delaronde, tree planting was a first time experience.
“It’s something different. This was my first time being in a garden so it was awesome.”
Meanwhile, the third volunteer, Sid Kitching, feels it was great to help out with something that can benefit others. “We’re actually planting this orchard for the community, so once everything bears fruit, people can come pick totally for free.”
Rempel says the tree planting will carry on almost weekly as spring turns into summer. His crew of Outreach guests planted six medium-sized trees on day one and he hopes to cover an area of roughly 1000 square meters by the time the season is through.
Rempel admits that the whole process is fun but believes gardening can teach good work habits, build camaraderie, and act as a stress relief for guests who do not get outside much.
“We certainly believe in gardening as a hobby that is more than merely a way of occupying your time,” offers Rempel.
“What gardening does is remind us that we are part of nature and that we can work together with nature in order to get the things we need for life.”
Rempel says digging in the dirt alongside some of the Outreach guests was a lot of fun and he looks forward to building that community as both the group of gardeners and the orchard itself continue to grow.