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Chilliwack’s Ruth and Naomi’s Mission launching garden program for Interchange residents

Residents will learn health eating habits and develop other skills as they grow their own produce
People staying the Interchange residential building will soon be able to participate in a gardening program. (Gwyneth Anderson photo)

Ruth and Naomi’s Mission is looking for sponsorship help to launch a new gardening program.

The project is for people living in the Interchange residential building, a former motel converted into supportive housing for people entrenched in poverty and homelessness.

This spring they are building garden beds on site and soon they’ll be planting flowers, and seedlings that will grow into fruit and vegetable plants. According to Ruth and Naomi’s (RAN), the project has several benefits for residents.

Physically, it can be demanding, and gardeners will gain strength as they water and weed, prune and harvest.

“Mentally, residents will benefit from connecting with nature, and develop a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in being part of a communal purpose,” said Interchange manager Steven Martinolich. “And they’ll gain focus having to stay with daily chores.”

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Martinolich said they’ll forge emotional connections with fellow residents and Interchange staff, which will bring stability and a sense of home.

“Spiritually, our residents will get to experience the miracle as something grown from a simple seed becomes a full-grown plant growing abundant fruit,” he added. “There is so much to talk about, explore, share and dig deep into concerning life, love and wellness.”

RAN is hoping people will see the value in the project and back it financially.

You can adopt one garden bed for $350, which will cover the cost of its construction, soil and seeds.

You can adopt two garden beds for $700 and RAN welcomes donations of lumber, building materials, garden tools, plants, etc.

“Large or small scale financial donations can be made,” Martinolich added. “Funds will go towards the purchase of larger items such as a garden shed, tools, rain barrels and a compost bin.”

To donate, visit or email


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Eric Welsh

About the Author: Eric Welsh

I joined the Chilliwack Progress in 2007, originally hired as a sports reporter.
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