Garden at Fritz teaches kids to give back to their community


by Rhonda Massad

The Fritz Farm Youth Gardening Program (FFYGP) gives freshly grown produce to local food banks. This week they delivered organic, pesticide free tomatoes, beans, and peppers, all grown at Fritz Farm in Baie D’Urfé, to local food banks.

“Over the past four years, it’s been very rewarding to work outdoors together with a great group of volunteers and to realize that the gardening program is helping to fulfill a real need for those less fortunate who don’t have steady access to fresh fruit and vegetables,” Brian Manning, a local town councillor who founded the Garden at Fritz program along with Daja Vodanoic and Isabelle-Anne Bisson explained. “We have involved youth of all ages in the program over the past four years. It is very satisfying to see the youngsters participating, learning and enjoying themselves in the garden throughout the growing season. My fellow members of council had confidence and fully supported the Fritz Farm Youth Gardening Program initiative when I first proposed the idea during the 2013 budget meetings.”Brian Manning, Baie D'Urfé, Garden At Fritz, On Rock, West Island Mission, West Island Blog, West Island News, Rhonda Massad

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“There are approximately 30 youths who have participated in the program this year alone and probably a hundred or so over the last four years,” he explained.

According to Manning, the adult members who regularly participate in the program number around a dozen or so and the citizens who wish to receive our weekly e-mail updates number around 80.

West Island Blog readers have a special invite!

For any of the West Island Blog’s viewers who may wish to review our website or participate in the program they may do so by the gardening program’s website at

“This past Saturday we harvested about 150 pounds or so of fresh produce, two types of squash, beans, tomatoes and some celeriac,” manning continued. “We meet at the garden located just to the west just behind the Fritz Farm Community Center located at 20477 Lakeshore Rd. every Wednesday at 4 pm and Saturday mornings at 9 am as well….”

The volunteer philosophy has always been notable in the Town of Baie D’Urfé. This program where youth grow food and pay it forward to those in need in the community goes hand in hand with the Town’s need to give back. In recent years FFYGP has helped community organizations such as West Island Volunteer Bureau, Meals on Wheels, On Rock Community Services, West Island Mission, St. Columba by the Lake Food Ministry and West Island Assistance Fund.

Brian Manning, Baie D'Urfé, Garden At Fritz, On Rock, West Island Mission, West Island Blog, West Island News, Rhonda Massad