From the Ground Up: Fit to Garden

Garden season is upon us whether we are ready for it or not! Before we get right into the heavy slugging of it though we should take a few moments to check in with our bodies to make sure they are up for the tasks ahead. Gardening can be physically taxing on the body requiring individuals to have a considerable amount of endurance, strength, flexibility and balance. Gardening can be a great way to improve your health and fitness, but taking on more than you can chew (pun intended!) may lead to injury which puts the rest of your season in jeopardy. In this post we’ll cover the endurance required for gardening and a simple fitness test to assess your aerobic endurance. 

The energy needed to perform gardening tasks can be measured in terms of METs, or metabolic equivalents of tasks. Simply put, MET values are a multiple of the energy required to maintain your metabolism at rest. Gardening comes in at 4 METs meaning it is 4 times as energy consuming than rest. Activities that are similar intensities include brisk walking, cycling, raking leaves, table tennis, and badminton.  

We can use the MET value to determine if an activity such as gardening is appropriate for our current fitness level. To do this we need to know two things; 1) the oxygen consumption rate of the activity and 2) our current VO2 max (the most amount of oxygen our bodies can utilize). The former is very simple, at rest roughly 3.5 ml of oxygen is consumed per kilogram of body weight per minute (ml.kg.min), so simply multiply the MET value of the activity by 3.5 and that gives the oxygen consumption of our selected activity per minute. For example, gardening is 4 METs multiplied by 3.5 gives 14 ml.kg.min O2. Finding a true VO2 max is slightly more challenging (and should be supervised by an exercise professional) but there are indirect and lower intensity ways of calculating an estimate of our VO2 max. A simple test that can be done on your own with minimal equipment is the Rockport One Mile Walking Test. You will need a stopwatch, heartrate monitor and a flat one-mile (1609m) walking route (a 400m running track works great). Before starting the test put on your heartrate monitor and perform a light warm up by walking for 5 to 10 minutes. Once ready, start your watch and start walking the one-mile route as quickly as possible, make sure not to run or skip, one foot must be always on the ground. Once you have completed the mile stop your watch and immediately check your heart rate. Now to calculate your estimated VO2 max you can input your data into the equation below. (If you want more information on the Rockport One Mile Walking Test follow this link; Rockport Fitness Test (topendsports.com) ) 

132.853 – (0.0769 × Weight (kg)) – (0.3877 × Age) + (6.315 × Gender (1=male, 0=female) – (3.2649 × Time to complete test) – (0.1565 × Final heart rate) = VO2 max (ml.kg.min) 

Now that you know your estimated VO2 max you can determine the relative intensity of gardening to your fitness level. Divide the oxygen consumption of gardening (14 ml.kg.min) by your VO2 max and multiply by 100, which gives you a percentage value. If your value is less than 80% you are in great shape to garden as much as you see fit. If your value is greater than 80% you can still feel safe in the garden, but you may want to perform your garden tasks in smaller chunks of time (15-20 minutes) and gradually increase over the season.  

Gardening is a great way to get active and improve many aspects of health. No matter your current fitness level, make sure to start the season off easy and gradually increase as the season progresses. Rest in the shade, drink lots of water and make sure to enjoy nature around you.  

About the Author 

E Kelly (they/them) is passionate about supporting the health of their community. While working closely with individuals in the health & fitness industry E noticed a concerning trend. Many individuals’ health concerns did not stem from a lack of knowledge, willingness or desire to eat healthier or exercise more. Instead, a growing number of health issues were correlated with a lack of access to healthy foods. Thus started E’s journey in learning more about sustainably produced foods and how to produce an abundance in small spaces.  

With a formal education in Kinesiology and years of experience growing food as a hobby, E is combining their experience and knowledge base to promote the production of local and sustainable produce.  

E is the Garden Coordinator at United Way of the City of Kawartha Lakes and Edwin Binney’s Community Garden located in Lindsay, ON. 

By |2023-04-14T13:04:52-04:00April 14th, 2023|Community Gardens, Uncategorized|0 Comments

From the Ground Up: Soil

Thank you for visiting Edwin Binney’s Community Garden Blog. We have been growing and distributing fresh produce in the City of Kawartha Lakes since 2019 with the help of many volunteers and partner organizations. To date we have donated 56,093lbs of fresh produce.   

In this short series of blogs, we’d like to share our gardening tips and tricks to help you grow your own food, increase the biodiversity of the local environment and discuss how growing food locally helps our communities. In this first blog we will explore the foundation of the garden; Soil.  

The Foundation of Life: What is soil, testing your soil, and improving the soil  

What is soil?  

We may walk over it many times each day not giving it much more than a mere glance. However, the ground or soil we trod upon deserves so much more than that. At a macro level soil looks like a mixture of various sized particles from sand up to large rocks. But look a little closer, now we see that there are also clumps of a dark brown material that holds moisture and gives off the scent characteristic of earth. These clumps are the decaying organic matter of previously growing plants such as leaves from trees or lawn clippings. On its own this organic matter would stay preserved, unchanged from when it fell from a tree or when we cut the grass. As we are looking closely at the soil, we now notice that there are in fact living organisms; worms, ants, beetles, pill bugs and much more. If we had a microscope, we would be able to see even more organisms living in the soil. These organisms are responsible for helping the fallen organic matter turn into soil by breaking it up, eating and digesting it. In addition, these organisms also eat and digest each other keeping the balance of helpful and harmful organisms in check. All this activity helps to release the stored nutrients in the decaying plant material making it available for small animals, microbes and future plants to feed on.   

In essence, the soil that we walk on each day, played in as kids (or adults) and shape into our personal landscapes is much more than a collection of various sized particles. It is a living breathing community that contains more living organisms in a tablespoon than there are people on Earth (Hoorman & Islam, 2010). Soil is a community that works together to clean up, recycle and repurpose previously growing organic matter in order to support the continued growth of future organisms.  

Though there is not a universally agreed upon definition of soil we have defined it for the purposes of our discussion here as; a complex and diverse community including macro and microscopic organisms, various sizes of rock particles and decaying organic matter that support life cycles above and below its surface.   

How do we know if our soil is good to start a garden?  

Though our soils at home and even at EBCGs may be able to support the growth of grasses and some perennial flowers, bushes or trees we may have difficulty growing plants for food as these plants typically need slightly different conditions than what is already growing in the area. You could of course just turn over a section of your lawn and plant edible plants or their seeds into this soil but getting a decent harvest would have similar results to throwing darts with your eyes closed and hoping to hit a bullseye.   

To help you understand the structure of your soil, its ability to hold or drain water, and its potential ability to support the growth of your crops, tests should be completed prior to planting. These tests can range from simply looking at and feeling the soil to collecting a sample of soil and shipping it to a company to perform a complex analysis. And of course, these tests range in cost from free to hundreds of dollars, so keep a budget in mind as growing for yourself or neighbors likely won’t require very expensive and complicated tests.  

Simple tests can be completed with items and materials that you likely have at home already. The first involves simply digging up a sample of soil in an area where you would like to grow some plants. Evaluate the consistency of the soil. Is it loose or hard? Does it feel fine and smooth or is it coarse/gritty? Describe the color of the soil. Is the soil dry, damp or wet? Does the soil have visible decaying organic matter and living organisms?  

Soils that are loose usually have good drainage and allow plant roots to grow deep into the ground, increasing the root surface area enabling the plant to absorb more water and nutrients. Harder soils tend to hold water longer or create areas in the garden prone to flooding which can drown and rot our crops. Similarly, soils that are coarse or gritty contain more particles of sand which helps with improving drainage while soils that feel very fine/smooth or silky consist of silt and clay which have more surface area to hold onto moisture. Good soil should have a mix of these substances that allow it to hold enough moisture for plants to use but also drain fast enough to not drown the plants.   

The color of the soil can also give you an idea of its composition. Clays typically are found in light brown, gray and red. Sands also come in shades of brown from light to dark. Organic matter usually appears as a very dark brown or black substance.   

A slightly more complex test using a mason jar can give you a more accurate description of the composition of your soil. Using a hand trowel, dig up a sample of soil from the top 10 cm of your potential garden area. Place this sample in a mason jar, aim to fill the jar with 10 cm of soil. Fill the rest of the jar with water and place the lid on top. Shake the contents of the jar for one to two minutes then let the jar sit undisturbed for 24 hours. Over the course of 24 hours the soil particles will sort and settle themselves into layers on the bottom of the jar. From the bottom to the top of the sample the layers will consist of 1) sand, 2) silt, 3) clay and 4) organic matter. The substances that make up the soil (sand, silt, clay, organic matter) all have different densities meaning that after being shaken in the jar they fall through the water at different rates thus we see the sorting and layering effect. Now you can use a ruler to measure the thickness of each layer then divide that by the total thickness of the sample to calculate the percentage of each substance present.   

These two simple tests can give us valuable information about our soil’s texture (percent of sand, silt, clay and O.M.) as well as whether it is currently able to support life. To grow edible crops though, it is helpful to know what elements are present and may be available to our plants. There are three elements that plants need in large quantities, you have likely seen these on fertilizer packaging as N-P-K, they are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Plants also need other elements and minerals from the soil but in smaller amounts, we refer to these as trace elements/minerals. This is where testing the soil can get quite expensive. Many garden and hardware stores sell simple home chemical tests that can give you a vague idea of how much of the macro elements (N-P-K) your soil contains. These are fine for home use but are limited as they typically consist of a color changing chemical that you compare with a key provided with the kit that gives you a value range for the given nutrient. More expensive tests can be performed by universities and private labs, for a larger cost, with the equipment to analyze the samples and provide more detailed results in percentages. Another limitation of the home test kits is that they don’t test for the trace elements/minerals.   

Finally, plants also grow in soils that have various pH levels. Most vegetables and fruits do just fine in neutral soils while others (like Blueberries) prefer soils that are slightly more acidic. A quick refresher on the pH scale. The scale is measured from 1 to 14, 7 is neutral while less than 7 is acidic. The pH scale is a logarithmic scale that measures the amount of hydrogen (H+) ions in a substance, in our case the soil. For every whole number decrease on the scale the acidity level is increased 10 times. So why do we want to know the pH level of our soil? Some plants like Blueberries mentioned above need higher concentrations of H+ in order to absorb nutrients from the soil. So, while our previous tests may indicate that our soil contains suitable levels of N-P-K, we may struggle to grow Blueberries if we don’t know the pH of the soil.   

Testing the pH of our soil at home is fairly easy. Many of the kits that are available for testing the N-P-K values also come with a chemical test that will give a value range for the pH. Simply add a sample of soil to the provided test tube, add pH indicator provided, fill the test tube with water and shake. The solution will change color and you can use the key provided to identify the pH of your sample. Digital pH test units are also available at garden and hardware stores. To use these, you will need to mix a sample of soil with some water in a mason jar (we’ve already got that prepared from our earlier test!). Now take a sample of the water from the mason jar and place it into a separate container. Place the metal probe of the pH test unit into the sample solution and a digital value will be provided.   

Improving the soil  

Now that we have gotten personal with our soil and collected a bunch of data about its texture, fertility and chemical composition, how do we use this information to help us improve our soil for growing food?  

Let’s look at soil drainage first. If growing in the ground, as opposed to in containers or raised beds, the most common issue you will face is slow drainage. This results in water logging of the soil which displaces oxygen and drowns the roots of the plants and causes rot. There are mechanical and (let’s say) “natural” ways of dealing with slow drainage and its cause.   

Slow drainage is likely caused by soils that are high in clay or soil that has been compacted by foot traffic or heavy machines traveling on top. Whichever the case mechanical methods most often used in home gardens to improve this issue are tillage, digging with a spade, or broad forking. Tilling, though very common, is something we want to avoid. In the short term it does a wonderful job of mixing the sub-soil layers with the topsoil temporarily improving drainage. Over time continued tillage results in compaction of deeper layers of soil. There’s no need to be dogmatic with this rule, as a single tillage event to start a garden is unlikely to result in severe negative effects. The key is to limit its usage. Digging with a shovel or spade is similar, albeit a much slower version of tilling. It’s also very labor intensive if you are starting a sizable garden. A tool called a broad fork is often used in organic and no-till market gardening. Broad forks are used to penetrate, separate and slightly lift compacted soils to allow water, air, soil organisms and plant roots to migrate into the deeper layers of soil. Broad forking or forking with a pitchfork is the recommended mechanical method of alleviating soil compaction and drainage issues in our gardens.   

“Natural” methods of coping with compacted soil take a little longer to work than mechanical methods, but also contribute to building a healthier and more diverse soil environment. If you live in an area that experiences true winter, water that has penetrated the soil through wormholes, broad fork holes, or root spaces will freeze and expand pushing chunks of soil apart and breaking up some compaction. Another “natural” method is to use cover crops. Cover crops are simply plants that we can grow in our gardens that we don’t intend on harvesting but help keep the soil covered and support biological life under the surface. Forage radish (also known as tillage radish or daikon radish) grows large and long tap roots that are very effective at breaking up compacted soil and can be included with a mix of other cover crops to compound this benefit with the benefits of others. More info on cover cropping will be included in an upcoming article.  

From our soil fertility tests we now have an idea of how much nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus (the three most important plant nutrients in soil) are available for our crops. As with anything else in life we can make this process as simple or complex as we desire. If you are so inclined and have received detailed chemical analysis of your soil from a scientific lab you could calculate exactly how much of each nutrient you need to add based on your garden’s surface area. That’s too complicated for me as I would rather spend more time planting than solving the required math problems. Fertilizing in this method also runs the risk of over fertilizing which can lead to the excess chemicals being washed away with heavy rains polluting natural ecosystems. Look up algal blooms and fertilizer contamination for more information. Rather than using synthetic or refined organic fertilizers, slow-release organic fertilizers are available and are made with by-products of organically grown crops such as alfalfa, cottonseed meal, peanut meal, and soybean meal just to name a few. As the name suggests the fertilizers release their nutrients slowly, feeding the plants and microorganisms for a prolonged period. As suggested earlier cover crops are handy to use for improving soil and can be used beyond breaking up compacted soils. For example, plants in the legume family (beans, peas and clovers) create a symbiotic relationship with certain types of bacteria in soil. The bacteria can take nitrogen that has moved into the spaces between the soil particles and turn it into a form that is available for plants to absorb. In return for this nitrogen plants provide the bacteria with a home in their roots (nodules) and sugars that they have made through photosynthesis. Other plants that create very deep tap roots are also able to bring nutrients and minerals from deeper layers of soil and make them available to plants with shallow root systems. Our favorite plants that create deep tap roots are sunflowers and others in the aster family of plants. Cover cropping is a great method to increase soil fertility, organic matter and biodiversity of our gardens and more information will be provided in a future article, so stay tuned.   

Another option of soil improvement that doesn’t necessarily fit in one category is the use of compost. Compost is a naturally occurring process that turns once living material into a nutrient rich substance and component of soil. Using compost in the garden can provide similar benefits to using slow-release fertilizers. In addition, compost creates a great environment for macro and microscopic soil organisms to live in. Worms, for example, eat the decaying organic matter and excrete nutrient rich waste. They also tunnel through the soil breaking up compaction and depositing some of the nutrients in deeper layers of soil.   


Starting a garden to produce your own food can seem like a daunting endeavor but the satisfaction and reward of eating fresh fruit and vegetables from your own yard is extraordinary. By taking the time now before planting to inspect the soil you have will save you from tremendous headaches later in the season. If you haven’t already, consider starting a compost system to help you build your soil diversity and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.  

Thank you for taking the time to read our first article in this series. In the next article we will explore sourcing water for our gardens. In each article we will be exploring gardening topics in a sequential order to help you with each step throughout the entire growing season. Make sure to check back frequently as new articles will be posted each week.  


Hoorman, J. J., & Islam, R. (2010, September 7). Understanding Soil Microbes and Nutrient Recycling. https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/SAG-16 

About the Author 

E Kelly (they/them) is passionate about supporting the health of their community. While working closely with individuals in the health & fitness industry E noticed a concerning trend. Many individuals’ health concerns did not stem from a lack of knowledge, willingness or desire to eat healthier or exercise more. Instead, a growing number of health issues were correlated with a lack of access to healthy foods. Thus started E’s journey in learning more about sustainably produced foods and how to produce an abundance in small spaces.  

With a formal education in Kinesiology and years of experience growing food as a hobby, E is combining their experience and knowledge base to promote the production of local and sustainable produce.  

E is the Garden Coordinator at United Way of the City of Kawartha Lakes and Edwin Binney’s Community Garden located in Lindsay, ON. 

By |2023-03-21T09:47:46-04:00March 21st, 2023|Community Gardens|0 Comments

United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes kick off greets new leadership, celebrates retirement, and announces new matching grant

On Tuesday, September 28th, the United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes (UWCKL) held its annual fundraising campaign kick off event at Edwin Binney’s Community Garden with the introduction of a new Matching Collaborative Grant. They also welcomed Paul Murphy as new Board President, introduced Emily Beall and Shantal Ingram as new Co-Executive Directors, and bid warm retirement wishes to outgoing Executive Director Penny Barton Dyke.

(left to right) Murphy, Ingram, and Beall address kick off attendees.

Paul Murphy, the current General Manager of Crayola Canada, has been a long-time supporter of UWCKL, most notably through the agency’s supportive relationship with Crayola. Concerning his appointment to Board President Murphy offers, “I have been involved with UWCKL for many years as a Crayolian: volunteering at the sales, fundraising and trying to support where I could… I am very honoured and proud to be working with not only the great individuals that make up the Board, but also with our fabulous staff.” Murphy then introduced UWCKL’s newest funding opportunity, the Matching Collaborative Grant.

This new Matching Collaborative Grant will award up to $10,000 per project, contingent on the collaborating agencies providing a matching amount of funds to what has been requested (in capital, not in-kind). Each application requires a minimum of three collaborating agencies, at least one of which must be registered as a charitable organization with the CRA, to receive funds. All partners must be located or serving clientele in Kawartha Lakes and/or Haliburton County. Two grants will be available in this funding stream, one in Kawartha Lakes and one in Haliburton County.

Shantal Ingram, incoming Co-Executive Director notes “UWCKL has been promoting collective impact models for a decade and a half.  It is important to look at ways to strengthen our community impact on poverty and collaboration is the necessary.  Although many collaborations exist, at times those involved need an infusion to look at some innovative tactics. UWCKL is and will remain focused on actions to end poverty and help our most vulnerable. We hope to inspire new partners to join and also further match the funds given out to help increase our trajectory of ending poverty.”

For more information, guidelines, and application please visit www.ckl-unitedway.ca/funding.

Outgoing Executive Director Penny Barton Dyke greets an attendee.

UWCKL’s two incoming Co-Executive Directors then took the time to update attendees on ongoing and future initiatives introduce this year’s Campaign Chairs Jeff Tompkins and Brian Nash representing the City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County respectively. Several staff and board members then took a few moments to congratulate outgoing ED Penny Barton Dyke on her 17 ½ years of service to UWCKL and the community before Barton-Dyke addressed attendees herself, imparting praise and advice on both Beall and Ingram as the UWCKL begins its next chapter.

By |2022-09-30T09:45:56-04:00September 29th, 2022|Campaign, Kickoff, News, Special Events, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Crayola Sale canceled due to ongoing Covid-19 health and safety uncertainty

For a third year, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes and Crayola Canada to cancel the popular Crayola Sale. Prior to 2020, this annual event had taken place every fall for more than 30 years. Since its inception, over $1 million has been generated from the annual warehouse sale and Crayola’s workplace campaign.

Crayola Canada and UWCKL Staff touring Edwin Binney's Community Garden in 2021.

Crayola Canada and UWCKL Staff touring Edwin Binney’s Community Garden in 2021.

“With the continued uncertainty, we have made the very difficult decision to not have the sale this year, as the health and safety of staff, customers and volunteers is our highest priority,” explains Paul Murphy, General Manager of Crayola Canada. “The cancellation of the sales does not change Crayola Canada’s commitment to our relationship with the UWCKL. We will continue to work with them and find new ways to support their efforts within our community.”

Our work continues with Edwin Binney’s Community Garden, located on Crayola’s property in Lindsay, where we have donated over 30,000 lbs. of fresh produce to food programs in the City of Kawartha Lakes. If you would like to support our education centre and food security program please visit our site!

By |2022-09-19T13:09:45-04:00September 21st, 2022|Crayola Sale, News|0 Comments

Executive Director of UWCKL announces retirement

United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes announced at its September 8th AGM, its Executive Director, Penny Barton Dyke will be retiring from the organization after seventeen and a half years.  “It has been a privilege and honour to work with incredible community leaders, donors, volunteers and staff over the years, she noted.  I am looking forward to taking some time off and looking at new adventures.”

Over her tenure, Penny was tasked to be a brave community leader and look at innovative ways to help agencies and the communities that we serve.  With her retirement, we are looking back at some of the ground-breaking work that has been completed:

In 2005-08, UWCKL participated in the largest (and first) collaboration of 16 small rural Ontario United Ways.  This in-depth consultative process was called Community Matters. It became a catalyst that transformed UWCKL’s approach to community engagement and development work.  Ms. Barton Dyke added, “Community Investment has always included traditional agency support. Community Matters steered us towards deeper community conversations which led us to help develop better collaborations with partners.  Essentially, it was a call to action to help lead cutting edge projects and find new ways of working with partners.  UWCKL assisted with the development of the Poverty Reduction Strategy for Haliburton County and the City of Kawartha Lakes.  It really highlighted that our work was going in the right direction but we needed to continue to look for diverse approaches to systemic issues.”

Shantal Ingram, Penny Barton Dyke and Emily Beall are pictured at the Edwin Binney's Community Garden Farm Stand located at 50 Mary Street West in Lindsay.

Pictured (from left to right): Shantal Ingram, Penny Barton Dyke and Emily Beall at the Edwin Binney’s Community Garden Farm Stand located at 50 Mary Street West in Lindsay.


Duncan Gallacher, Board President noted in his AGM remarks that UWCKL’s noted it took two years of consultations with more than 30 lead supporters and subject matter experts to create an impactful food security project called Edwin Binney’s Community Garden (EBCG).  EBCG was created four years ago.  With the help of lead partners such as Crayola Canada, Fleming College Sustainable Agriculture and Lindsay Campus and the Otto and Marie Pick Foundation it established a multi-pronged approach to food security and education. Crayola provided land and financial supports.  The Fleming College Sustainable Agriculture program and Lindsay Campus has provided skills and knowledge in planning and growing crops.  The setting has provided experiential learning for its students. From the beginning the Otto and Marie Pick Foundation has supported the initiative by providing funding for paid co-op students and young learners.  In his remarks at the AGM as his last year as President, Gallagher described their Executive Director as one of the most genuine and dedicated people he has ever worked with and he said, “I don’t feel the city will every truly appreciate the positive impact you have had on us all.”

Keeping with innovative approaches, the Board of Directors has hired Emily Beall and Shantal Ingram to be Co-Executive Directors.  Both currently work for UWCKL and bring a wide breadth of talent and dedication to the position.  Ms. Beall is currently the Projects and Communications Coordinator and oversees the EBCG as part of her duties.  Ms. Ingram is the Community Investment Coordinator and has led six campaigns and worked with many of the agencies, donors and volunteers in this role.  They both look forward to meeting with community agency leaders, donors and volunteers as they move into their shared roll.

By |2022-09-19T14:06:02-04:00September 19th, 2022|News, Staff|0 Comments

Introducing the Edwin Binney’s Community Garden Farm Stand!

Beginning Tuesday, July 26th at 10am, United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes will be offering fresh produce from Edwin Binney’s Community Garden! Every Tuesday between 10am – 3pm—or as long as our stock lasts—interested shoppers can visit our 50 Mary Street location in Lindsay, Ontario to choose from a selection of freshly harvested veggies, fruits, and herbs.

Since the garden’s inception we have donated nearly 35,000lbs, the overwhelming majority of our harvest, to local organizations and food banks to help combat food insecurity in our region. As we continue to expand and develop this initiative, fundraising for new pilot projects and additions will be imperative. The new Farm Stand represents one such opportunity for our organization, with all proceeds earned being put back into the ongoing development and maintenance of our community farm.

The Farm Stand will offer a variable pricing model allowing shoppers to pay below market, at market, or above market values depending on their budget. With rising rates of inflation affecting the majority of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton residents, it is important that we offer affordable solutions that also help our projects grow to serve greater numbers of people in our community. We know that community members with means will gladly pay a little extra to help support purchasing by those in dire need. United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes remains committed to alleviating the stress and hardship caused by food insecurity, now more than ever.

cauliflower rows

For the time being, the Farm Stand will only be able to accept cash payment, and we are always excited to receive extra donations at the point of purchase. Our weekly offerings will be posted on our social media channels in advance of each week’s Tuesday market so be sure to check in regularly with our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages to stay informed.

We are so excited to see you at our inaugural Farm Stand market day Tuesday the 26th from 10am – 3pm, right out front of our 50 Mary Street office location!

The UWCKL Team

By |2022-07-19T11:34:16-04:00July 19th, 2022|News|0 Comments

UWCKL Giving is Believing Golf Tournament



This June United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes will be hosting a brand new fundraising event!

We welcome you to participate in the Giving is Believing Golf Tournament which will take place at Wolf Run golf Clun in Janetville on June 22nd. This tournament aims to raise funds to support our community agency allocations process to ensure that service organizations in the Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton can meet the urgent and emerging needs among their clients.

Some funds will also support the operations of our main food security project: Edwin Binney’s Community Garden. The harvest from the garden continues to prove necessary as the cost of living rises and access to fresh and nutritious food becomes less available. With over 34,000 lbs. of food harvested and donated in 3 years, we must continue this work.

If you are interested to register for the tournament, send an email to Shantal Ingram at communityinvestment@ckl.unitedway.ca

We are looking for tournament sponsors and if you’re interested please contact Jennifer Bain at jbain@ckl.unitedway.ca

Thank you to our hole sponsors:

Thank you to our prize sponsors:

Aaron Hill, Financial Advisor Edward Jones

Via Rail Canada

Amsterdam Brewing Co.

Food Basics

Ice Man Video Games

Crayola Canada

Ontario Out of Doors Magazine

Kawartha Sign & Pillow Company

Fresh FueLL

Burns Bulk Food

By |2022-06-28T10:43:23-04:00May 2nd, 2022|Fundraisers|0 Comments

United Way CKL receives $78,100 OTF Grant

Earlier this year, the United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes (United Way CKL) received a $78,100 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) that it’s used to hire a project manager, a summer student, and a strategic planning consultant to help rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. The project is underway and will allow United Way CKL to prepare for change.

“The pandemic has had a significant impact on local non-profit organizations and how they deliver services to our community members,” said Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock. “This funding will help United Way CKL recover and adapt to the emerging needs of the community by building their organizational capacity and ability to deliver programs and services.”

In addition to the strategic planning process, United Way CKL will also be able to equip board members and employees with the supports to implement new approaches, improve and increase access to financial resources and develop new sources of revenue. With this grant, United Way CKL will be able to adapt the organization’s ability to respond to emerging needs in the community.

“The impact of this Ontario Trillium Foundation grant cannot be underestimated,” said Duncan Gallacher, Board Chair of the United Way CKL. “This grant has started our pandemic recovery process and we look forward to working with the strategic planning consultant to create a plan that will help us rebuild and strengthen our organization’s ability to respond to emerging needs.”

The United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes is committed to improving lives in the City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County by engaging people and working together. For more information on how the United Way is helping our community, please visit www.ckl-unitedway.ca.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector. In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Visit otf.ca to learn more.

By |2021-09-20T13:04:45-04:00September 20th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments


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