After the storm members of the DI helped bring a vegetable garden back to life

Pictured Adam Huebert on the left is helping Clare Sackman tend to the Downtown Community Garden Plot.

Pictured Adam Huebert on the left is helping Clare Sackman tend to the Downtown Community Garden Plot.

It took about a week, and a team of dedicated Drop In and Rehab Centre (DI) volunteers, to clear up the debris after Mother Nature ripped through the Downtown Community Garden – and things weren’t looking good.

But when Mother Nature takes away she can also give back.

Many gardens in Calgary were flattened by two hail storms earlier in the summer, including the Downtown Community Garden. The plot, which grows food and flowers, is not only depended on by DI cooks who supplement clients meals with fresh veggies to accommodate those on plant based diets. But it also acts as a community for those entering the Drop In.

A crew of working DI clients were really rooting for their patch to make it through the storm, and now after waiting anxiously for new life a few greens have sprouted.

“Stuff wasn’t coming back, so it was a lot of cleanup of a lot of work we put into it,” said Jorge Campusano, DI volunteer coordinator. “We started to notice it wasn’t coming back, so we replanted.”

The Downtown Community Garden is a place where Adam Huebert goes to get out and into the community. He’s been at the Drop In for a month and a half now and said gardening is something he’s done on and off with his family for about 20 years.

“It’s fun, it gets you out of this place, and pretty much all the people out there are the best people in the building” Huebert said. “I was living in Bowness before, I came from a bad place.”

The 26-year old said he’s one of the regular gardeners and has been watering the lettuce that survived.

“A lot of it is just giving myself and the other clients something to do,” he said, adding it feels good to give back. “But if it can go to a good cause it’s that much better.”

The Barclay Parade between 5 and 6 Avenue will be shut down Wednesday at the lunch hour for a Pop up Picnic. Volunteers will be tending to the garden while Concrete Sonata performances will fill the block with music from the Woodlands Piano.

Donations for the Food Bank and the DI can be dropped off at the event. For more information visit

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