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Community unearths garden classroom project


PEC Mayor Robert Quaiff and councillor Gord Fox cut the ribbon with the assistance of Jodie Jenkins, Conservative party candidate, his wife Shawna and their child Jacobie.

Families and friends unearthed phase one of the Garden and Outdoor Classroom Project at the Hub Child and Family Centre on the weekend.

This project, designed to learn and share from seed to table, to support children and families in the County, including those experiencing food security issues.

“The garden is meant to be an outdoor learning facility where children and families learn the skills needed to grow and prepare local produce,” said Susan Quaiff, the Hub’s executive director. “In addition, the garden will supply fresh produce to our programs and families. The garden is an essential element in our Healthy Food Healthy Families approach.”

Hub-Benefits-of-Children-GardeningQuaiff explained the garden contains numerous opportunities for children and parents to learn where their food comes from, grow it, harvest it and utilize the produce to bring fresh, healthy meals to the dinner table.

“Prince Edward County has a rich agricultural history which in the hearts and minds of its youngest residents is fading. The skills once taken for granted are being lost and our project aims to provide our youngest residents with skills and knowledge which will positively impact the rest of their lives.”

Initial community support has come from a number of organizations and individuals. Grants have been received from Slow Foods, United Way Quinte, as well as donations from a number of individuals. The project so far has also benefitted from professional support of Landscape Architect Victoria Taylor, Chef Jamie Kennedy and From the Farm Cooking School proprietor, Cynthia Peters.

“We are currently building a sustainability plan which includes partnerships with many local community agencies and develop a community garden strategy to maintain the garden and share the produce grown,” said Quaiff. “We plan to engage students from elementary, secondary and post secondary levels to support ongoing maintenance and development in the garden.”

The project has completed the design phase and is working toward the construction phase with the help of the Scott Wentworth Landscape Group. A grant from The Parrott Foundation has covered the $66,000 estimated cost to complete phase one which includes the establishment of growing beds, the outdoor classroom, locating shade and growing structures and general landscaping.

Phase two will include an outdoor stage and fixtures for an outdoor kitchen.


Children’s activities at the open house included trying out riding toys on the new bicycle path in the outdoor garden area; decorating bird houses and fairy houses; and face painting. Here, Remington Leavitt works on a bird house.

Children’s activities at the open house included trying out riding toys on the new bicycle path in the outdoor garden area; decorating bird houses and fairy houses; and face painting. Here, Remington Leavitt works on a bird house.

The Hub Child & Family Centre is a not-for-profit organization which focuses energy and resources on enriching the lives of children and their families in Prince Edward County.

Since 1989, the Hub has provided families with quality early learning and child care services through the provision of a number of programs and services focusing on children ages infant to 12 years old.

Four main program areas include the Family Resource Centre and Ontario Early Years Centre, Licensed Child Care, Middle Years and Licensed Home Child Care programs.


Monday – Friday, 7:00am-5:30pm, 10 McFarland Court, Picton
There are full and part time child care spaces available for Infants (0-18 months), Toddlers (19-30 months) and Preschoolers (2.5-5 years). Extended hours of care are available if needed (6:30am-7am and 5:30-6pm) for an additional cost. Contact
Margie McConnell at 613-476-5566 or by email at

Monday – Friday, 7:30am-5:30pm, 1115 County Road #3, RR#1, Belleville. Licensed child care spaces for Toddlers and Preschoolers are available. Contact Stacey Stanford at 613-503-1334 or by email at

Would you like to work from home? We are looking for Caregivers throughout PEC. Caregivers are self-employed, contract workers supported by the agency. Caregivers are carefully screened through home safety checks, fire inspections, police checks, following guidelines set out by the Ministry of Education, H&PE Counties Health Unit and the HUB. Contact Rachel Kidd at 613-476-8142 or email

PRESCHOOL spaces are available in September for children 2.5 – 5 years old. Cost is $120 per month for 2 half days (mornings) per week.

BEFORE & AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS are available at QE, Pinecrest, CML Snider and Kente Schools.

HUB CLUBS for 6-12 year olds begin the week of September 21st! Art & Science Club is Tuesdays and Cooking Club is on Fridays. Contact Stacey Stanford at 613-476-8142 or email

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