Incredible Edibles Branches Out In Response To COVID-19

May 25, 2020
By Kat Rendek

Cornwall, Ontario – Local residents will be able to flex their green thumbs this weekend with free plants and seed packets courtesy of the Transition Cornwall+ Food Action Group.

Incredible Edibles Plant Festival - 2020

The Incredible Edible Plant Give-Away: On the Road will take place this Friday, May 29th and Saturday, May 30th at ten participating locations across Cornwall. This year’s event  is a reimagining of the popular Incredible Edibles Plant Festival which normally happens each May.  The annual event, now in its 7th year, celebrates fruit and vegetable gardening at home, and has featured various activities over the years including a free plant give-away, expert workshops, and community garden planting around City Hall and most recently at Lamoureux Park.

Due to physical distancing restrictions, TC+ was forced to postpone their large gardening celebration, but with hundreds of seedlings already planted in early February, organizers decided to find a way to share the veggie plants with the community.

“At this point, TC+ has over 1500 plants and 1000 seed packets to give-away,” explains Penny Bateman, TC+ Food Action Group Chair. “With the pandemic, there has been a growing interest in home gardening, and we think it makes sense to give these seedlings away to help newer gardeners get started.”

As a first step, TC+ contacted the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and the City of Cornwall to outline the plans and work to develop some special event guidelines to ensure public and volunteer safety.

“It was critical to have everyone on board from the start,” says Ms. Bateman.  “The last thing we wanted was to put people in our community at risk.  We have a clear plan for safely giving away the free seedlings and seeds.”

Community residents are welcome to visit any one of the 10 “pop-up” plant give-away stations scheduled for Friday and Saturday.  Upon arrival, guests will be asked to form a line towards the tent by following the social distancing markers.  In turn, the TC+ volunteer will take the seedling and seed order (2 plant and 2 seed packets per person), retrieve them from the supply, and safely leave them for the guests to take home.  All surfaces will be disinfected regularly, and volunteers will be wearing homemade masks and using hand sanitizer to lower the risk of close contact.

“Local businesses have been very supportive, and we are really grateful to them all for letting us setup in their parking lots,” notes Ms. Bateman.  “We couldn’t do this with out them!”

May 29, 2020: 11am – 1pm


  • West parking lot at Pitt Street and First Street
  • Food Basics (West): 960 Brookdale Avenue
  • Home Hardware: 10 Thirteenth Street East
  • Food Basics (East): 1315 Second Street East
  • No Frills: 1390 Second Street East

May 30, 2020: 11am – 1pm


  • Short Line Convenience: 1300 Second Street West
  • Food Basics (West): 960 Brookdale Avenue
  • The Local Fill: 1515 Pitt Street
  • Food Basics (East): 1315 Second Street East
  • No Frills: 1390 Second Street East

This event has been made possible through in-kind support from the Social Development Council of Cornwall and Area, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, the City of Cornwall Recreation and Municipal Works departments, the Cornwall Kinsmen Farmers Market, the Downtown BIA, and the many host businesses listed above who have welcomed us into their parking lots.

In addition to thanking our community partners and host businesses for supporting this small project, we would also like to take this opportunity to thank all essential staff and service workers who have been tirelessly working to keep our community safe and running during these challenging times.  May we all continue to grow and support each other, now and into our future.

Event details can be found online at and on Facebook “Incredible Edibles Plant give-Away: On the Road”.



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