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August – Who's in the Garden?

Occasionally, we will introduce some of our gardeners in our monthly posts.

This month we are featuring Ron Z and Wilf B, who have plots in HCG. Both have given lots of their time to HCG, as well as to the Abbotsford community.

Wilf is our maintenance volunteer. He has fixed many leaking hoses and repaired several of the wooden structures around the garden this year. All of his work has been done in a very timely manner.

Ron moved to Abbotsford in 2020 and has two plots in HCG and also a few plots in an Aldergrove Community Garden. This year, he has made regular vegetable donations to the food bank, from his own gardens and from the contributions of others.

Wilf B – I was born and raised in Paraguay, South America and consequently can speak many languages such as low German, German, Spanish and English.

I love gardening because it distracts me from the problems of daily life. Volunteering gives me an opportunity to give back to our great community. I also enjoy eating what we grow.

I have many hobbies. I love cycling, both on the road and the trails, as well as motocross, snowboarding, hiking, kayaking and flying.

As well, I love spending time with my wife Annie and our grandkids.

Ron Z – I was born, raised and educated in Austria. I grew up in a large family with a large garden which enabled us to grow enough food for nine people, plus use the surplus to barter or to give away to friends and family who didn’t have a garden.

All the children in our family were given a 4 square ft garden plot where we could grow and experiment with whatever we wanted. As well as growing strawberries, my aim was to grow the biggest sunflower.

All of us, according to age and ability, had to help with all aspects of gardening. Luckily, we also had several fruit trees on our property as well as berry bushes and strawberries to help us through the year.

I learned how to garden from my mom and my grandparents and I feel that gardening (putting your hands in the soil) is very good for your body, mind and soul. It keeps you well grounded.

Upon graduating from the Salzburg Hotel and Tourism, my path led me around the world. I have travelled, visited, worked and lived in over 50 countries. I have also crossed the Atlantic several times by boat.

I spent 5 very interesting years in Laos, during the Vietnam war. I remained in the country even after the Communist takeover. Unfortunately, I soon had to get out of the country and I managed to get out before they closed the border for a period of over 10 years.

The following year (1975) I emigrated to Canada and became a Canadian citizen in 1978. In Canada I had my own business and I worked in sales and tourism until COVID stopped the cruise ship industry.

My hobbies are languages because I am fairly fluent in three languages and I can communicate in two others. Reading, sailing, sport flying, flying gliders, as well as gardening and volunteering are other things I enjoy.

The best thing about HCG is the members. Everyone is so helpful and giving. I just love being there.

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