Community and gardening for all
By definition, a community is a group of people sharing and joined in some type of pursuit. Healthy communities have people rowing in the same direction towards common goals. A garden, by definition, is a piece of ground used to grow fruit, vegetables and flowers. Both communities and gardens have a mixture of things that come together in a synthesis of goals. There’s collaboration, a rolling up of the sleeves and space to grow, literally and figuratively.
Taken together, you come up with a community garden. That’s just what CCS recently launched in partnership with another fantastic organization in our community, Albion Hills Community Farm. Check them out at www.albionhillscommunityfarm.org, a gem of an organization in Caledon. They’ve helped us create a communal space where everyone shares the work – and shares the harvest!
Preparing, planting, tending and harvesting as a team is an incredibly communal thing to do. It’s one thing to prepare a meal together, but it’s a whole other to work Mother Earth and share the fruits of your harvest. Is there anything more inclusive to building community spirit? I think not.
Our community garden is located on land lovingly cared for by Albion Hills Community Farm. The AHCF is a learning centre actually, a non-profit farm that advances understanding of local food and sustainable agriculture through education, conservation and community partnerships. We’ve rented a large size plot from them and the benefits have been apparent from day numero uno: physical exercise; community belonging; opportunities for social exchange; time with kids and family; connecting with nature; acquaintance with different foods and cultures; a chance to share surplus produce.
Our community garden fits perfectly with our soon-to-be-launched Exchange, a new community hub in Bolton that is all about nutritious food for everyone in the community. The Exchange will prove to your kids that our food doesn’t come from stores!
Since the launch of our community garden, interest has been spectacular. We have dozens of volunteers from all over Caledon coming together to plant our crops and care for them daily. Our harvest will be used to support the fresh produce needs of the Exchange; it will also be distributed to those who are volunteering their time and muscle to grow luscious Caledon-grown vegetables. To get involved with this inclusive community garden, please contact Kim D’Eri at 905.584.2300, ext. 202.
Monty Laskin is Chief Executive Officer of Caledon Community Services. His columns usually appear the last Thursday of each month in the Caledon Enterprise