August 23, 2011 - Today, the Food Action Network’s Community Garden Tour showcased five local community gardens. Each stop showed gardeners working hard to promote a sense of community and sustainability in their neighborhoods.
At the Community Gardens, the young and old from all over the city come together and grow together, learning new and interesting techniques and skills. They are up to their elbows learning about where food actually comes from – that it’s not just from packages in the grocery store. They are helping to grow real food and in the process are reconnecting with nature and the people around them.
"Community gardening is about so much more than just the seeds and soil. It's about sharing and developing a space together, connecting with other people in your neighbourhood, and being a part of something that’s making a difference," says Juliet Johnson from the Regent Park and County Park Gardens.
There are currently six long-standing community gardens that are part of the Community Garden Collective and at least six more independent community gardens that have sprung up more recently across the city. It’s a trend that’s catching on, with more and more people realizing the benefits of growing their own food.
"Over the last 60 years, our culture has moved away from traditional gardening. We are now less connected with each other and our Earth," explains Catherine Schwartz-Mendez, Public Health Nutritionist and spokesperson for the Food Action Network. "For many years the skills and love for gardening were not being passed on to our children. It’s exciting to see this beginning to change."
One way of ensuring community food security and the availability and affordability of nutritious food for our residents, is to encourage people to renew their ability to feed themselves. The Food Action Network works with local agencies and residents to organize community food projects and promote local food producers.
More information on community gardens and other community food programs can be found at www.nwofood.ca