Creating community while growing food

Prairie Urban Farm
June Volunteer Potluck

Food is uniting. 

Eating together is probably one of the most uniting things we can do on this planet. We not only need food to survive, but most people find it absolutely delicious!

It only makes sense then that growing that food together would also grow community. Collectively, we've put in sweat and tears and become covered with dirt while we planted, dug holes, weeded, mulched, or watered. Being able to finally walk over together and clip off some spinach leaves, knowing how much work we put into maintaining that plot and ensuring it succeeded, is one of the most rewarding experiences.

Andrea and Nelsha painting our welcome sign.

One of our goals at Prairie Urban Farm is to provide skill-building and sharing opportunities for people within our community. This is to increase food security within Edmonton by giving folks the skills they need to produce food, but also to foster a sense of mentoring and community within the project. At the farm we've had people give so much of their time, experience, and knowledge already.

Iris weeding the herbs and flowers inside the Mandala. Debra and Bev staking tomatoes in the back. 

We've had experienced gardeners mentoring and giving tips to new gardeners, such as Iris (above) who chatted with me about how she conceptualizes the weeding she does in her garden. She said she doesn't call it weeding, she calls it collecting food for her compost. She gave me tips on how to make weeding less challenging and also transformed our compost area (which consisted of different things tossed in a broad area of the farm) into an actual compost heap with distinct layers. 

Building the frame of our new shed at the farm.

This weekend we had volunteer Kevin and his father, Rollie (who happens to have a wealth of carpentry and building knowledge), come out to the farm to help us start building our new shed. Under Rollie's instruction and the generous amount of time he gave to us, we were able to safely and effectively build the entire frame of the shed in a few hours time. 

We also had volunteers interested in learning building skills come and help out. Again we had a few knowledgeable folks sharing their skills and experience with the rest of us. 

Bohan helping Michael create the frame.

 Whether it's donating some extra plants they have in their garden, coming out to help out for a couple hours, or designing a new idea for the farm, the generosity of volunteers has been overwhelming. 

So far this summer has been filled with creating new connections, learning new things, meeting new friends, and laughing together. Our community is slowly growing.

We had a potluck at the end of June, so we didn't quite have anything ready to eat yet from the farm, but we still came together to eat, drink, and laugh. Hopefully we can have another celebration event soon with everyone involved with the farm, and finally eat some of the fruits of our labor together. 

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  1. Gardening is a good hobby if you have some time after your daily work. Because it takes time and patience. But if you do this in group then you will enjoy a lot.

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