Carleton Community Garden: Growing Community, Growing Knowledge, Growing Food

SVP noter: les personnes qui partagent leur histoire de mieux-être sur le site Web du Mouvement du mieux-être le font dans la langue de leur choix. Elles sont publiées dans le même format qu’elles ont été soumises; dans ce cas-ci, le texte a été soumis en anglais seulement. Si vous aimeriez vous aussi partager votre histoire de mieux-être et contribuer à inspirer les gens, il vous est possible de le faire via notre formulaire en ligne disponible à

L’histoire du jardin communautaire Carleton

Qu’est-ce qu’il se passait dans votre vie et dans votre entourage avant que vous ne changiez votre mode de vie?

The community did not have a garden up until 2 years ago, when 2 ladies from the neighborhood came forward and asked for help with this initiative. The Market Place Wellness Centre and a long time food bank volunteer offered to help get things started. Many community partners, volunteers and sponsors came on board and with the assistance of the Dept. of Healthy and Inclusive Communities, Port SJ, the City of SJ, Home Depot and the West Side Food Bank the Carleton Communuity Garden was planted in 2014 and continues to grow and expand.

Quels sont le ou les changements que vous avez décidé de faire? Quel a été le « point tournant », soit le moment où vous avez décidé d’apporter un ou des changements?

We decided to seek funding, engage volunteers/community and partner with the food bank to make some positive changes that would result in healthy lifestyle opportunites for area residents. The tipping point was when the community members approached us and asked for help to initiate a garden project. Our wellness committee had dreamed of doing this for several years, but it was not going to happen and be a true success, until the community took the lead. We know that the most successful community projects are the ones that are driven by residents.

Quels sont les défis auxquels vous avez eu à faire face et de quelle manière les avez-vous surmontés (qui ou quelle a été votre source d’appui)?

The two biggest challenges were securing land and securing financing. We met with landowners and potential funders, told our story, and knocked on a lot of doors. Support has been overwhelming from government and local businesses and industries. The key was engagement and buy-in from the community. Residents really need to be part of the planning and implementation from the very beginning. There was a huge concern over potential vandalism, but because the community « owns » their garden, they are very proud of it and very protective. We even included children from the area in clean-up and planting. They have planted Marigolds and a pumpkin patch, over the past 2 years. The garden is adjacent to a large playground and the community centre and all seem to watch over it in this very busy area. We are proud to report absolutey no vandalism, in an area that has seen plenty over the years.

Quels sont les résultats de votre démarche, pour vous et votre entourage, aujourd’hui et dans un proche avenir?

The garden has truly engaged the community. Participants are more physically active, as a result of gardening. They are eating healthier. Children and families have the opportunity to try new things. Gardeners and volunteers are planting and sharing fresh produce with the adjacent West Side Food Bank, so that residents who are living in this priority neighborhood have access to fresh produce. They even receive a healthy recipe, and/or nutrition tips with their package of produce. The gardeners love the opportunity to share with others. Children and families who are food bank clients are invited to visit the garden to see where their food comes from. Our newest addition to the garden is an orchard, which will allow all area residents, including food bank clients, to pick fresh fruit. The pumpkin patch is growing well and will hopefully provide some large pumpkins for carving in the fall. Future plans are to add berry bushes, compost piles, an herb garden and to increase the number of plots, as we currently have a waiting list. Carleton Community Garden is a local success story that can only « grow » much larger!