For many years the Green & Gold Community Garden has been a fortunate recipient of donated seeds from West Coast Seeds. Situated on just over two acres of the University of Alberta’s south campus farmland, in Edmonton, the Garden serves two main purposes:
First, the Garden is a “community garden with a difference.” It raises funds through produce sales at twice weekly public markets. All of the funds raised from produce sales — every cent! — go to support the work of the Tubahumurize Association, in Rwanda. Tubahumurize helps women who are victims of violence or socioeconomically marginalized through trauma counselling, vocational training, health education, and microcredit loans that allow them to start small businesses to support themselves and their families. Since it began, in 2009, the Garden has raised over $413,000 for Tubahumurize.
- Second, the Garden is a community garden, wholly run by volunteers, that provides a showcase for growing using organic gardening practices. The Garden grows over 60 varieties of vegetables, fruit trees, flowers and herbs. Anyone is welcome to volunteer. Typically, we have over 100 individuals volunteering at the Garden throughout the growing season, with a smaller group of long-time, regular volunteers who put in many hours of garden planning and other tasks throughout the year.
Flower blooms at Green & Gold Community Garden.
Over the years, we’ve realized that the Garden also fills many other roles. It is a community gathering place – especially on market days, when multiple generations of families come out to buy fresh picked produce and enjoy the chance to see the Garden grow. On what was formerly a vacant research plot, in summer the Garden is a beautiful and popular spot for people walking or biking through the area. For many older visitors the Garden is a place to reminisce about the farms of their childhood.
Sunflowers growing at Green & Gold Community Garden.
For the University’s foreign students and newcomers to Canada who volunteer at the Garden, it is a place to practice English and meet people in an informal and welcoming environment. Elementary school classes and garden groups come for tours of the garden and orchard. Volunteers offer Nordic walking and yoga classes in the Garden. For the volunteers, the Garden gives us the opportunity to learn how to grow food locally on the prairies. And, the Garden volunteers themselves have become a close community. That a small urban community garden could achieve so much, and mean so much to so many of us, is really quite amazing!
Learn more about Green & Gold Community Garden
Volunteer gardeners and community members at Green & Gold Community Garden.