Turning Our Field Into a Farm
The Dartmouth North Community Farm at 6 Primrose St. is gearing up for its first full season of work this year. We've got an ambitious three-year plan to turn the 20,000 square-foot field outside the Community Food Centre into a working farm.
When the season is finished we hope to have completed 1/3 of the work needed to meet our community-inspired farm design. Through the hard work of people from the community this year we’ll have a green house, 10 to 12 new fruit trees, berry beds, 10 new farm rows, 20 new community plots and the beginnings of our secret forest playground.
When designing our farm we aimed to make our space as inclusive as possible to all skill levels, abilities, and interests. This is reflected in the diversity of components in our design. Our approach to making this space a reality is guided by the saying “for the people by the people” this means the community does the hard work needed build this farm and in doing so they also build ownership over their community, the farm and its production. The people who will be involved will become a part of transformative process that will reshape the face of their community, on their terms, forever.
Our goal is to create a space that inspires, where people learn from the land, plants and each other while enjoying fresh healthy food.
People will be able to grow their own food in their own garden plots supporting themselves and others. Work parties will grow food for the food centre's community meals and programming. The empowerment of growing your own food can be invigorating; growing food for other people is profoundly fulfilling. We’ll have food for passersby, and space for children to grow and learn. All the while increasing the food security and knowledge of food systems in our community.
When it’s all said and done the farm will be a destination in the community that people will go out of their way to walk through and enjoy. We will strive for the farm to be beautiful as well as functional in the years to come.
We need many hands, hearts and minds to make this plan a reality and there are many different ways to get involved. Check out our program calendar for dates and times for our farm drop-ins or Farm Fit Fridays. You can support the farm by donating online or get in touch with us if you have tools, equipment or gardening books you'd like to contribute.
Rob MacNeish is the Community Farm Coordinator at the Dartmouth North Community Food Centre.