Cultivate Your Neighbourhood
In 2017, through a partnership between the Foodshed Project and the Healthy Kids Community Challenge, the Sudbury Community Garden Network developed a "Cultivate Your Neighbourhood" program that built on primary school programs that had been in place for several years in some schools in Greater Sudbury. Prior to 2017, local volunteers worked with their local schools to involve students in their local community garden. The funding in 2017 allowed us to develop a more comprehensive school program that was implemented in many schools throughout our community.
That funding has now ended, and Cultivate Your Neighbourhood is now funded through a number of sources, including annual grants from local businesses, support from Greater Sudbury Community Action Networks and Neighbourhood Associations, support from Public Health Sudbury & Districts, and other local community groups.
The Cultivate Your Neighbourhood program focuses on: 1. implementing and expanding community gardens in Greater Sudbury, along with involving local schools at the gardens and 2. encouraging people to garden at their residences.
Local School Program and Community Gardens
Our mission for this program is to provide children the opportunity to be active in their communities by engaging in growing their food. In doing this, it is our hope that the students will enjoy the experience and continue cultivating their neighbourhoods in future years.
How do we do it? In the early spring, students are provided an opportunity to grow a variety of vegetables and flowers that help with bug control within their classrooms and then later transplant them in their neighbourhoods, often in local community gardens. We provide pots, trays and domes, seeds, soil, stakes, watering cans, and other assistance depending on our yearly budgets. In some cases, we have funded mini-greenhouses and grow lights for school classrooms that don't have sufficient light to successfully grow plants.
Students participate by planting seeds and growing the plants under their care. They benefit from weekly visits from a volunteer, who teaches them the various stages of seedling development and ideas for care. In June, the schools are invited to come and plant their plants at a local community garden. Volunteers assist students in the planting exercise, and educate students on how they can help to nurture the community gardens during the summer.
Many families of students who participate help to maintain community gardens during the summer. When students return to school in the fall, we finish the season’s program by cooking up a fall harvest lunch from the garden produce that the students had planted and nurtured.
The project has developed a number of resources to involve local schools in community gardens. A lead resource guide is available for individuals wanting to start this program in their neighbourhood. Contact us for more information and assistance.
On a yearly basis, the project also issues a number of resources that can be used by volunteers.
- Cultivate Your Neighbourhood - English flyer to introduce schools to the project
- Cultivez Votre Quartier - French flyer to introduce schools to the project
- Teacher's guide - English instructions for teachers participating in the project
- Guide pour les enseignants - French instructions for teachers participating in the project
- Letter to parents - English letter to distribute to parents whose child has planted seeds
- Lettre aux parents - French letter to distribute to parents whose child has planted seeds
New in 2020, we are encouraging people to garden in their yards, on their apartment balconies, in their window sills, or anywhere you can grow food on your property. We are distributing free seeds through our community partner Seasons Pharmacy. Contact them for information on how you can pick up your seeds of choice.
We are developing a number of resources to help residents garden in their neighbourhood. Check out our resources page where you can find info sheets we've developed, and other web-based info that is helpful to gardens in our hardiness zone. You can also check out our Facebook Page or our YouTube channel.