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From Guerrilla Gardening to SPIN Farming

Growing food in the city

by Felix Kanneman

Guerrilla Gardening in action on the Halifax Commons (Photo by Hilary Beaumont)
Guerrilla Gardening in action on the Halifax Commons (Photo by Hilary Beaumont)

CKDU's Operation Wake Up speaks with Garity Chapman from the Ecology Action Centre about Urban Gardening in Halifax.

We talk about Halifax' community and collective gardens, guerrilla gardening hotspots, school gardening, urban farming, Community Supported Agriculture and the local food revival in Nova Scotia. Garity shares her knowledge about useful gardening resources, local workshops and events, gives advice on planting & growing, urban soil quality & soil health, and how to maintain a sustainable, organic garden in an urban environment.

Also featured: practical tips about the upcoming growing season, various plant species, and how to protect delicate plants from the Atlantic Canadian weather. Options for people on a limited time budget include participation in a collective garden and small-scale gardening using potted plants.

And if you want to get involved in urban farming and support the local food economy without getting your hands dirty, Garity recommends Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Local CSAs include Lake City Farm in Dartmouth which uses a technique known as Small Plot Intensive (SPIN) farming to grow crops with minimal land use, and an upcoming urban farm project, "The Diggers". To participate in Community Supported Agriculture, purchase locally grown food or get in touch with the farming community, check out the Grainery Food Co-Op (2385 Agricola St, Halifax) and the Halifax Farmers Market  (every Saturday 7am to 1pm, 1496 Lower Water St, Halifax).

Upcoming Gardening & Farming Events:

  • Saturday, April 24, 8:30am (registration) / 9:30am (meeting)
    Halifax Garden Club District 4 Meeting - all day workshops
    East Dartmouth Community Centre (50 Caledonia Road, Dartmouth)
  • Saturday, May 1, 8am till sellout
    Annual Dahlia Tuber Sale by Dahlia Society of Nova Scotia
    MicMac Mall Main Entrance (21 Micmac Boulevard, Dartmouth)
  • Saturday, May 8, 9am to noon
    Plant Sale by Westmoor Horticultural Society
    St John the Baptist Church (26 Purcell's Cove Rd, Halifax)
  • Saturday, May 29, 10am to noon
    Plant Sale fundraiser by Urban Farm Museum Society of Spryfield
    Captain William Spry Community Centre (10 Kidston Rd, Spryfield)

Gardening Resources:

Halifax Garden Network:

Ecology Action Centre’s Urban Garden Project:

Halifax Landshare at EAC (& soil contamination info):

"Grow Organic - A Simple Guide to Nova Scotia Vegetable Gardening" by Elizabeth Peirce (book):

"My Urban Garden" by Polly Bennell in the NSPIRG library (movie):

Open & community gardens in Halifax:

Halifax Garden Network map:

See More Green Collective Garden (Seymour St, Dalhousie Campus)

Peninsula Urban Gardens Society (Prescott St, North End Halifax & Gorsebrook Field, South End Halifax)

Spryfield Urban Farm Museum (corner of Rockingstone Rd & Ardwell Ave, Spryfield)

Community Supported Agriculture & Urban Farming:

Grainery Food Co-Op

Lake City Farm - Community Supported Agriculture

Lake City Farm Blog

Gardening Workshops:

Halifax Garden Network - Calendar of Events

Halifax garden clubs & activities

Workshop listings at Nova Scotia Association of Garden Clubs

Nova Scotia Agricultural College - Master Gardener Training Program


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