Some may think that Community Gardens are simply about growing healthy food, improving access to healthy food, or providing food security. While those are very important reasons for community gardens it is far more than that, it offers families the opportunity to meet others in their community and have a sense of belonging and inclusion. It brings people joy…
The gardeners of the season had excitedly gathered in late May to plant their crops. It was a beautiful picture of the world as families from Bangledesh, Liberia, urban and rural Saskatchewan prepared to share gardening secrets. In amongst the learning, excitement and community building happening in the garden that night was six year old Amara. He wasn’t sitting quietly or simply helping his mother plant her garden. No, Amara was singing – singing his heart out and skipping through the garden – running through the paths over and over again. You may be thinking he was singing a sweet children’s song from school – but no, he was singing a popular hip hop song he’d likely heard on the radio about relationships and love – something we were sure this little six year old knew nothing about – and so we, the gardeners, laughed with delight at the humour and beauty that was wrapped up in this evening. He loved it. The more we chuckled the more he would sing and run around. The interaction was all part of the performance.
Community gardens have many faces. They are often classrooms where we learn about how to plant, when to plant, and how to get the best tomatoes. They resemble markets as they provide fresh food for our families and friends throughout the summer months and if we are gifted or lucky, into the fall and winter. They are similar to coffee shops where we meet, visit and laugh with old and new friends and learn about each other’s cultures. But that night, with Amara singing away, the Leif Erickson Community Garden also became a stage, where a six year old could sing out his heart and delight our bellies with laughter.
Your generosity helps United Way work towards ensuring that everyone in our community has access to affordable nutritious food and it also provides so many families with a sense of belonging and inclusion in their community.
More food and more smiling!