This post was co-written by Omelnisaa Giddam.
The SEED is a proud partner in Shelldale Farm Park. In 2021, we embarked on this multi- year project, starting with the rehabilitation of the community garden and kitchen at 20 Shelldale Cres. With lots of activity in both garden and kitchen over the past two growing seasons, it has been a fabulous project.
At the end of October, Shelldale Farm Park held its annual Community Harvest Celebration in the gym at Shelldale Community Centre. We wanted to share the highlights here as we reflect on all that 2022 brought to The SEED.
A true community event
It was an amazing event. It was so wonderful to see so many community members and partners celebrating the amazing growing season, sharing food, smiles and folks reconnecting and socializing.
There were around 150 event attendees, including lots of kids!
The Harvest Celebration was sponsored by Richard Van Dyke Insurance. It was hosted and attended by Onward Willow Residents, Shelldale Farm Park partners (Shelldale Family Gateway, Everdale farm, Kindle, The SEED), and our amazing community advisory group who did a great job (seven community members who are on the Shelldale Farm Park Planning Committee).
A catered lunch was provided by our sponsors and prepared by the awesome people at Community FEWD. All the food serving was done by SEED staff and volunteers.
To add some neighbourhood flavour to the lunch, the Community Advisory Group prepared and organized an amazing potluck table of traditional foods made by the community. In such a diverse neighbourhood there were so many different dishes to try and enjoy, including some dishes made with food from the Shelldale Farm Park community garden!
During the event, 100 families received fresh food kits ( 4 lb potato, 4 lb carrot + 2-3 squash and pumpkin) from Everdale. The team at this community farm grew and harvested fresh food for Shelldale residents this season. Community members went by the bus-load to help grow and harvest the food several times in the season.
Everdale staff then delivered the fresh food to Shelldale, and the Community Advisory Group led packing and distribution of the fresh food to the community, creating their own distribution mechanism (from community to community member ).
Sharing stories from another great season
Once everyone had food, we all gathered and took turns sharing stories from this past season at Shelldale Farm Park. Lots of people had a chance to say a few words about the impact the garden has on their lives and families.
It was a beautiful way to close down the garden for the winter, in the company of the entire community that makes this powerful project possible.
2023 at Shelldale Farm Park
We are currently in the process of evaluating 2022 using our post-harvest survey tool. Everything we learn from this process will be used to inform Shelldale Farm Park’s priorities for the next growing season!
There is snow outside now but we are already thinking about next spring in the gardens! Hooray!
To get involved or for more info, contact:
Omelnisaa Giddam, Shelldale Farm Park Coordinator
email@example.com // 519 821 6638 X401