Volunteers of all ages rolled up their sleeves Sunday to help the Dartmouth North Community Food Centre expand the infrastructure of their community farm.
“There’s a lot of interest in the farm here in the community. We have a lot of plots, individual plots for families and community members,” Deborah Dickey, manager of the Dartmouth North Community Food Centre, said. “We always have a wait list, so the community is really interested in gardening, they just need the space to do it.”
The farm started almost two years ago with the idea of growing fresh produce and keeping it in the community.
Volunteers give their time and energy to build the farm and tend to the vegetables.
“With the community beds here, you grow your own vegetables, you can grow whatever you want, you can take care of whatever you want. So, you don’t only get vegetables but you can take pride in what you grow as well,” volunteer Jason Heffler said.
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Access to fresh food is difficult for many people in the city, especially in north Dartmouth.
A 2015 report by Food Counts Halifax Food Assessment found food insecurity is a serious and growing concern in the municipality.
Organizers say the farm is one way to help address food insecurity.
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“When we talk to people in the community, they tell us that they struggle to have good food to eat on a consistent basis. So, it’s a real issue for people,” Dickey said.
“Lots of folks are choosing between paying rent and buying food and those sorts of things. With the increased cost of food over the past decade really, that situation has just gotten you know, more dire.
Organizers say the goal is to continue growing the farm so it can serve even more people in the community.