Green & Gold Springs Back to Life

The little garden that does so much is looking for volunteers!

The volunteer gardeners at the Green & Gold Community Garden, on the University of Alberta South Campus, are making plans for our fifteenth gardening season! The garden is an initiative of the University’s School of Public Health and Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences. The garden is totally volunteer-run and we have benefitted from the generosity of many supporters through donations. 

The vegetables, herbs and flowers are “spray-free” (no pesticides or artificial fertilizers are used). Anyone is welcome to purchase their vegetables at the garden and all the money raised goes to the Tubahumurize Association, a non-profit organization that provides socially-and economically-marginalized women in Rwanda with vocational training, counselling, life-skills coaching, health care education, and opportunities for sustainable income-generating activities. Most individuals who benefit from Tubahumurize are genocide survivors and many are widows or orphans, HIV infected, and survivors of physical and sexual violence. To date, the garden has raised over $450,000 for the Tubahumurize project (includes donations and garden/craft sales). 

In recent years, we have been making the transition to alternative gardening methods to grow our vegetables, herbs and flowers. Some of these methods include low-till gardening, creation of permanent beds with pathways between them to avoid compaction, use of cover crops, alternative mulching, composting and weed management techniques, and succession planting. The amendments we have made to our soil in recent years has improved the production and quality of our produce, created habitat for bees, worms and and other beneficial insects, and reduced the human labour required to control unwanted weed production over more traditional gardening methods. This has freed up valuable time for our volunteers to learn about planting, managing crops and focusing on community building activities in the garden. 

We are now gearing up for the 2023 gardening season and looking for new volunteers to join us at the garden. Both novice and experienced gardeners are welcome. If you aren’t interested in gardening, but would like to help in other ways (distributing produce, promoting the garden, donating seeds or garden tools), please contact us at gggarden@ualberta.ca or visit our website at greengoldgarden.com. 

If you would like to receive garden emails when produce from the garden is available this summer, please send us an e-mail at the above address with a request to be added to the email list.

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