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Common Roots Urban Farm

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Common Roots Urban Farm (CRUF) is a hybrid garden and productive green space in Halifax. Its mission is “to promote healthy lifestyles and landscapes through hands-on education about growing and eating healthy food.”

CRUF began on unused greenspace adjacent to Halifax’s largest hospital and grew to more than 200 community garden plots, a vegetable and flower farm, and a therapeutic garden for hospital patients, staff, and the community before relocating in 2019. Another Common Roots farm was established at the Nova Scotia Hospital in Dartmouth. Both sites are considered part of the public health infrastructure in Halifax Regional Municipality as their programs help develop positive wellbeing.

CRUF also fosters economic and social inclusion among newcomers to Canada. People such as Imelda Nduwimana, who is originally from Burundi and came to Canada five years ago via a Tanzanian refugee camp. Imelda identified the importance of the connection between culture and food at the garden. Her expertise in farming, despite different climatic conditions, has transferred much more precisely than it would for a person with a background in industrial farming.

This particular urban farming model encompasses three levels of expertise and involvement: market gardens for knowledgeable farmers to cultivate produce for retail and donations to the food bank, community gardens for recreational use and self-provisioning, and the commons for people who are wandering through and want to sample the harvest. These everyday interactions are vital for a garden to develop knowledge transfer among the experienced, recreational, and occasional farmers and to promote the practice beyond its borders.

FBM assisted with drawings and visualizations/renderings.

LOCATION: Halifax & Dartmouth, Nova Scotia