Urban gardening microgrant
Published November 21, 2019
From the Autumn 2019 Issue of FECHIMM’s CitéCoop magazine, page 17.
Thanks to support from the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada), FECHIMM (Fédération des Coopératives d’Habitation Intermunicipale Du Montréal Métropolitain) obtained a $3,900 Greener Co-op Microgrant to develop urban gardening projets.
The Coup-double and Notre-Dame-de-Fatima co-operatives were awarded this financial support to make improvements, and to run some joint workshops. With the funds, the Coup double co-op purchased some wooden garden containers and pots, and began greening several spaces in the rear garden area and at the front of the building. It also purchased gardening tools for young and adult gardeners.
The co-op’s adults and children worked together on the project to create a garden in the co-op’s image, by which we mean: intergenerational, inclusive and collaborative! According to Dominic Saint-Louis of the Coup-double co-op: “We worked in partnership with another neighbourhood co-op, which proved to be a highly enriching experience. This may only be the first step, but I am confident that the initiative will continue.”
Notre-Dame-de-Fatima purchased two wooden garden containers, one exclusively for children’s plantings.
At the end of August, before the start of school, a joint workshop for kids was organized by the two co-operatives. The children made garlands to hang in the gardens, and insect sculptures to decorate the vegetable planters. At the end of September, members of both co-ops were given seed preservation training, in which they learned how to harvest tomato and basil seeds for re-planting the following year.
According to Dominique Lacroix, from the Notre-Dame-de-Fatima co-operative, “I have always associated urban gardening with human adventure. Beyond getting children interested in their vegetable gardens and holding meetings in pleasant surroundings full of plants, the project brought us into closer contact with another co-op and extended our community. Cooperation is to this project what compost is to gardens.”
“I liked making a garden in my yard because I made some friends.” Blanche, 7 years old.
“It’s fun to have a little garden in the co-op because everyone can enjoy it and it’s beautiful.” Alizé, 12 years old.
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