5 Reasons the BLT Community Garden Story Is Unique
As a kid I rarely ate my vegetables. Putting my shameful past aside, I recently joined the steering committee of the BLT Community Garden (Beachville, Lakesideand Timberlea), to come up with a unique community garden and make sure our gardeners are so passionate about it.
The objective was to establish a project in which the whole community, regardless of age, ethnicity or socio-economic status could participate; to encourage healthier lifestyles, provide food security for those with fixed and/or low incomes and boost a sense of community involvement. The BLT Community Garden is a non-profit organization, registered on the NS Registry of Joint Stocks.
More Haligonians, either concerned with saving the environment or money or simply for the love of it, are growing their own food. BLT gardeners, despite pride in their work, resist the idea of their garden being “the best.” Instead they point out what makes their garden unique.
So What’s Unique About BLT Community Garden?
- The largest community garden in HRM: With 40 raised and 10 accessible beds now in use by gardeners. The Plan is to build 30 more beds by 2013. Growth is our middle name.
- Exceptional pace: It took only 4 months from inception to operation: registration as a not-for-profit organization in Feb 2012, initial public meeting in March, fund raising in April, building beds in May, planting festival in June.
- Deep Community Engagement: The initial build up involved more than 100 volunteers from community, the steering committee made of volunteers and now 50 gardeners are carrying the torch. We also could not do it without the help of our partners. A long list of political figures and big business chains showed generosity with funds or in-kind donations.
- Design and implement robust business systems: membership guides, gardening tables, personal safety in the garden, security measures, Communication process with different parties. We have one of the most rapidly growing Facebook community pages in Halifax.
- Uncanny plan to evolved into a year-round program: Includes consulting, curriculum development (with consideration for learning standards), and regular on-site workshops.
The BLT is a new-born giant Community Garden who is destined to face great challenges. The Community is in full belief that every challenge is an opportunity to grow. Challenges are uncomfortable, yet the growth is immeasurable and too valuable to deny.
There are 4 generations of gardeners at the BLT Community Garden.
Come grow with us at BLT Community Garden.
Written by : Ashraf (Ash) Ghaly, Business Manager
BLT Community Garden
1492 St. Margaret’s Bay Rd.
Lakeside, NS B3T 1B3
876-4001 (p) 876-5150 (f)