Halifax’s Common Roots Urban Farm is looking to move from its current spot at Robie Street and Bell Road to a green space by the Bicentennial Highway at Bayers Road.
“Once that site is approved by city council, if that can happen, then I’m going to be really relieved and excited,” said Jayme Melrose, the farm’s business developer. “I think that it’s a good site, I think it will be a surprisingly good site.”
The farm opened in 2012, but it was never meant to be a permanent fixture. It has to move because the QEII Health Sciences Centre’s redevelopment team is ready to develop the land for additional medical facilities.
Melrose said Bi-Hi Park is an ideal location because it’s close to some of the farm’s users in the Fairview and Clayton Park neighbourhoods as well as MetroWorks — a new partner organization for the farm.
“It’s … [municipal] land, it is not very well used,” she said. “So it’s big, it’s sunny, and it’s available.”
Still, the park isn’t big enough for the whole garden. There are currently 200 plots at the location by the Halifax Infirmary.
“We’re going to have to cleave into a few different pieces, but it’s big enough to hold our headquarters. So we’ll be able to have a gathering place and our education market gardens there,” Melrose said.
It’s hoped what’s leftover from the original farm can be placed at other community gardens.
$10K raised for move
Halifax’s community planning and economic development standing committee is scheduled to discuss the farm’s move this week before it goes to council.
“And so if council can pass it there, then I believe we just work with staff to get our public engagement and design in place,” she said.
Melrose said the move would need to happen in April. The farm has raised $10,000 through a crowdfunding campaign held in the fall, but Melrose said they’re still looking for help.
“If anyone can help us with offering up trucks or carpentry labour or diggers, then that would all be really helpful to get us to move all of that farm,” she said.