Our Roots

Our Mission

Our mission is to promote healthy lifestyles and landscapes through hands-on education about growing and eating healthy food.

Our Vision

Our vision is of healthy people, connected to their food, each other, and the natural environment.

Annual Report 2016

89% increased urban farm knowledge, 43% physical activity improved and more.

View Report

Description of Farm

Common Roots Urban Farm is a community farm in downtown Halifax, established in 2012. On 2 acres of land we have 175 plots rented by community members, common areas open to the public, and a market garden where we grow vegetables and flowers for donation and sale. We are located on hospital land and are a project of Partners for Care, the QEII Health Sciences Auxiliary.

Market Garden

The market garden is the heart of the farm where we grow produce for donation, wholesale and retail.

The program that powers the market garden is a partner program with ISANS (Immigrant Settlement Association of Nova Scotia) to provide employability support to new Canadians.

Commons

These are the common areas where everyone can garden in and harvest from.  They are gardened primarily by the Farm Stewards (see the Farm Steward description under Get Involved).

We do try to track productivity, so if you harvest something, please tell a Farm Steward or send a note.

The Commons includes native plants and things that provide habitat and food for native insects, pollinators, and birds. 

Community Garden Plots

Groups and individuals can rent a community garden plot for $40 annualy to grow whatever they want, as long as its legal. 

We have 175 plots available.  25 are available at a reduced rate for low income individuals, due to the generosity of other community gardeners that PayItForward with a charitable donation.

Core Team

Jayme Melrose

Jayme Melrose was raised feral in the boreal forest of northern BC, by European parents who firmly believed in self-sufficiency, especially in regards to food.  She studied ecological horticulture and permaculture at Linnaea Farm School on Cortes Island, BC., followed with a Bachelor of Community Design from Dalhousie.  Since 2011 she has been the Project Coordinator at Common Roots Urban Farm, Halifax NS.

Spencer Gough

Development Coordinator

My grandfather was a Minister and grew millions of flowers at our cottage in Ontario – his “Eden.” For him, cultivating nature’s bloom and bounty echoed his work caring for his community. Our work at Common Roots brings this metaphor even closer together; the farm brings us together to fertilize, cultivate, and grow our own community.  My garden work tends to be behind the scenes – grant-writing, sponsorships, back-end stuff – but I always have the harvest in mind. What can we grow together?

Sara Burgess

Market Garden Coordinator

With a background in dance, environmental studies,  organic farming, and a deep appreciation for all things sensitive, Sara has been the Market Garden Coordinator since 2014.

Data Ram Humagai

Market Garden Staff

DataRam was born in rural Bhutan, and farmed there until he was 18.  Then, their communities were forced to leave and spent 20 years in a refugee camp in Nepal.  There he practiced growing food in challenging situations.  He arrived in Halifax in 2012 and became a Canadian Citizen in 2015.  A Deep Roots alumni, DataRam has been involved with Common Roots since 2014.

Nicola Parker

Communications & Outreach

One of my fondest memory of childhood was raiding the sweet peas from our backyard garden. I had forgotten how awesome it was to grow and to eat my own food until I visited Halifax’s Urban Farm a few years ago.  I’m now an avid kale gardener, and the lucky one who gets to promote the Farm and share its wealth of stories with the public.  Wanna get your hands dirty and plant some seeds?

Karen Guenther

Plot Coordinator

From Boston, from the world of interior design, also involved in the Public Gardens,