FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 11, 2018
HALIFAX, NS – Common Roots Urban Farm (CRUF) is launching a crowdfunding campaign to fund the farm’s transition to a new home.
With the QEII Health Sciences Centre New Generation Project slated to begin, the farm is coming to the end of its seventh and final growing season at the corner of Robie Street and Bell Road. Common Roots received approval this week from the provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) to stay at its current location until next April 2019, instead of the anticipated move date of this October.
More than 250 people attended a public engagement session in April to suggest alternate sites. A volunteer Urban Farm Transition Team has been looking into all potential options.
“We’ve looked thoroughly at municipal, provincial and federal options, and our new timeline will help us make the right choice for the farm’s future,” Jayme Melrose, CRUF’s former project coordinator, said. Melrose, who is heading up the farms move continued, “We are now looking at privately-owned public spaces and are planning to talk to landowners and developers to see if they have any large sunny areas where we could grow.”
Since 2012 Partners For Care has provided operational and financial support to CRUF, and in 2015 they started doing the same for Back to Our Roots (BTOR), a sister farm at the Nova Scotia Hospital in Dartmouth.
“The farms acknowledge and thank both Partners For Care and the Nova Scotia Health Authority for seven years of support. Together we have grown two amazing pieces of health infrastructure,” says Spencer Gough, Chair of the farms’ new transition team.
“Alongside the move to a new location came the opportunity for the farms to establish an alliance with a new partner organization,” Gough said,
“Today we are excited to announce that the farms are entering into a new partnership with MetroWorks – a community-based economic development not-for-profit. Partnering with MetroWorks brings opportunities for both farms to expand both therapeutic gardening and employability programs.”
MetroWorks President and CEO Dave Rideout said, “We’re thrilled to be a partnering with the farms in Halifax and Dartmouth. We see a lot of opportunity to integrate our programs and we are aiming to be ready to go for the next growing season.”
To help navigate the current transition and raise funds for the move, the farms have formed an interim partnership with PBJ Design, a non-profit organization that has experience managing small projects with big impacts that celebrate and strengthen communities across Nova Scotia.
“We are excited to share lots of good news – the extension of the move date to April and our two new partners, PBJ Design and MetroWorks. We are also feeling really confident about a $100,000 programming grant application we’ve submitted to the provincial government,” Melrose said.
We still need a large sunny place to grow, either on the peninsula or in the Fairview Clayton Park area,” she added. “We will need the support of the community to get this farm moved. This is what we’re crowdfunding for.”
To build momentum for the farms’ big move in April, CRUF will host two fundraising events on the farm, including a plant sale on Saturday, Oct. 13, as well as the Harvest Hootenanny Pumpkin Smash and silent auction on Saturday, Nov. 3.
The crowdfunding platform is:
The Transplanting Common Roots Urban Farm fundraising page is available at fundrazr.com/CommonRoots
Since 2012 Common Roots Urban Farm has been growing food, friendships and community, right in the heart of Halifax. In seven years, the farm has grown nearly 45,500 pounds of food, they have engaged 5,600 members of the Halifax community, and had around 2,500 visitors annually. The farm has provided land for eight newcomers to Canada to start farm businesses. Common Roots is an example of regenerative land stewardship and a step towards food security in a changing climate. In April 2019, the farm must move from its current location, beside the Halifax Infirmary emergency department, and is now looking for a new home and place to grow.