Our mission is to promote healthy lifestyles and landscapes through hands-on education about growing and eating healthy food.
Our vision is of healthy people, connected to their food, each other, and the natural environment.
Common Roots Urban Farms
Common Roots BiHi Park was established in 2019 and is located at the bottom of Bayers Rd, across from the Bayers Road Centre. In a short time this small, underused triangle of land has become a lively and thriving ecosystem of people, plants and creatures with community garden plots, common garden beds and market garden beds. We run community programming, skills development and educational programs and grow flowers and veggies for sale and donation.
Common Roots-Woodside is an urban farm situated on the grounds of the Nova Scotia Hospital, which serves mental health and addictions patients. We use gardening as a way to promote physical, mental and environmental health. We offer skills training and educational workshops on growing vegetables; make healthy food more accessible to hospital clients, staff and the surrounding community; do gardening programming with clients at the hospital; and create a space for growing food and flowers that is supportive and welcoming.
Common Roots Urban Farm is a project of:
Our first site: Common Roots Urban Farm, Bell & Robie
Common Roots Urban Farm 2012 to 2019
Common Roots Urban Farm was established in 2012 as interim land use on hospital land in downtown Halifax. On this 2 acre site we grew in 195 community plots, common areas open to the public, and a market garden that produced vegetables and flowers for donation and sale. Over seven years this site became a lively and thriving ecosystem in the middle of the city. Here, we inspired our city (and ourselves, really) with what we can grow together in a few short years. In 2019 this site moved to make way for the hospital expansion.
Staff: Core Team
Sara Burgess (she/her)
Coordinator, Common Roots Urban Farm BiHi
Located at the bottom of Bayers Rd across from the Bayers Road Centre
Sara has a background in contemporary dance, environmental studies and organic farming. She began working with Common Roots Urban Farm in 2013 as ‘Farmer’ on the first site at Bell Rd & Robie St. She developed the farm’s Deep Roots Program and now coordinates the new BiHi site.
Hillary Lindsay (she/her)
Coordinator, Common Roots Urban Farm Woodside
Located at the Nova Scotia Hospital in Dartmouth
Hillary had a background in independent media, organic vegetable farming and community organizing. She loves working with people outside, and believes that growing, harvesting, and eating food together leads to better individual, community and environmental health.
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. From 2011-2018 she was the Project Coordinator at Common Roots Urban Farm, Halifax NS.
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?
Common Roots has been built by volunteers, both at our farm sites and in our Core and Advisory Teams. We are so grateful for the many, many hands and hearts that have gone into building these thriving and productive community green spaces.
Though we can’t name everyone, here are a few of the faces that have made Common Roots Urban Farms what they are: