Whether you garden or pleasure or exercise, whether you grow flowers or food, the time to start is getting closer. I want to share the food part.

Community gardens can be seen as one cog in the wheel of Food Security. As such they are now considered essential. As essential, they do not have to limit themselves to gatherings of 5 people or less. However, all community gardens and gardeners must continue to practice physical distancing and follow the safe operating guidelines outlined by our city and the Hamilton Community Garden Network.

Every day, one in eight Canadians struggles to put good food on the table for themselves and their families. During the pandemic, that number has risen to one in seven as a result of layoffs and the economic downturn.

Food insecurity means that people are unable to afford enough good food, or that they worry about running out without the money to buy more. While food insecurity isn’t a commonly used term, it’s a big problem — and it goes way beyond what most people think of as hunger. To view the full report, visit Beyond Hunger: The Hidden Impacts of Food Insecurity

Community Gardens offer other benefits as well and HCGN provides garden coordinators with advice, support and resources. The definition of Community Gardens are spaces where plants are grown by a community to meet its needs. The benefits of gardening were especially especially appreciated during the pandemic.

  • “The garden was a place people could reconnect with the outdoors, with ‘normal’ things in such an abnormal year and summer.” – Plot Garden Coordinator
  • “Community extends beyond the garden gate. The HCGN program helps all of us maintain our individual garden communities.” – Plot Garden Coordinator
  • “One of our volunteers has chronic mental and physical health issues. She credits the work at the garden for her peace of mind. It was her happy place.” – Plot Gardener

The Hamilton Community Garden Networking (HCGN) program is run by Neighbour 2 Neighbour to sustain and expand the garden community of Hamilton and support Hamiltonians in using gardens to build the community, enhance the environment, and promote wellness. The HCGN program engages and connects community garden organizers, members, and supporters as well as the public to collaboratively build and sustain the garden community of Hamilton. They help create a community in which everyone has the opportunity to participate in and benefit from gardens grown to meet their needs. Learn more at http://www.n2ncentre.com/hamilton-community-food-centre/community-garden-networking-program/