Tag Archives: community gardens

Development in Gardening

Growing Food at Health Care Facilities

Development In Gardening (DIG) empowers communities to develop sustainable community gardens improving the nutrition and quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS, orphans, pregnant women and other vulnerable populations in Africa.

Acknowledged as an international leader in HIV/AIDS treatment and research as well as maternal and child health care, cervical cancer, malaria and tuberculosis treatment and research, the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) remains rooted in approaching global health concerns on the community level first.

After being approached by leaders of their international team, DIG began to effectively address the nutritional and drug compliance needs of their HIV positive patients.  Four gardens were established at designated clinics in and around Kafue, Zambia with a specific focus on HIV positive mothers. Additionally, over 25 home gardens have been developed and will hopefully continually expand to reach more households.

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Feasibility Study of On-site, Institutional Food Production

Led by postdoctoral researchers Phil Mount and Irena Knezevic, this three-year project will look at the viability of on-site  food production at public institutions, through collaborative arrangements with local food producers.

New Directions Research ProgramProject SOIL is funded by the New Directions Research Program of the Ontario Ministries of Agriculture and Food and Rural Affairs.

The project builds on emerging production models that can flexibly adapt to  institutional resources (including SPIn or Small Plot Intensive farming), as well as land tenure models that could contribute to community food production, health and well-being –  such as Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital’s donation of land to a social-purpose business (GreenWerks) that grows food for the hospital, local markets, and food bank.

The feasibility of alternatives will be explored by:

  1. surveying public institutions to identify capacity to support food production;
  2. interviewing institutional key informants to understand opportunities/constraints; and
  3. performing in-depth site analyses to explore food production models and cooperative opportunities with existing local food networks.

Case studies and cost/revenue flows will help to guide three innovative and groundbreaking food production pilot projects. These pilots will test the therapeutic benefits at gardens on the properties of Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital -which focuses on post acute stroke rehabilitation- and Homewood Health Centre, a leading addiction and mental health treatment facility. The multiple values of the food and synergistic benefits produced from the soil on these properties will be explored at these health facilities, and also at the Food School Farm, Centre Wellington District High School’s radical participatory agroecological education program that looks to produce “critical and confident food growers and consumers”.

Return often; this site will expand organically, reflecting the growth of the project.