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Get Your Hands Dirty: How Our Productive Gardening Workshop Empowered Gardeners and Community

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Our recent Productive Gardening at Home workshop was a blast! 🪴 We gathered 18 extraordinary folks of all ages and experiences, to learn from the amazing Emily Harris of The Plot Market Garden on how to grow food in a backyard setting. With seeds in hand and enthusiasm in our hearts, we got down to business, learning about planting, composting, and nurturing our little seedlings.

But it wasn't all work and no play at the workshop. We loved connecting with people of all levels of gardening experience, ages, and backgrounds. From newcomers to the unceded territory of the W̱SÁNEĆ and the Lək̓ʷəŋən speaking peoples to lifelong residents, we all came together to learn and share our love for gardening. And the best part? Everyone got to leave with a whole tray worth of seeds, meaning that in these couple hours together, multiple thousands of baby food plants were started 🥹🌱.

The workshop was inspired by the words of Vandana Shiva, who believes that "the time has come to reclaim the stolen harvest and celebrate the growing and giving of good food as the highest gift and the most revolutionary act." We couldn't agree more! At Iyé, we believe in the power of gardening to connect people to nature, nurture community, and support access to healthy, locally-grown food. As Maddy Harland said, "Contact with the soil reminds us that we are an integral part of nature, rather than feeling shut out and excluded." With this, we felt a sense of reciprocity from the teachings we received from participants. We heard a need for community to:

  • come together and support one another,

  • implement practical concepts of accessible gardening for community members with reduced mobility,

  • consider crops that are resilient to climate change temperatures

Our gardening journey doesn't end at the workshop. The proceeds raised from the event go directly to supporting access to locally-grown food for those who face significant barriers to accessing it. We are grateful to organizations like the Royal Roads Giving Garden and initiatives like the My Great Neighbourhood Grant from the City of Victoria for their support. And let's not forget the incredibly fresh rapini from Solara Goldwynn of the Royal Roads Giving Garden, which was a delicious addition to our post-workshop meal! Overall, the Productive Gardening at Home workshop was a meaningful and successful event that brought people together to learn and grow. By providing practical knowledge and tools for growing food in a backyard setting, the workshop empowered attendees to take control of their food supply and become more self-sufficient. Moreover, by raising funds for local food initiatives, the event helped support access to healthy, locally-grown food for those who need it most. At Iyé Creative, we believe that gardening is a powerful way to connect with nature, build community, and promote food access.


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