You may have noticed that in the Santropol Roulant urban agriculture volunteer callout this year, that there is no gardening on McGill’s edible campus.
The Edible Campus has been part of the urban agriculture program of Santropol Roulant for more than 10 years. Its use has evolved over time, in the beginning, it offered produce for our markets before fulfilling a role exclusively focused on education, similar to the urban agriculture program of the Roulant. Last year we announced some of those changes within our urban agriculture program.
This year we are taking a new step forward by transferring the gardens of McGill’s Edible Campus back to the university’s student community. This moment seems appropriate for us to transfer back to McGill, gardens that are mature and fertile, part of the daily life of students, the fabric of the campus, and the modern history of urban agriculture of Montreal.
On one hand, Santropol Roulant is ready to focus on the extensions of its gardens around our building, with the addition of the elevator and the installation of the Roy street terraces, and on the peri-urban farm of Senneville. On the other hand, several McGill student associations had expressed interest in taking charge of the campus gardens.
A page turns
It was at McGill where we first planted in the earth instead of bins. It was at McGill where we became leaders in urban agriculture when we were just branching out as an artisanal meals-on-wheels. It was at McGill where we found a dedicated community of students who got involved in all our programs. As well as academics, who helped us understand our actions in social change and why our programs were so successful and how we can inspire the next generation.
Importantly, McGill gave us space, a platform, the exposure, and a community. Since then our capacity to nourish and inspire Montrealers has grown tenfold.
Our gratitude to all our partners and friends who helped us build all of this is eternal.
Stay engaged at McGill
We are happy to now share this privilege with younger groups, who need these gardens to develop their impact just as we needed them in our time. This summer, the Midnight Kitchen student community will cultivate the Edible Campus. It is a collective kitchen that distributes food for free to its community. Santropol Roulant will continue this year to mentor the campus for a smooth transition, in collaboration with McGill Office of Sustainability. We hope you will share our enthusiasm for this new step.
If you are interested in continuing your involvement in the McGill Edible Campus, write to Midnight Kitchen at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations! Santropol has always been a leader in community development. I remember when the garden at McGill first launched; giving it back is the logical last step in the legacy; on to other projects! Well done as always!