A New Dimension of Urban Agriculture

Agriculture, Volunteering - Personal

Winter is a great moment in the year to plan the next growing season. While snow falls outside we take a moment to reflect on the highlights of the past season and where we can improve to better adapt the gardens to the needs of the community.  

Helped with the survey that was completed last year by many members of the community here are some elements that will better meet your needs in 2020. 

Workshop on Hiatus

According to your comments, the main reason for you to volunteer in the gardens is for socialization and fun. 96% of survey respondents were satisfied with their volunteering experience and 81% said they developed gardening skills during the shifts.

Because volunteer shifts have the biggest impact on the community, it was decided to focus the Roulant’s resources on them this season.

This is why the workshops series will be on hiatus for the 2020 season to make some room for a more robust and structured skill development program integrated to the volunteering shifts. It will still be possible to acquire new urban agriculture skills while having your hands in the dirt of the rooftop garden.

A Summer On The Rooftop

Summer 2020 will be rich in changes! The Terrasses Roy pilot project will turn into a permanent green oasis, which means that there will be construction on rue Roy in front of the Roulant all summer. The activities of the urban agriculture program will therefore be grouped on the 2nd floor terrace and on the rooftop garden of the Roulant.

Three volunteer periods will be offered weekly : 

  • Two intermediate level gardening shifts for skills development on Tuesday mornings from 9:30 am to 12:20 pm and Saturday mornings. On Tuesday you will help with the harvests which will be used by the Meals-on-Wheels program, while on Saturday will be a moment of learning including a specific workshop.
  • A beginner level gardening shift on Thursday late afternoon from 4 pm to 6 pm, ideal for learning the basics of urban agriculture.

As always anybody who wishes to garden at its own pace is welcomed no matter what is your level of mobility, age or experience. 

Get your seedlings ready

Marie-Anne, the manager of the urban agriculture program, selected a wide variety of organic seeds from the Ferme Coopérative Tourne-Sol, just in time to start your seedlings. Visit the Roulant General Store to see the seed selection, get advice and plan your urban vegetable patch.

Portrait of the Roulant farming community!

Following the compilation of volunteer statistics for 2019, here is a portrait of the volunteers of Santropol Roulant urban agriculture program.

  • 52% of volunteers are between 25 and 35 years old, 23% are over 55 years old. The oldest participant was 72 years old;
  • 62% of volunteers are francophones, 33% are anglophones and 0.05% speak a different language than French or English;
  • 67% of volunteers wish to be able to sign up online if it was possible (coming soon!);
  • 20% of volunteers are also taking part in the Meals-on-Wheels program;
  • 28% of volunteers have been active in the Roulant community for over 3 years;
  • 76% of volunteers feel connected to the Roulant;
  • 25% of volunteers work from 9 to 5,20% are self-employed with a flexible schedule, 15% are students and 11,7% are retired.

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