In the spring of 2019, in the context of the Sustainability Research Award and the Eric Saint Pierre Award, the creation of a collective organic garden was proposed on the Loyola campus. Receiving both awards allowed Project Leader, Andrea Tremblay to launch the mind.heart.mouth. garden in June 2019.
After a successful first year in 2019, during which a wide variety tomatoes, peppers, string beans, eggplants, peas, basil, oregano, mint, chives, radishes, carrots, cucumbers, etc. were grown it became obvious how the collective garden model can help members of the community who are food insecure.
Throughout the summer and fall; volunteers, students, people working on campus, those from the neighbouring community have commented on how much they enjoy walking through the garden and how it feels peaceful and relaxing while also enhancing the appearance of the area.
Any member of the Concordia community can volunteer to work in the garden, and as little as one hour of work can be rewarded with free, fresh organic produce from the day’s harvest that is divided among volunteers. During the school year, all extra food is delivered to the Loyola Hive Free Lunch Program, and during the summer, to a neighbourhood food bank.
This project advances concrete notions of sustainability and responds to the goal of providing food choices that are healthy, affordable and sustainable, as well as the commitment to provide the community increased access to supportive resources for a healthy and sustainable lifestyle in accordance with the Food section of the Concordia Sustainability Draft Plan 2019-2024; particularly, the Urban Agriculture section, since the work performed by the volunteers also aims to advance hands-on learning.
With its commitment to furthering the goals of the Sustainability Action Plan, mind. heart. mouth. received funding from the Sustainability Living Lab Funding Program to expand the gardens and to hire a Garden Intern to help the growing project for Summer 2021.