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Patchwork Gardens Attract Immigrants

Jun 06, 2011 01:20 PM

Posted by Marc Xuereb

Two Patchwork Community Garden sites aim to tap into the Waterloo Region's multicultural diversity, inviting people from a myriad of backgrounds to roll up their sleeves and dig in the dirt side by side.

The hope is that the gardens will help to decrease feelings of social isolation for newcomers while increasing food diversity in the region.

"This is historically an immigrant community," said Fanis Juma Radstake, a community organizer with the African Community Wellness Initiative and co-ordinator of the multicultural garden at the Northdale campus in Waterloo. "Agriculture was a way of building community."

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on May 30th at one of the garden sites, at 90 Westmount Rd. in Waterloo, beside the Emergency Medical Services station.

Funds from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation helped to make the grassroots initiative a reality. A third multicultural garden is expected to take root in Kitchener at the site of the Cedar Hill water tower which is presently being dismantled.

The Patchwork Community Garden plots are generally spoken for this year, but for more information or to add your name to a waiting list, email fanisjuma@yahoo.ca.

-excerpted from The Record: see full article at

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CTV ran an excellent story on the this garden on Daiene Vernile's Provincewide. Look for part 1 of the June 5 edition here:



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