Thursday 7 March 2013

Backyard Garden Sharing Program

EcoFriendly Sask is pleased to provide $10,000 to CHEP Good Food Inc. to support the enhancement of the Backyard Garden Sharing Program.

CHEP has been the leader in community gardening in Saskatoon for many years. In the summer of 2012 there were more than 22 community gardens in the city with more than 700 plots available to gardeners. In addition, CHEP has partnered with the Mennonite Central Committee for several years on a Youth Garden Project that provides the opportunity for young people (11-14 years) in core neighbourhoods to learn to grow and sell fresh organic produce.

A Backyard Garden Sharing Program has been part of CHEP’s network, bringing together people who are passionate about gardening. However, demand has exceeded the staff’s capacity and they have not had the resources needed to adequately support the program. With assistance from EcoFriendly Sask, CHEP will be able to hire a coordinator for the program.

“A person dedicated to this project will enable CHEP to advertise the program, spend adequate time facilitating partnerships that have the greatest chance for success, provide support to both homeowners and gardeners during the growing season, and find a use for any excess produce,” says Gord Androsoff, CHEP’s Community Gardening Coordinator.

Backyard gardening, with larger plots of land than community garden plots, provides a greater supply of local food to the gardener, thereby increasing local food security. It also gives individuals a chance to work the soil, watch plants grow, and develop a greater appreciation and understanding of nature. At its best, it can build friendships between gardener and owner.

Similar programs, such as Sharing Backyards and Yes in My Backyard, are offered in other Canadian cities. Urban Gardenshare is a US program.

CHEP will be topping up the money provided by EcoFriendly Sask. “Our Board sees the value in partnering with funders to boost new or emerging programs to a level at which their impact can be evaluated,” Gord explains.

If you have backyard garden space that you are not using, or if you are looking for space to grow your own food, contact Gord Androsoff (, 655-4575 ext. 229). You can also sign up at Seedy Saturday on March 9, 2013.

EcoFriendly Sask is a small, personal undertaking, designed to inform, encourage, and support Saskatchewan environmental initiatives. EcoFriendly Sask provides an online publication as well as grants to support local environmental initiatives.