Friday, 23 March 2012

Sustainable Food Friends

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Photo by color line
Eating is important, that's obvious. What might not be obvious is that we have resources to get involved with what and how we eat. Over the last few years, I've had a few delightful run-ins with organizations dedicated to sustainable food practices. 

I started with a garden club and learned a thing or two. From there, I found out about all sorts of friendly groups and awesome activities that aim to help the community eat better. What follows are some of the awesome places one can go in Montreal to learn about sustainable food politics and meet some like-minded people.

Action Communiterre - Located in various NDG gardens, it's a great place to learn about organic, sustainable gardening practices. I worked with a group of adults and children to prepare, plant, and maintain food which was given to community organizations and divided among the workers. Not only did I learn a lot from the experience of collective gardening, but it was nice to sit under a tree for our multilingual potluck each week. They also offer a variety of workshops.
 
Photo by woodleywonderworks
Montreal Permaculture Guild - 'Inspired by permaculture', they share knowledge about gardening and other practical skills like sewing and cooking. They offer all sorts of community activities and are in close connection with The NDG Food Depot (another place worth checking out for learning opportunities).

Concordia's Greenhouse - Downtown, on the top floor of The Hall Building, this greenhouse is a great place to hang out and learn a few things. They grow plants for a variety of reasons (including contributing to The People's Potato -awesome!) and are very friendly. I don't have a green thumb, nor know how to make it green, but when I first joined the garden club, we democratically figured out what to grow and worked together to do it. Open to the community, this greenhouse has several projects (some experimental) and is always happy for volunteers. 

If your interests lie more towards the actual consumption of the food, you might want to check out The People's Potato . Not only do they offer by-donation meals M-F to students and community members, but they offer great workshops on nutrition, cooking, preserving, and, occasionally, indoor gardening. There's no school rivalry when it comes to sustainable food practices, the Midnight Kitchen works for the same cause and both love volunteers. Mcgill's Campus Crops Working Group also hosts discussion and activities.

Photo by rhoftonphoto
Santropol Roulant
Offers meals on wheels, kitchen and bike workshops, as well as intergenerational activities. They love volunteers and- super cool- they have a rooftop garden! 



Eco-Quartiers. In many neighbourhoods, there is a municipal office dedicated to environmental matters. In my neighbourhood, I can get free recycling bags, containers of veggie plants, and advice. They also help with an annual street party. Unfortunately, the main site is only in French, but you can also call the office for the information you need.


photo by nightthree
This is just a sampling of organizations in Montreal. There are tons and they know about each other, so one can often help you connect to another in your area. A web search will also prove pretty useful. Remember that not all sites are updated regularly, nor do they all have an English section. I recommend calling to get the information you want and signing up to the mailing list for updated information. Free and fun, getting involved is a great thing. 



Know of any great organizations centered around food and community?  Leave a comment about it, I'd love to know of new places. And- if you like what you read, don't forget to share, subscribe, or follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.

Live well; eat yummy, Charlotte




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