Sault Ste. Marie Hub - Projects

Sault Ste. Marie Hub - Partners

Algoma University logo text
Food Bank Farm logo shows text on a green banner with additional text: Since 2017, Sault Ste. Marie's Community Farm
Rural Agri-Innovation Network logo text shows three nested teardrop shapes: largest is blue, middle shows green horizontal curves, and the smallest has three coniferous trees.
A red thunderbird drawing
Logo for the People's Garden showing a hand-drawn hand holding a carrot, an onion, and a tomato
Harvest Algoma logo stating: food, skills, innovation with a green leaf and blue waves
Logo for Clean North text showing a tree and water inside three green arrows going in a circle

The People's Garden

The People’s Garden project started as a Community and Economic and Social Development (CESD) Department initiative developed in the Environmental and Community Resilience course and demonstrates how CESD course work generates real-world projects that move outside of the classroom and are sustainable over long periods of time. This project also shows the working relations between Algoma University’s student body and academic departments as the garden has always been run by students with faculty support. Since 2016, the Department of Geography, Geology, and Land Stewardship has supported the garden and made new partnerships in recent years.

five people bent over gardening in raised beds next to a brick buildling.

Algoma University People’s Garden Launch – Spring 2020

2022 People’s Garden Photos

Don McGorman, Laura Wyper, and Amanda Matthews tend to garden plots.

Photo Credit above: Marissa Ditoro

Three women working in raised beds

Group Photo following a Planting Ceremony at the People’s Garden

From Left to Right: Lauren Moran, David Thompson, Paulette Steeves, Marissa Ditoro, Laura Wyper, Nairne Cameron, Amanda Matthews

Planting Day at the People’s Garden (Algoma University)

From Left to Right: Marissa Ditoro, Pallavi Bhatia, Amanda Matthews

The Food Bank Farm and Algoma University Cooperation

The Food Bank Farm and Algoma University Cooperation was formalized with the signing of two Memorandums of Understanding in 2018. The first focuses on food sharing, whereby excess food from the People’s Garden during the summer flows to the Food Bank Farm for processing and distribution. In return, during the school year, the Food Bank Farm may make some of their produce available to the University. Additionally, students will have an opportunity to work as volunteers on the Farm and the Farm is also able to share technical growing skills with the students and University. The second agreement relates to Demonstration Projects and Funding Collaboration between Algoma University and its Department of Geography & Geology and the Food Bank Farm. Cooperation in the spirit of this agreement has already begun by the planting of a culinary herb garden at the Food Bank Farm.

The Food Bank Farm also constructed a growth facility within a shipping container in 2020 (below). It is currently producing 36 heads of lettuce, 12 mustard green heads, 75 radishes, 3-4 bunches of kale, and 12 heads of bok choy on a weekly basis. There is continued experimentation for growing kohlrabi, beets, and spinach. Additionally, the water, electricity, soil, and temperature inputs (or self-generation) are being monitored to continue learning the best approaches in the growth chamber.

The inside of a growing chamber with shelves on either side full of plants bathed in purple light

Bok choy (left middle), radishes (left bottom), and lettuces thriving in the growth chamber which uses grow lights that produce light in the red-blue range of the photosynthetic spectrum.
Photo by Colin Templeton, January 2021

A woman stands behind an outdoor stand of vegetables for sale.

Food Bank Farm early market

Building Resilience Through Food Literacy Video Project

Seven of 23 students from a Community Economic and Social Development Field Placement course (CESD 3017) worked together on a group placement project as a proactive response to a covid-driven work permit situation that developed for international students. This project then brought other students across Algoma University, Nippissing University, and Savonia University of Applied Science in Finland together to create the Building Resilience Through Food Literacy Video Project.  Enjoy the five videos below – we hope you find some new inspiration for your kitchen!

Algoma University Urban Farm Education

Algoma University Urban Farm Education, Anishinaabe Binesi Summer Day Camp ran for three summers 2014-2016 and was funded by the NSERC PromoScience Program. It was developed by Algoma University faculty and staff (Departments of CESD, Geography & Geology, and Biology) in partnership with Algoma University’s Anishinaabe Initiatives Division and the Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN). It was a day camp hosting elementary school students, and taught about urban farming and food in a hands-on format within a science-based context, and incorporated Anishinaabe culture and custom teachings.

A red thunderbird drawing
Rural Agri-Innovation Network logo without text shows three nested teardrop shapes: largest is blue, middle shows green horizontal curves, and the smallest has three coniferous trees.