Community Food Programs
The Community Food Program aims to create replicable and sustainable community programming that engages citizens and inspires leadership while providing a comprehensive range of supports, enabling residents of Hillhurst Sunnyside and beyond to achieve a sustainable livelihood through the support and assets of a resilient and connected community.
We are proud to be a Good Food Organization working towards a healthy and fair food system in alliance with Community Food Centres Canada. We are joining a growing network of like-minded organizations across Canada who share a commitment to offering healthy and dignified food programs in their communities.
The Hillhurst Sunnyside Farmers’ Market aims to be a thriving hub of community activity anchored in the exchange of high quality, local food and goods, enriching the inner-city and in support of the local economy. In short, we are growing a food community.
Our Farmers’ Market runs weekly year-round! Find us from 3-7pm at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association. During the cooler months of the year (Oct-May) we are inside and the rest of the year we’ll be outside.
Check out our Farmers’ Market website for all the details on vendors and live music!
FRESH FOOD BASKET
Fresh Food Basket is a weekly drop-in food access program for anyone having difficulty accessing the food that they need for a healthy life. Each week on Mondays from 4-6pm, community members can stop in at HSCA to select a small bag of food (mostly fresh produce) from our market style program. Food is offered for free in this program and is intended to support community members who are facing financial barriers to accessing fresh food. No proof of income required.
HILLHURST SUNNYSIDE COMMUNITY GARDEN
The Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Garden has been an integral and active part of the community since its start in 1989; we celebrated our 25th anniversary in 2014. It was founded by community residents who wanted to provide a place for those with limited space of their own to grow their own gardens and provide for an opportunity to meet fellow residents with horticultural interests. Our goals are to foster the creation of a sustainable food system, environment, and community, by networking, educating, and sharing resources. In short, we grow community by growing gardens. We are an organic garden and no chemical fertilizers or pesticides may be used.
SUNNYSIDE SHARED GARDEN
Sunnyside Shared Garden This is a shared garden, where gardeners work together and share the produce they grow amongst each other and with the community. Approximately 50% of all of the food grown is split between the gardeners and the rest is donated to HSCA’s Fresh Food Basket, a program aimed at supporting vulnerable community members in accessing fresh, healthy food.
How Do I Get Involved? Garden meetings are informal gatherings of anyone who wants to get involved. They take place at the garden every second Thursday at 6:30pm for about 1-2 hours depending on the amount of work that’s required. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or you’ve never planted a seed, you are welcome to stop by and see if you would like to join. To receive updates about the garden send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
KENSINGTON COMMUNITY FIRST GARDEN
Kensington Community First Garden was conceived in 2010 to address the community’s increasing demand for a collective space to grow vegetables and flowers. That year, a visioning session was held to collect ideas on garden elements and principals. These ideas were combined into a successfulI application to the City of Calgary for permission transform the area West of the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association’s Facility from an under utilized area of grass and trees to a community garden. In the Spring of 2011 thirty five volunteers armed with shovels and table saws transformed the space into a functioning garden. In subsequent years, corporate volunteer grants have enabled us to build a garden shed, a four bin compost system, a boundary fence and additional plots.
In 2009, The City of Calgary Parks planted fruit trees and shrubs within Hillhurst-Sunnyside as part of a community orchard five year pilot project.
Community Orchards Pilot Locations in Hillhurst and Sunnyside:
Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Garden Orchard – 940 4A St. N.W.
This orchard has been incorporated into an existing park, which already housed a few fruit trees. The fruit planted includes several mature apple trees as well as young cherry bushes, hazelnut bushes, gooseberry bushes, honeyberry bushes, apricot trees and pear trees. This orchard is the first to be completed.
Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association Orchard
This community orchard is tucked in behind the community association building and tennis courts. The site will include mature apple trees as well as other fruit tree and shrub selections. Up to 50 fruiting trees and shrubs will be integrated into the orchard. Planting is currently underway. The City of Calgary Community Orchard Pilot Project is intended to: Encourage local food production. Foster community involvement. Educate Calgarians about techniques related to fruit tree care as well as methods for preserving and storing fruit. Demonstrate and test a range of fruit trees and shrubs. Evaluate the success of community orchard models, share results and recommend changes, if required.
The City of Calgary community orchard pilot project will determine if public and community-run orchards can grow, thrive, and produce in Calgary. The test orchards will be evaluated using indicators such as tree survival, fruit yield, vandalism, disease and pest damage, cost, orchard steward satisfaction, and the community’s capacity to manage the orchard. Ongoing evaluation throughout the trial period will be used to determine the viability and productivity of various fruit and nut trees and shrubs.