Where needles and garbage once littered an overgrown abandoned lot, a community garden grows. Its purpose is more than just beautification. It restores a connection to the land and provides a source of pride for many in the Boyle Street community who are now able to grow some of their own food.
“For most of the gardeners it has become a lot more than just a curiosity or a summer pastime, but has really become part of their life in a very meaningful way: a valuable community that has sprouted from working alongside one another and that has grown steadily as we have watched the very seeds we have planted grow and fruit,” writes Bethany Tulloch, the summer intern at the Mustard Seed church.
The garden has also had the serendipitous effect of bringing people together in other ways.
“A good number of those working in the garden are without homes so we had to be creative in order for everyone to be able to enjoy some of the harvest. As a result, we decided to cook meals with what we were able to pick and enjoy dinners together—around a table, with great food and conversation, times of sharing and great satisfaction,” says Tulloch.
In a neighbourhood where life is often tough, Peas Be With You Garden creates a tangible transformation. This change is so close, you can taste it. V
Chelsea Boos is a multidisciplinary visual artist and avid flâneur. Back Words is a discussion of her explorations in Edmonton and a photographic diary of the local visual culture.