Community gardening in Brandon began in 2000 through the work of Samaritan House to bring food security to Brandon low income residents. Since that time, the Community Garden Network has blossomed. Through partnerships with Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation, Healthy Brandon, the City of Brandon, Agricultural Research Station and Samaritan house, 17 garden locations have been founded throughout the city on a combination of private and public land. Samaritan House Ministeries now administers the paperwork of the network and provides space in kind for volunteer garden coordinator meetings while focusing on Green Futures North as a social enterprise in partnership with Brandon University's ENACTUS group.
Community Gardens brings a social aspect to gardening. The gardeners interact with members of their community while offering a place to provide fresh produce for their family. Many of the immigrant families coming to Brandon are not aware of the foods that grow best in this region. Through the Westman Immigrant Services entry program and the Community Gardens workshop series, immigrants are given the resources and knowledge needed to grow fresh and affordable produce.
There are seventeen community gardens throughout the city of Brandon, each with their own unique features to offer the gardeners. All gardens offer companionship, food security, low impact exercise, and a safe, welcoming place to come together. Many of the gardeners have a wide range of experience when it comes to gardening. The gardeners range from beginner gardens to people who have gardened most of their life.
The Brandon Community Garden Network is looking forward to another exciting gardening season!