Food Initiatives

Campus Community Gardens

There are several community gardens at the University of Alberta, one for nearly every campus.

The Prairie Urban Farm is a new, one-acre mixed crop garden on South Campus. An initiative born out of the Faculty of ALES, community and student participants can get their hands dirty, learn food production skills and get involved in local food security. The garden organizes educational workshops on topics ranging from composting and beekeeping to planting and canning. Mentors are available to help volunteers develop their gardening knowledge.

The Green & Gold Community Garden is a project of the School of Public Health and the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences. The garden occupies two acres on the South Campus and is run entirely by volunteers. The garden grows over 60 types of vegetables, herbs and flowers, including many heirloom varieties (older or local strands that you won’t find in the supermarket). All proceeds from the garden go to the Tubahumurize Association for marginalized Rwandan women.

Sustain SU’s Campus Community Garden began in 2003 in partnership with the Alberta Public Interest Research Group (APIRG). The garden is run co-operatively by volunteers who do not take ownership over the harvest, but share and work together to maintain the entire plot. Sustain SU promotes local, resilient food production by showcasing pesticide-free, organic techniques.

The Augustana Community Garden is the newest campus garden, in Camrose, Alberta. Student volunteers have plenty of opportunity to learn about gardening right from the basics. The garden aims to increase Augustana’s food security, donating much of the produce to the cafeteria and The Chapel’s Tuesday night soup-suppers.

The Edmonton Organic Grower’s Guild Garden is a large community of volunteers from all different backgrounds and of all ages. At harvest time, volunteers take what they need and donate the rest. The garden is successful enough to donate thousands of pounds of food to organizations across the city, including the Campus Food Bank. They have also been working with the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences and Community Service Learning to integrate the garden into future educational programs.

The Jardin communautaire Campus Saint-Jean Community Garden is a bilingual group open to staff, Résidence Saint-Jean students and members of the surrounding neighbourhood. It sits on the same location that was farmed almost a century ago by the Fathers of the Juniorat Saint Jean. Some of the sustainability initiatives of the garden, which is located in the field west of campus, include responsible water use, using organic waste from the residence as compost, and fertilizing solely with organic materials.

Healthy Food Choices

The Farmers' Market is operated by Students’ Union. It runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Students Union Building every other Thursday during the school year. It allows the campus community to explore the world of local, organic, sustainable, and fresh food.

SUBmart convenience store now offers fresh fruit and vegetables for snacking all week long.

Healthnuts holds healthy cooking demonstrations and student kitchens during Sustainability Awareness Week and throughout the school year.

Campus Food Bank

One must eat well in order to learn well. For that reason, the Campus Food Bank distributes food items and toiletries to all members of the University of Alberta community: students, staff, alumni and their children. Through the generosity of the faculties, departments, student groups, and countless individuals, the Campus Food Bank feeds over 2500 people every year.

During the Eco Move Out initiative in UAlberta’s residences, non-perishable foods are collected from outgoing residents and donated to the Campus Food Bank.

Did You Know?

The Naturalization Project located outside of the Education Centre cafeteria includes many edibles. There are various indigenous fruits, including saskatoon, red currant and Chippewa blueberry. There are also herbs like mint and wild bergamot.

The project is an intiative of Sustain SU and the Dept. of Secondary Education.