Francine Walker and Charles Girard at the Main Street Farmers' Market (Andrea Ratuski/CBC)
There's a lot of pride in it when you grow your own food and share it with your community and friends.
—Charles Girard, Food for Thought coordinator
Charles Girard shakes a small carton of nasturtium flowers drying in the heat. He's manning the Food for Folks table at the Friday Main Street Farmers' Market. The nasturtiums are destined to be blended with mizuna or arugula leaves for the spicy salad mix on sale.
Food for Folks is a not-for-profit urban collective helping people produce urban gardens in Winnipeg's North End.
"We have some really great teachers and people who know a lot about gardening and we share the knowledge so they can pass it on," said Girard. "I was one of those people who learned it so I can pass it on."
Not only is the group producing diverse crops, but the urban farmers themselves come for a variety of backgrounds, Girard said.
"Its members come from different diverse backgrounds and education and ethnicities," he added. "Everybody has a different voice who contributes to the organization. It's really a learning process. It's definitely changed my lifestyle and helped me grow as a human being."
Food for Folks is currently working with five gardens in the North End. Iain Brynjolson, founder of the organization and produce manager at Neechi Commons, said the goal of the program is to localize the supply chain so nearby gardens can supply farmers' markets and stores such as Neechis. They also have a produce table at the Winnipeg Folk Festival.
"They're learning about what the produce is, different recipes, how to use it and nutritional facts," he said.