Back to our Roots Urban Farm embodies best of what we can do

Lion and Bright at the Nova Scotia Hospital Common Roots groundbreaking ceremony

Dear colleagues,

On May 30, I had the privilege of speaking at the launch of the Back to Our Roots Urban Farm at the Nova Scotia Hospital in Dartmouth.

Back to Our Roots is the result of a rich partnership between Nova Scotia Health Authority, the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Community College Waterfront Campus, Common Roots Halifax and the Nova Scotia government. The Minister of Agriculture, Keith Colwell, brought greetings and encouragement from his portfolio.

We often associate farms with health and vitality; they offer food and can teach us about life. Growing up, I learned teamwork and co-operation farming alongside my family members.
Back to Our Roots Urban Farm is designed to serve the wellbeing of both community and patients. There is space for community member gardening plots, a market garden and the Nova Scotia Hospital recreation therapy program.

The launch of the urban farm was literally a tilling of the soil – complete with oxen, Lion and Bright, owned by farmer Bazel Lohnes, pictured below. The power of community collaboration and the fertile potential of the land and our collective innovation were evident in the excitement of patients, partners and community members. 

Across the province, we have opportunities like this one – to connect in meeting a common goal with those who share our commitment to health. We have a chance to look at different ways to encourage and nurture health – through nature, collaboration and community connection.

Finding new ways together to use every resource - in a way that is responsible, replenishing and has therapeutic value - is inspiring. The Back to Our Roots Urban Farm embodies the best of what we can achieve when we work together.