A Message to Our Friends and Supporters

April 2022 Update:
Though the garden is undergoing major changes this season and will not be operating at full capacity, we are pleased that we can spend the 2022 season focused on maintaining and preserving our perennial fruit and flower crops, as well as a small demonstration vegetable garden. 

Hours: Mondays - 1:00pm to 4:00pm, Tuesdays - 9:00am to 4:00pm
Location: 1254 Union St., Kitchener
Contact: garden@theworkingcentre.org or 519-575-1118

Dear Garden Friends,

As many of you know, the property that we have called home for the past 10 seasons has been for sale for some time. Recently it has become clear that with so much uncertainty surrounding the sale of the property, we cannot continue moving forward as usual. For that reason, we have come to the incredibly difficult decision to close the garden for the season ahead.

Find information about where to purchase local vegetables in Kitchener-Waterloo this season HERE!

Many of us are losing a place of belonging, beauty, and peace, a place of hard work, fun, and abundant vegetables. Though we grieve the loss of such a vibrant community space, we can all be so proud of our many accomplishments. There is so much worth celebrating!

The multitudes of volunteer gardeners that have worked the land are, after 10 years, far beyond count – easily numbering in the thousands. Eight cohorts of community-based market gardening interns have spent a season at the garden – that’s over 40 people gaining the practical skills, knowledge, and confidence to grow food for themselves and their communities. The garden has also been a place of employment and livelihood – not only for year-round staff, but also for seasonal and casual workers from our community. Together, we produced nearly 100,000 pounds of vegetables and grew the Working Centre’s Community Supported Agriculture share program from 40 members to over 160! Together, we worked with nature to transform the garden into a thriving and diverse ecosystem, teeming with plant and animal life that feasted on the garden’s abundance. Together, we created an open and welcoming community where friendship flourished as we found common purpose in nourishing the land as it nourished us.

Though you may not easily recognize it, each of you has made a unique contribution to the garden and belong to the community that has stewarded it. Many of you have been out in the garden, working hard with your hands in the dirt. Many of you have been in your offices, supporting our work from behind the scenes in diverse ways. Many of you have been gardening your own plots and participating in a community of knowledge exchange and material support that will continue to reverberate throughout our community. And even more of you have enjoyed a meal featuring the fruits of our common work that you received in a CSA share or from the community fridge or food bank. For all our diverse contributions, we can all be proud of what we have accomplished and can only express gratitude to one another for having worked together to help build a more sustainable and equitable community based food system.

Now, as we move forward together, we will take time to reflect upon seasons past and dream of new ways to engage in the meaningful work of growing food sustainably in community and building the skills, knowledge, and resources to support it. Though we do not yet know what opportunities lie ahead, we invite you to join us as we chart a path forward. Please feel free to be in touch with your support, ideas, or opportunities, and consider subscribing to our email list HERE. We look forward to cultivating new opportunities for community-based ecological farming that will carry on the legacy of the garden!

With pride and gratitude,
- Adam, Vanessa, and the Working Centre Market Gardeners