Beginning with the St. James Town Cafe, a diverse and dedicated group of friends and neighbours did a lot of research, consulted community, met with experts to explore the best models for building a healthy resilient community. The Cafe has held over 50 events to share healthy delicious food, and provide workshops on food security and community engagement, farm tours and rural retreats for our struggling and hungry community.
We have chosen to work on local food security in part due to climate change and the risks we all face regarding food security. Many of us have come from the Middle-East, Southeast Asia, Africa and Central America where we have seen the effects of climate chaos. This is why we believe we must build an urban food producing Oasis using symbionic technology that can inspire others to do the same, as the western industrial food system increasingly becomes a toxic desert. Many of us also are also acting from our faith that we are called to dedicate ourselves to a higher purpose on behalf of our children, elders and the vulnerable amongst us.
We have developed partnerships, engaged expert advisors and met with local officials to help create an opportunity for St James Town residents to design and build a food hub that will provide home grown organic food and jobs in our community. We are also creating a time-bank (community service exchange) to help manage and value the work of our members and volunteers.
We have established a social enterprise co-operative to be the community-based organization that will design, build, own and operate the OASIS project. We have begun the process of developing a Climate controlled Agricultural Greenhouse, powered by renewable energy, to be built on a re-purposed swimming pool that will be able to produce 200-300 pounds of organic vegetables and 40-50 pounds of clean healthy fish per month. To reach this point of development, we benefitted from several grants and 3 years of funding from a church fund, community donations and sharing space with local agencies.
To learn more about OASIS, visit the website oasisfoodhub.ca
The project team for OASIS includes: Conscious Minds Co-op, Scadding Court Community Centre, and Waterfarmers.
For other Co-op collaborators and sponsors, please see here.