The UW Campus Market Garden was started under the name St. Paul’s Community Garden by Lexi Salt as a student initiative through the GreenHouse student entrepreneurial program at St. Paul’s University College at the University of Waterloo.
We launched in the Spring of 2014, growing vegetables in a 10’ x 24’ garden plot behind St. Paul’s, with all the produce sold to Chartwells, the food service provider for the St. Paul’s cafeteria.
In the 2015 growing season, we were able to increase production after a generous donation of a quarter acre plot by Steckle Heritage Homestead in Kitchener.
A FoodBox program was initiated, wherein staff at St. Paul’s were given the opportunity to ‘buy-in’ for $10 a week, and receive a weekly box full of assorted produce.
A weekly farmer’s market was established in the Environment 3 building on campus, where students were given the opportunity to purchase fresh produce of their own. A small presales program was also started.
We run workshops and other student outreach events, allowing students to engage with their food. The workshop of 2015 was a salsa canning workshop.
Through generous funding provided by the Waterloo Environment Students’ Endowment Fund, we are able to offer part- and full-time employment opportunities to students, allowing them to gain valuable, relevant, meaningful experience and a competitive edge in the job market.