The garden was created on the grounds of The Sunshine League. Greenrock's aim was to establish a lasting programme aimed at building, planting and maintaining community gardens.

"We're hoping to get the entire Island involved, with emphasis on the younger people because they are the ones who need this skillset so they can be creative with it as they get older," said Healthy Harvest project director Omari Dill, a sustainable agriculture and edible landscaping consultant.

"It's really about encouraging the sustainable mind frame from the basis of our necessities, which is food, and simultaneously producing community gardens and bringing everybody together."

Volunteers and prisoners will help man the project the Prison Farm has had its own garden for many years.

"I'm in a unique position where, apart from being director of this initiative, I also teach agriculture at the Prison Farm," Mr Dill said. "It's beneficial for them because, as we do our daily labours they are learning. We hold our courses in the garden so by the time they [start gardening] they will know what to do."

Bermuda's climate allows for many different fruits and vegetables, he added.

"In Bermuda we have four seasons so we can grow anything, anywhere, all year round," he stressed. "Our focus is to make sure we have the produce that is relevant to that season.

"The message to get out there which is important to understand is that civilisations, communities, societies and countries were formed around agriculture. The major benefit of growing local is the crop can complete its cycle. When you import, it is picked green, immature, and brought over so that it doesn't spoil and can then ripen artificially here. It is still lacking a whole pile of nutrients and a good deal of taste."

The community garden at The Sunshine League is intended to serve as a teaching and engagement tool. A portion of the garden's yields will also be donated to foster children and food-aid programmes. Greenrock is seeking donations from local businesses and individuals to supply soil, gardening tools and other equipment for the project.

"We are delighted that The Sunshine League has provided their land as an in-kind donation to help us start our first community garden. It is Greenrock's hope that this step will spark more interest in community gardens among Bermuda residents to get involved in planting and growing their own food," said Greenrock president Judith Landsberg.

"We are extremely grateful for the level of support that Catlin, our lead sponsor, is willing to provide as we look to gain some traction on Greenrock's Healthy Harvest initiative. They played a key role in introducing us to The Sunshine League and paving the way for this progress to be made, which further demonstrates their level of support and the power of community partnerships."

Sunshine League president Zakiya Johnson Lord is also excited about the project.

"On behalf of The Sunshine League board, we are excited to support Greenrock's Healthy Harvest initiative. This project has been in the works for quite some time and after careful planning and consideration, we are pleased to be able to launch this initiative in our community.

"Catlin has been a source of constant support for The Sunshine League over the years and we are pleased to be a part of this collaborative effort with Catlin and Healthy Harvest. We are also pleased to offer our space, which will serve in the long-term as an educational and awareness vehicle to young people on the importance of growing and eating local fruits and vegetables."

Community gardens are increasing in popularity around the world.

According to the American Community Gardens' Association, there are some 18,000 community gardens across North America. Similarly, the UK-based Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens represent over 1,000 community gardens. In urban spaces such as New York City, there are reportedly over 600 community gardens registered across all five boroughs.

The Healthy Harvest programme was created in 2009 as a concept to introduce the benefits of eating locally-grown produce. A pocket-sized guide showcasing the types of seasonal foods that can be grown or found in Bermuda was distributed to plant nurseries, schools and businesses.

Greenrock intends to build and maintain a series of community gardens and orchards across the Island over the next five years using available arable land on private and public properties, schools and parks.

Members of the community interested in assisting should contact Greenrock: info[AT] or 747-7625 (747-ROCK).

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About Greenrock

According to The Footprint Network, which measures the ability of the planet to produce resources and absorb waste, our resource use and waste production is 60% more than the earth can produce or absorb annually.

This overshoot is the result of decisions that we each make every day. We seek to generate debate and to influence people to change their behaviour.We strive to be catalysts: Success for us is when we can Change the Mindset so that sustainable use of resources is included in decision-making for individuals, government or businesses. ... read more

Where to find Us

Suite 324, 48 Par-La-Ville Rd,
Hamilton HM11, Bermuda

Telephone: 1-441-747-ROCK (7625)