Barkat and Sunmoon are Community Gardeners with two lush garden plots here at The North Grove. They also built a wonderful garden at the Dartmouth Mosque this year. But it’s what they do with all the food they grow that makes Barkat and Sunmoon so inspiring! They share everything they grow with others; offering fresh produce and cooking delicious meals for all kinds of friends and neighbours.
Barkat and Sunmoon are both Continued Care Assistants at Northwood. They met as social workers in Bangledesh and have lived in Dartmouth North for the past 11 years with their 14-year-old son, Ateef, who shares their green thumb. Their gardens are bursting with veggies they grew in Bangladesh including malabar spinach, coriander and long squash (bottle gourd). Sunmoon was missing the veggies and flavours of Bangladesh, which are hard to find in a small city like Halifax, and that helped her get growing!
“When you are coming from some other culture you are used to eating other vegetables and I couldn’t find any and it felt awful. And then it struck me, why am I not growing these vegetables? If I grow them, then I can eat them, and help other people too.”
Sunmoon talks about the impact of sharing these fresh veggies with her community. “They love it. Because they haven’t had that taste in their mouth for a long, long time.”
Barkat and Sunmoon’s community care extends beyond their work and their garden plots. Since the beginning of the pandemic they have picked up good food bags from The North Grove to cook food for their friends, family and neighbours. They especially enjoyed making meals for people who were unable to leave their homes.
“People need help so we do what we can to help...We would take food from The North Grove and bring it to people who don’t know about the place. Especially in the pandemic we would take veggies and drop off to people who were too scared. Sometimes I would cook with the veggies from The North Grove and give them to people as meals.”
The power of good food to grow connection and community is something Barkat and Sunmoon know in their hearts and live through their actions here in Dartmouth North.
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