Quebec village Saint-Octave-de-Métis has decided to place food at the heart of community life.
Saint-Octave is a small village with 500 inhabitants located in the Lower St. Lawrence region of Quebec. Since 2013, residents have rallied around a project promoting healthy living and urban agriculture.
Les Pouces d’Octave is the brainchild of a volunteer parent committee. The goal was to encourage vegetable growing and give all residents the opportunity to learn more about biofood production. At the time, urban agriculture was not as popular as it is today. After extensive research, the project leaders decided to create a facility with three sections: a seed-planting room, a greenhouse and a community garden. The aim was to extend the growing season as much as possible.
The entire community enjoys the space all year round. Adults and children alike help grow and harvest fruits and vegetables. And schoolteachers develop projects involving the facilities so students learn where food comes from.
… to plate all year round
In 2018, the facilities expanded to include a community kitchen. The new space encourages seniors and young people to spend time together. As well as cooking together, they explore ways to preserve fruits and vegetables. A food-processing expert comes to share knowledge on canning and dehydration so that residents can enjoy the harvest all year round.
These projects, carried out with support from various local partners, including the Reford Gardens and the Regional County Municipality of La Mitis, have made Saint-Octave a standout in raising awareness and teaching about urban agriculture and a healthy lifestyle through gardening.
Available in French only
Les pouces d’Octave is a winner of the 100° call for proposals, “S’approvisionner autrement: fruits et légumes à l’année pour tous!” [Sourcing differently: Fruits and vegetables all year round for all!], conducted in partnership with the Louis Bonduelle Foundation.
100° is the reference for healthy living in Quebec.