›› Marianne Unger

October 15th will mark one year since I opened my Farm Stand on Camosun Street. We intend to celebrate with good food and friendship, as is fitting. The farm stand was inspired by so many things—my Omas, Wendell Berry’s writings on the household economy, my love of all things food, kitchen, and garden, my desire to let my life spill out into the street. Mostly, it’s my way of creating a new world—one that values neighbourliness, the small and local, respect and sharing. One that puts colonial capitalism on its head.

It’s become a lovely little gathering place, and it’s about so much more than the food. People drop off their surplus walnuts or bay leaves to share. Sammie packages up her seeds and the proceeds go to RAVEN. Glenna donated her knitting magazines, Carmen her French pastry. Judith knitted hats for Fernwood NRG’s Gift of Good Food fundraiser. Neighbours bring their extra produce, their cookies to sell.

And it’s growing. We’ve now established a Farm Stand Foundation that supports one Fernwood family with ongoing farm stand food with funds contributed by our very own Aubergine, Zero Waste ­Emporium, and fabulous neighbours.

And more! I love how the kids take over the street at our block parties—running in and out of backyards, no need to worry about cars and safety. There’s just play. A neighbour told me about Play Streets—a movement of neighbour-led short road closures so kids have a safe space to play freely together—and now, on the second Saturday of every month (spring to fall) we close the 1600 block of Camosun for Play Streets. There’s music-making, ­knitting, face-painting. Once Yarrow Collective held a seed bomb making workshop. And always there are kids running around.

Get your Play Streets permit for your own block! The City is onboard, and has made it easy to get a permit.

The Farm Stand is located at 1619 ­Camosun Street and has backyard, Island, or organic ­ingredients, with a few ­exceptions. There is accessibility pricing for those struggling to meet their basic needs. 10% of proceeds go to RAVEN because food justice requires land justice.