Since most of us ain’t going nowhere this summer, why not explore the ground right beneath our feet? Nurture a piece of land and let something grow! Sunlight 24 hours creates perfect conditions for strawberries, swiss chard and many other plants. If you live in Tromsø and don’t have a garden, there are still plenty of possibilities to get your hands dirty. You can choose one of the three organized community gardens or create your own.
Holt is the largest community agriculture project in the Arctic, situated in a vast field surrounded by forest on the south-west of Tromsø island. Holt community garden was started by Ute Vogel with help and inspiration from the Frisk Pust (Fresh Air) network in 2011. At that time, the farmland was slated to become (yet another) private housing development. The 300+ community members are so grateful for our luscious green space on Tromsø island!
Holt’s goal is to promote hands-on ecological literacy and highlight connections between food, health and climate. Organisations like The Future in Our Hands (Framtiden i våre hender), Red Cross, Sustainability pilots (UiT Bærekraftspilotene), and (guess who?) Ice-9 have allotments at Holt, along with families and individuals ready to look after a 20-40 m2 plot on their own. For those not ready for a big commitment, there is the opportunity to join the community garden (felleshage) where you learn the basics of growing (and eating) your own food. Holt also hosts workshops and events throughout the growing season on composting, organic gardening, wild foods, wildflowers, bees, and much more. At the end of the season, there is a festival with delicious food and fun activities for kids and grown-ups alike.
Right in the city center, Dyrk Tromsø community garden temporarily occupies a special historical location. In 1800-1900 Rambergan & St.Hanshaugen used to be an important meeting place where Tromsø residents celebrated the return of the sun, New Years Eve and other significant events. While Tromsø kommune is developing a plan for building a public park there, citizens use this opportunity window to grow vegetables and berries in the wooden crates. Come along to their weekly weeding and watering events 6pm every Wed between 10.June – 26.August
A newly established garden, started by Ice-9’s Christine Cynn and Valentin Manz next to Kysten (Troms Fylkeskultursenter) at Strandveien 95 (across from Eurospar). The goal is to use the area around the building and to spark community spirit among the local artists. If the project is successful, they plan to expand the garden and open it up to the residents of nearby houses. But, just so you know, it’s ‘no-dig’! In a nutshell, ‘no-dig’ is a growing method which preserves the natural structure of the soil, with all its good stuff, microorganisms, fungal networks and worms. So keep that shovel home. Live in the neighbourhood and want to join in- email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Not ready to commit?
Growing your own plants is a responsibility. There’s much you can do (even if you’re not ready for your own green babies). Offer to help your friends and neighbours water and weed their gardens or indoor plants. The effort may pay off in unexpected ways, like kombucha scoby, sourdough starter or other weird but useful stuff. That’s community magic!