Hope Blooms

By George Mercer

Day 3 of the fourth leg of our Canada C3 journey saw us landing in Halifax and spending time ashore, including a visit with Hope Blooms, the North End Halifax food garden inspired by Jessie Jollymore, formerly the community dietician within the area’s inner city. It was Jessie’s vision to empower at-risk youth that led to Hope Blooms, a multi-generational project involving children and teens of various ages who, after putting together a successful business plan and presentation to CBC’s Dragon’s Den, were able to expand and pass on their newfound knowledge and formidable skills to younger kids in their neighbourhood.

Situated on a series of slopes overlooking Halifax’s North End, Hope Blooms is a small patch of land given purpose, namely to provide community families with fresh vegetables and herbs, improving the health of one of the most food insecure neighbourhoods in Canada. It’s also the basis for a small business of the same name that provides fresh produce to, and also creates and markets amazing dressings for, eight Sobey’s stores throughout Halifax and at one location on Cape Breton Island.

Most inspiring about the overall story are the individual kids who have graduated from the program and are now following their dreams as they pursue college and university education, moving toward careers that have at their core the horticultural and business knowledge and experience gained from Hope Blooms, an excellent and inspiring example of people reaping the benefits of seeds sewn early in young minds, and the value of hard work.

Bravo to Jessie and the children and young adults of Hope Blooms, especially those who are turning their dreams into realities.

Thank you for taking the time to share your story.

Hopefully through the platform provided by Canada C3, we can continue to share your story and inspire others to take up the challenge of creating positive change in our neighbourhoods.

Changes that improve the lives of Canadians from coast to coast to coast.