“Building a Community Commons” is an undergraduate summer institute course offered through the Department of Sociology at the University of Manitoba. The course covers the sociology of urban agriculture and takes a community-based pedagogical approach, partnering with Sustainable South Osborne Community Co-operative to provide students with an applied, experiential- and service-learning context.
In May and June 2017, students in the course completed four community-based research projects with Sustainable South Osborne: an ethnographic video, an audio tour and oral history, a food literacy workshop, and a mixed-methods survey. Each of the groups also wrote a report about their projects. The projects and reports are featured below.
The Ethnographic Video
Students in the video group explored the impacts of the Sustainable South Osbourne Commons on the community. They found that buying and producing food locally can aid the local economy and farmers as well as connect people to the land and each other.
The Audio Tour and Oral History
Students in the audio tour and oral history group explored the origins and growth of Sustainable South Osborne. In their oral history, they highlighted the co-op's successes and challenges over the last several years. In their audio tour, they also documented the co-op's current garden sites.
The Food Literacy Workshop
Students in the food literacy workshop group created an interactive workshop that focused on the Sustainable South Osborne food system and explored the Three Sisters (squash, corn, and beans) from an Indigenous perspective. Community members of all ages attended their workshop.