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Volunteers till the fields at the Good Karma Farm in Caledon East, Ontario.
Photo by Bikram Sohi
Alumni

KarmaGrow is Rooted in Tradition

Volunteer gardeners put fresh food in the food bank

Last spring, in a field in Caledon East, Ontario, nearly 100 volunteers helped plant vegetables. Most of them were users of the Seva Food Bank, Good Food Brampton or the Knight’s Table – to which these peppers, eggplants and tomatoes were ultimately donated. This is Good Karma Farm, part of the non-profit KarmaGrow.

The non-profit’s co-founder, Jaskaran Singh Sandhu (BA 2008 New), explains that while the project is an initiative of the World Sikh Organization of Canada, where he was recently hired as director of development, he and his team “have been working very hard to make this a collaborative community project. Even the name Karma is a universally understood term.”

KarmaGrow co-founders Gagan Singh Batth and Jaskaran Singh Sandhu (right). Photo: Joe Ticar
KarmaGrow co-founders Gagan Singh Batth and Jaskaran Singh Sandhu (right). Photo: Joe Ticar

Sandhu says that 2014 was intended simply to test KarmaGrow’s charitable infrastructure. “We thought that anything we grow is bonus – and we got 3,000 pounds of produce!”

In 2015, they’re growing in other ways as well – with new farm projects in Calgary, Edmonton and Surrey, B.C. And since Good Karma Farm wasn’t easily accessible by public transit, they’re moving into Brampton – onto two acres loaned to them by developers. Unsurprisingly, given his background of legal and human rights advocacy, Sandhu observes, “Being able to have the basic necessities of life – that’s a human right.”

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