– The Montreal Chinese Hospital Occupational Therapy (MCHOT) garden was initiated and financed in 2004 by the Montreal Chinese Hospital Women’s Auxiliary and is the oldest garden on the outdoor terrace of the Chinese Hospital. The MCHOT garden was planted, and has been flourishing annually to this day with the support of the dedicated OT team and patients.
– The intent of the MCHOT garden was to offer a refreshing outdoor activity for the patients. Occupational therapeutic objectives range from developing fine and gross motor skills, eye hand coordination increasing attention, concentration, self confidence, developing balance, strengthening the core physical body in an upright position and maintaining social contact.
– The occupational therapist, assistant therapist, one volunteer and fifteen patients maintained the garden once a week while enjoying the beautiful garden outdoors in the fresh air. By 2011, MCHOT garden has grown to an OT team of five workers serving thirty nine participating patient gardeners twice a week. Such an expansion and progress over the years indicates the goodwill, perseverance, efforts, and accomplishments of the MCHOT garden.
– Green Chinatown Montreal (GCM), a second garden which is also located on the outdoor terrace of the Montreal Chinese Hospital, was inspired by Dr. Satoshi Ikeda who established Global Futures Lab through the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Concordia University and by Dr. Yon Hsu on senior Chinese residents in Montreal’s Chinatown as community research action.
– The GCM project was to plant, harvest, and produce an organic urban Chinatown vegetable garden serving Chinese seniors in Chinatown.
– GCM received technical support from the Smart Pot Coop and Alternatives, the organization that specializes in urban rooftop gardening.
– The Chinese Hospital offered free terrace space to GCM; the Smart Pots were a free loan by Concordia University, and the initial investment is provided through Dr. Satoshi Ikeda and Dr. Yon Hsu.
– The GCM seeds came from local organic farmers during the seed exchange at the Montreal Botanical Garden, purchased from an Ontarian Asian non-organic seed cultivar and Marché Key Phat Inc. who donated the non-organic seeds.
– A GCM working team of collaborators, the Chinese Hospital and participating volunteers was created to build, seed, water, maintain, weed, harvest and distribute the garden produce.
– Three GCM workshops were hosted during the growing season. The first workshop was co-organized with a Taiwanese youth group, 12-21 years of age who sowed the plants, transported soil and built the supporting structure for the tomato plants. The second workshop was a Chinatown eco walk in August with participants that included Chinatown residents, merchants, YMCA members, Éco Quartier St Jacques and interested citizens. The Taiwanese youth group returned in September for a second workshop on identifying plants, urban gardening, food security and sustainability.
– GCM collaborations included working together with staff and Ms. Siu San Kang from the Occupational Therapy Department integrating the garden view and fresh air as a therapeutic setting for Chinese Hospital residents.
– GCM’s support of the hospital staff, Concordia University, collaborators, supporters and volunteers produced Chinese and Western vegetables that were cultivated in Smart Pots on the second floor outdoor terrace courtyard in Chinatown’s Chinese hospital. The GCM produce was distributed to Chinatown’s Chinese seniors and participants and sold in various markets.
– The GCM organic vegetable produce was sold at the competitive market value of $3,000 based on comparable organic vegetables prices of markets such as: Le Frigo Vert or Concordia University Farmers Market.
– Interns from Concordia University and fifteen interested volunteers
seeded, planted, weeded, watered, harvested, and maintained the GCM
vegetable garden on a daily basis during the 25 week season.
– The harvest in 2013 was shared with one third given to Chinese
senior residents in Chinatown, one third to participating volunteers
and one third that was sold in markets such as Concordia University
Farmers Market, YMCA Guy Favreau, and Le Frigo Vert.
– The hospital occupational therapy and Green Chinatown Montreal
evolve, and are ready to be independant as two separate entities.
Green Chinatown Montreal relocates from the shared 2nd floor area to
the front yard of the hospital.
– While adapting, adjusting to the watering procedure, the garden
increases to the limit of 77 smart pots. Membership fees are
established to cover the expenses and the members garden and take
home the harvest on a weekly basis. The garden welcomes daily visits
by the hospital residents and staff to enjoy and share gardening
stories and tales. Members learn from residents who often were farmers
and serious gardeners in their hometown in China, Vietnam,Cambodia,
Thailand. The harvest is shared by the members with sales to Le Frigo
– Membership fees are no longer required due to the garden sales,
harvest is shared weekly by the gardeners and sold to Le Frigo Vert