MONTREAL -- With food prices on the rise, a group of gardeners in the Ville-Marie borough are getting their hands in the dirt to help feed their community.

Becca Frasier, co-founder of the Carrefour Alimentaire Centre-Sud, said the project was organized with a communal feel in mind. Borough residents are welcome to come by and pick out what they like or lend a hand.

“The difference between a collective and a community garden is everyone has their own plot (in a community garden),” she said. “In a collective garden, it's all one big garden. It's shared by everyone who comes to garden it and then with everyone in the neighbourhood.”

It's year two of the garden, which is a collaboration between the borough and Carrefour Alimentaire Centre-Sud. Volunteers come several times a week to plant, tend and harvest.

Garden facilitator Nikita Eaton-Lusignan said the garden is a great way to help out people affected by food prices that have risen during the pandemic.

“(There's) certain ingredients that people wouldn't necessarily be able to afford. We have some oyster mushrooms up here and so people can go home with some oyster mushrooms that are a little pricier,” she said.

Last year, the garden produced an estimated 500 kilograms of fresh produce. Growing that much food takes work, but volunteer Karine Bernard said it comes with a big payoff.

“It's a feeling of belong. It's a feeling of doing something good for the earth, for your neighbours and for yourself.”