You are ready to grow some vegetables. It’s quite likely you live on a shady city street, or an apartment with a shady balcony. So, after getting excited about seed packets at the local green gathering, you discovered that no vegetables will really produce fruit in shade.
It’s a common city problem. One of the great qualities of a city—and Toronto is no exception—is a good amount of trees. We love the trees that cut down on the pollution and make our summers cooler and leafier, but shade trees and vegetable growing don’t mix.
Community gardens come to the rescue, not only for the planting space, but for the full sun they offer. Veggies need a minimum of 6 hours a day. Happily, available community gardens in the City of Toronto are quite plentiful. You only need to check out the database to find one near you. The cost is minimal—I pay fifteen dollars for a small plot—and the benefits are many. We get deliveries every year of free soil amendments, and seeing what others are growing is a valuable learning experience. Gardens will often have communal tools available in a community shed, so you can even walk to the garden or ride your bike.
The Toronto Community Garden Network offers a ton of info on how to find a garden, take a workshop, even find jobs and volunteer opportunities. Not Far From the Tree is often looking for Urban Orchard Assistants. The neighbours you meet and the knowledge that you exchange is one of the best parts of joining a community garden. The vegetables and flowers you grow yourself are the added tasty bonus!