When people in a community get together to change the way food is grown, and learn from each other, good things happen. Case in point: FoodCycles, an eco organization and not for profit urban farm in the north end of Toronto. This spring they have a profile in Edible Toronto. I met the people at FoodCycles in March at Seedy Sunday, where they were educating and fundraising. I bought a cute Mason jar low-tech seed sprouter from them. I was happy to pay the price for a system that I probably could have built myself because the money was going to a good cause.
The Toronto Community Garden Network served as a starting place for the founders of this great growing locale near Keele and Sheppard. (site of the the old Downsview Airport). They grow on an acre of land, using organic methods, focusing on preserving soil by using fallow areas and green cover crops that they till into the soil. From their website:
The vision is to create a just urban food system that encourages all people to come together to grow, learn about, and celebrate food and soil in Toronto.
The garden is run by work from volunteers and serves as a wildlife refuge for visitors and a demonstration garden. Their three greenhouses, along with their open fields offer a wealth of information for the visitor. Apparently the bird watching is also great in the surrounding area. Their blog has information on all the goings on at FoodCycles, with everything from recipes to 10 Cool Things About Earth Worms. The Toronto Beekeepers Coop also moved some hives there last year.
FoodCycles supports urban agriculture in Toronto through workshops, training sessions, school visits, internships, volunteer openings, and other forums for sharing city farming and composting skills. They’ll be diverting significant amounts of food waste from local food processors and creating high-quality compost and vermicompost (a rich, healthy, organic fertilizer and soil-life-enhancer) for Toronto’s community of city growers and gardeners. They will also grow salad greens, sprouts, herbs, mixed veggies, raise fish as part of a closed-loop aquaponics system, and whip up honey from on-site hives.
FoodCycles is a great place to visit, support and get involved. Map and directions are here and TTC access is quite easy.