Scarborough residents turn the empty space into a community garden and center

High plant beds, newly planted trees, picnic chairs and all white-walled pizza ovens can be seen in an industrial park near St. Claire and Danforth streets, but it’s actually an established urban farm. Healthy food and community green space help increase access.

The Scarborro Media Community Farm will be participating in Toronto City Agriculture Week from September 11 to 19 in honor of local food and urban gardening. The events in the city provide opportunities to learn more about how fresh food, local produce is accessible to everyone, greening the city and building strong communities. The new event, the Veggy Derby, encourages gardeners to donate fresh produce to sites in the city. “It’s an opportunity to hear some stories and fully understand the growing food in the city,” said Ronda Titel-Payne, co-ordinator of Toronto City Farmers’ Week, which hosts Toronto Urban Agriculture Week.

In Toronto, where land prices are high and food insecurity is high, such events are important, said Scarborough Feed Scarborough founder Suman Roy, as well as mobile farmers market, landing and mobile food programs, training center and four food banks — all COVID- 19 In a difficult environment. “We have a lot of unused industrial land in Scarborough, and a lot of new immigrants calling our community home. For many, growing food is part of their culture, but many live in apartment buildings where nothing can grow. ”

The local developer, Republican Development, lent unused land to the company until a few years later, the so-called Scarborro Crossroads. In June, volunteers began to turn the wreckage into an urban farm, build high beds, and choose food according to residents’ preferences. Adequate community consultation was needed to determine the crops. “We are learning from the cultures of Scarborough,” said Roy. Using the products grown there.

A volunteer takes care of the garden at Scarborough Junction Community Farm.

Fear Scarborough In December 2018, he began distributing holiday season barriers, but when Kovi hit and the local food bank closed the door, demand saw a sharp rise, so they began delivering food to residents. A.D. When we started in March 2020, there were only three or four neighbors in a Legion, leaving our wallets empty on the table. “Hey, people are hungry.

Today, they serve more than 1,000 households through four of their food banks – and urban agriculture provides a portion of the produce to food banks, food programs, and farmers’ markets.

In urban farms, such as Scarborough Junction, volunteers work together and use the grown produce for a great purpose.

Community residents have chosen everything they want to grow in Scarborough Junction Community Farm.

“Food relief programs such as food stalls and food banks are band-aid solutions. It’s all about training and learning, ”said Roy. The farm provides space for teaching topics such as food waste. A new partnership with FoodShare Toronto is educating people about fertilizer, and the hope is to create a fertilizer exchange program where people can bring food waste to the farm instead of ready-to-use fertilizer.

“Covid has really raised interest in projects like farming and we have to ask how we can create more space,” Roy said. “That’s what we thought and we are very happy to see the community accepting it as a place.”

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