At our last meeting we spoke about a variety of projects – some very different from each other, and not all being mutually exclusive. I would like to discuss what projects people think are most worthwhile, or perhaps suggest new ones we haven’t spoken about. I have listed and described those which we have mentioned below.
Do-It-Yourself Balcony Food Garden Pamphlet
Put together a pamphlet based on the Montreal based Alternative web-pamphlet, specifically for Toronto. Providing people with a step by step guide on how to convert their balcony into their own personal herb and vegetable garden.
Parkdale Garden – Alley Parking Lot Reclamation
One of our members owns a store front on Queen St. W in Parkdale. The rear parking lot is under-used and can be converted for the most part into a food productive garden. There is a local soup kitchen charity where some of the produce can be donated. The project could serve as a demonstration on how under-used, and poorly used urban spaces (specifically parking lots) can be used to produce food.
Regent Park Community Garden Projects
A: The Regent Park neighbourhood is currently undergoing significant redevelopment. Part of the plan and tower renewal calls for existing and new open space to be used in part for growing food. Unfortunately many of the community organizations are inexperienced and unequipped to start their own gardens. As a group we could act to help initiate, facilitate, design, construct, educate and maintain community gardens in concert with local grassroots community organizations.
B: Currently being developed in Regent Park is a new affordable housing project adjacent to a church. The design calls for a community kitchen and food garden on site. Acting in a similar fashion as in project A we could assist the architect and the church in constructing and maintaining the garden and kitchen, as well as assisting and educating the new tenants in how to use and grow food in their garden as well.
Green Roof Laboratory
One of our members has access to a roof top that could be converted into a food producing green roof. Although the location is not incredibly accessible to the public, this site could be used as an experimental and demonstration garden.
The idea with this type of project is to get as much publicity as possible by leaving garden planters, or seedlings in public places. Is particularely successful when done in partnership with universities. But the fruits of the project generally are short lived.