Saturday, May 4th
Imagine walking through an urban park and ravine system that is home to a community food forest, an organic urban farm, beautiful native pollinator flower gardens, and demonstration backyard and balcony food gardens. In these gardens and woodlands local residents share their experience in growing food and farming in far away lands, or perhaps learn from scratch how to plant seeds and tend to crops in local conditions. The food these urban farmers grow becomes a local bounty shared year round within the neighbourhood and beyond.
That’s the vision for the Black Creek Community Farm project located on Toronto and Region Conservation land in the densely populated and culturally rich neighbourhood of Jane/Finch. The farm occupies an eight acre property that includes pristine fields, a heritage farmhouse and barn, and a surrounding forest that extends down in the Black Creek ravine, all within easy walking distance of eight schools and thousands of local residents.
In its early stages, the Black Creek Community Farm will produce it’s first harvest this summer and promises to redefine the urban park experience with an innovative community green space for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
NB: We will be walking in farmers fields - wear boots that can get dirty, especially if it's at all wet! And yes, we will encourage you to get your hands dirty!
The Black Creek Community Farm is a project of the game-changing Everdale Farm and Environmental Learning Centre which trains farmers in sustainable agriculture and operates out of Erin, Ontario. For more information visit www.everdale.org
Co guides Jane Farrow, Anan Lololli & Michael Scahill
Jane Farrow excels at bringing people together for constructive dialogue and creative city-building initiatives. Her career highlights include stints as CBC Radio One host and producer, best-selling author, dynamic facilitator and moderator, and executive assistant at City Hall. She was founding director of Jane’s Walk and is currently working with the NGO Park People as well as Swerhun Inc, a public consultation and community engagement firm.
Anan Lololli, Founder and Exec Director Afri-Can FoodBasket, a non-profit community food security movement that is committed to meeting the nutrition, health and employment needs of members of the Toronto African Canadian community, in particular, those who are economically and socially vulnerable. Through community food security, leadership development and collaborative partnerships, the Afri-Can FoodBasket advances the interests of the community in these areas.
Damian Adjodha , B.sc Envi U of T, Master farmer, specialist in soil science, Production Manger, Backyard Organics. "I have been growing organically since I was a child here in Canada. After receiving the honours B.Sc. from the University of Toronto in 1999, I travelled to my parental homeland in the Caribbean and began growing soy beans and other mixed crops on river valley volcanic soils of the St. Lucian coastal foothills. The challenges of tropical agriculture forced me to question every aspect of traditional agriculture and I soon began designing farming systems based on advanced organic farming/ permaculture system I had been exposed to throughout my travels in the region to Dominica, Cuba and Jamaica, where I successfully completed training to become an internationally recognized organic farm inspector (IOIA). Recently my life has shifted gears as we are raising three baby boys all born within 3½ years! I am happy to be back here in the land of my birth building gardens on the fertile soils I was raised."