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We’re having a party and would love you to come. Raise your glass to Green Thumbs Growing Kids’ learning gardens programs for kids, youth and our neighbourhoods. Try biodynamic wines of Southbrook Winery paired with delicious bites prepared by chef Chris Klugman of Paintbox Bistro, and delectables from Chocosol. There’ll be tunes courtesy of Regent Park School of Music, plus an amazing Silent Auction. You won’t want to miss it!
Date: Saturday November 28
Time: 4-7 pm
Place: PaintBox Bistro, 555 Dundas St. East
Summer at Green Thumbs
by James Malekzadeh
This summer I had the pleasure of working with Green Thumbs Growing Kids as a Garden Program Leader. When I learned that I was hired, I was very excited for the opportunity to have such a unique summer job. I did not know, however, that I would learn countless new things and substantially grow as a person in my two months with the organization.
Besides all of the valuable gardening knowledge I attained, which I cannot overstate, I feel that my entire social consciousness changed while working for Green Thumbs. Getting involved in neighbourhoods like Regent Park and St. James Town introduced me to falsely stigmatized areas that I had only walked through or read about.
I learned the importance of promoting locally grown, healthy food in densely populated and historically low-income areas. The more I immersed myself in the community gardens and the culture surrounding urban gardening, the more I began to notice the inventive ways that people in these neighbourhoods had taken gardening upon themselves. In Regent Park, inner courtyards are used to their fullest capabilities to grow vegetables and greens. In St. Jamestown, I often noticed balconies featuring lush greenery sticking out amongst the monotonous white high rises.
The fact that this whole aspect of Toronto’s identity was unknown and overlooked by me before is probably the greatest change that occurred in me over the summer. My mind opened up to a new method of living and a new understanding of how people in a dense urban setting are able to harness their surroundings and their resources in order to produce something sustainable. From now on, as I walk and bike through these communities, I will hold this knowledge with high regard, along with my respect for how much goes on in this city that you have to get close to, to see.
James Malekzadeh is a film student at Ryerson University.
This Saturday! Prizes and a draw for a pair of Keen Shoes…. come visit each garden for more chances to win. Meet at Sherbourne TTC Station at 10:30 am.
Green Thumbs is in our 16th year of operation, and our 7th year since incorporating as a non-profit organization. Our Board of Directors, always an eclectic and fun bunch, completed strategic planning with volunteers and staff in 2014. We are looking for three new Board members. Please see the posting here.
Our Annual General Meeting will be on Thursday June 25, 5-7 pm, here at our new digs at the Centre for Social Innovation Regent Park (585 Dundas St. E., 3rd floor). Chimu Titi and Urban Roots Youth participants will be creating and serving a lovely light seasonal meal with many ingredients from our gardens. The theme is Hot Days… Cool Cuisine!
Chimu and the youth will prepare foods that in the Ayurvedic tradition are cooling, refreshing and support the body through the summer heat. Sweet Massaged Kale Salad with Sesame Dressing, Veggie Pasta with Basil Pesto, Vegan Bubble & Squeak potato pancakes, and BBQ tempeh are on the menu. To drink? Strawberry and mint lemonade with healthy sweeteners, and Lemon Cupcakes with Juneberry compote for dessert. You gotta come!
RSVP to Cassie Scott, info (at) kidsgrowing.ca, by June 18. The cost to join and vote is $15.00. Current members (joined since October 2014) can renew for $5.00.
From our friends at EdWeb:
Join us for the next Growing School Gardens webinar!
Tuesday, May 19 at 4 p.m. Eastern Time
Innovative Ways to Fund Your School Garden Program
Presented by John Fisher, Director of Programs and Partnerships for Life Lab; with Kevin Hesser, Middle School Teacher and Co-Director of Gardens to Grow In
In This Session
There is no one way to fund a garden program – there are hundreds! In this webinar, Life Lab’s John Fisher and Gardens to Grow In’s Kevin Hesser will share a wide variety of ideas to finance your school garden program. From finding grants and supportive policy, to school garden micro-enterprise and farm-raisers, their discussion will provide funding ideas for all aspects of your school garden, including garden supplies and staffing school garden instructors. John and Kevin’s presentation will share examples of how they have funded the school garden programs that they run, along with insight from other successful garden programs. Topics will include:
- Tools for creating a garden budget
- Telling your story
- Garnering school or district support
- Cultivating donors
- Farm and garden based fundraisers
- Tips for finding grants
- Policy that supports school garden programs
- Innovative ways to fund a garden program
We know that School Gardens represent Biodiversity by their very nature. Some grow food; some grow native wildflowers – but all engage children and youth with our real and changing world.
To highlight the convergence of food biodiversity in this year’s celebration, USC Canada has offered a free gift to the first 20 teachers/garden educators to register their school’s garden. All participants will receive a certificate. Here’s how to participate:
- First register your Ontario school garden at http://bit.ly/1FNsSl2to qualify for a prize from USC Canada – Biodiverse & Beautiful Beans!
- On Friday, May 22, hold an activity in or around/about your school garden. It can be simple or ambitious – it’s up to you! (Biodiversity!) Send pictures of your event to email@example.com
3. The TOP SIX schools with the most student engagement in the garden on that day (percentage of school population, provide pictures) will receive a $75 gift certificate for Home Hardware (or local garden supply outlet), courtesy of the Biodiversity Education and Awareness Network!
We’ll feature all pictures and school gardens on our blog as we receive them.
NOTE: If you had registered before, review your profile here and resubmit for 2015.
USC Seed Gift
Biodiversity Education and Action Network