advocacy


School Garden Survey & Draw Prizes to be Won

by Cassie Scott and Sunday Harrison With the passing of the Local Food Act (Bill 36) and the Healthy Kids Panel in serious consultation, the explosion of interest in good food continues to resound. Here in Toronto, City Council has passed the Toronto Agricultural Program which should support urban agriculture including school gardens. The Ontario government is investing $30M over the next three years into the Local Food Fund, and one of its four categories includes “Education”. Now is the perfect time for school gardens to show how we support food literacy and ...

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Deputation to Local Food Act hearings

Deputation to the Local Food Act Hearings Sunday Harrison-Vickars, Green Thumbs Growing Kids Sunday@kidsgrowing.ca, 416-876-1480 October 8, 2013 Thank you for the opportunity to present my views to you on the proposed Bill 36. My comments will be oriented primarily to the second objective of the bill, that is, to increase awareness of local food in Ontario, including the diversity of local food. I appreciate the inclusive wording of this objective – what grows in Ontario includes a lot of foods that were not perhaps grown by either First Nations or European settlers, ...

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Green Thumbs Growing Kids Announcements May 24, 2013

It's an exciting time for school gardens - please join us physically and metaphysically in our celebrations of a new season of growth and beauty! First up, today is May 24 -- The First Annual School Garden Day, brought to life by our collaboration with EcoSource and the Ontario Edible Education Network. There's a survey to fill out to help us all better understand school food gardens and gardeners, (as well as other children & youth food programs). Next week on Wednesday May 29 is the Fairmount Park Farmers' Market, adjacent to a school yard where a gardening project ...

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Hometown Heroes Awards

Green Thumbs Growing Kids is a finalist in the Group Category of Hometown Heroes, a national celebration of environmental achievement. Thanks Earth Day Canada!

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Imagine a Garden in Every School

Bringing school food gardens into a provincial network has long been a goal of ours at GTGK. Thanks in part to a grant from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, our Imagine a Garden in Every School campaign is being co-ordinated by our own Cassie Scott. On June 19, Roberta Bondar came to Rose Ave. PS as our guest, and as a friend to the school as well. On this occasion, she helped "launch" the Imagine a Garden in Every School campaign, and joked that "launching" is something she has been known to do before! (showing picture of the rocket that took her to space). She ...

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Snail’s pace of environmental education

Jan Wong's silly article "The Horticultural Revolution" ( or as it says on the cover of the magazine "The Stupidity of School Gardens") in the October edition of Toronto Life just begs for a rebuttal. In advance of the article being posted digitally, I am posting my response here. Thanks to Jan Wong, I now know that teaching children not to kill snails is communist propaganda. I am not sure how the snails organized into trade unions, but apparently they have done so under the cover of school garden programs offered by my organization, Green Thumbs Growing Kids. Likely ...

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Green Thumbs Growing ADVOCACY!

Yesterday I was lucky enough to represent Green Thumbs Growing Kids at the Parks and Environment Committee meeting at Toronto City Hall (super bonus: beating the heat in air-conditioned Committee Room 1).  In case you've missed (or perhaps avoided) the recent media coverage, the accounting firm KPMG was hired by the city to perform a Core Services Review in an effort to identify areas where City Hall may be able to save a little extra cash - a tidy sum of $774 million dollars, to be exact.  While there are lots of "opportunities" on the table, one that is particularly ...

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School gardens get funding stateside

Recently passed legislation called the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, S.3307: includes the following: Connecting More Children to Healthy Local Produce through Farm-to-School Programs The bill provides $40 million in mandatory funding to help schools establish school gardens and source local foods into their cafeterias. This is great news, and we look forward to the Canadian equivalent.

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Food Secure Canada Assembly Update

Xuan-Yen, here. We had a whirlwind of a weekend, jam packed with presenting, workshops, networking and enjoying the company of fellow food involved people November 26th to the 28th in Montreal at the Biennial Food Secure Canada Assembly. Both Sunday and I spoke on a panel discussing schools as a space for nutrition, in both official languages Saturday morning.  It was my first time presenting in French at a conference. We shared how we are able to maintain our garden-based programming all year round by implementing numerous strategies and engaging with the communi...

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School gardens and healthier school menus go hand in hand!

Rebecca Jones wrote this great article in Education News Colarado on how introducing healthier school menus is not enough in getting children to eat more healthily and nutritiously.  Researchers at the Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health at the University of California at Berkeley found that implementing school food gardens and cooking, and other participatory food related activities, with healthy menu choices in the cafeteria increased children's intake of healthier fare ---- they had a growing appreciation for fresh vegetables and fruit in and ...

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