urban agriculture


Reflections on Yield, 2014 growing season

Reflecting on yield, by Chimu Titi, Urban Roots Youth Program Leader Gardeners think a lot about yield, what is it?  Quantity?  The quality? What we learned? What we shared?  As summer retreats and fall approaches we recall what went right and what went pear shaped.  We have numbers.  Over 20 lbs of fresh organic produce harvested per week and enjoyed in Urban Roots Culinary programs as well as sold at the Green Thumbs Growing Kids table by youth volunteers.  This does not include the produce harvested daily by community members.  We sold over 70 lbs of fresh ...

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Thanks to our awesome co-op students

In June, our co-op students Prushodhj Niranjan and Pantha Azmee finished up at GTGK. They were superstars! And we will miss them. Prushodhj and Pantha, both students in the Environmental Specialist High Skills Majors program at (school name), diligently took on a variety of tasks: leading workshops and teaching young children about vermicomposting, rebalancing and managing multiple composting sites; setting up and taking a leadership role in children's and youth garden programs; garden maintenance—building beds, repairing a composter, planting, watering and caring for ...

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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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Earthblock Garden Build, Urban Agriculture Summit

On Aug. 18, seven participants in the Urban Agriculture Summit, hailing from as far away as Oregon, attended a Green Thumbs Growing Kids garden build. We used Compressed Earth Blocks, made by Henry Weirsma of Fifth Wind Farms. Here's the location - it's like a small town of 20,000 people, in 10 city blocks full of highrises. The site will be shaded by a building to the south for 3 hours  in midday - actually could end up helping to conserve water. Henry showed up with about 100 Earth Blocks. His farm is a little over an hour away in Cobourg Ontario. He makes the ...

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School Garden Earthblock Build, Aug. 18

  Want to know how to build a garden bed with children on a school ground? Come join our Urban Agriculture Summit workshop, Saturday August 18 from 1-5 pm. This is a hands-on workshop you'll leave with new skills and curriculum links for doing your own build. The Earth Blocks are an environmentally friendly material, and the raised beds help to extend the growing season as well as reduce compaction and allow children to garden more easily.

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Program Leader, Part-Time Contract

Job Posting – Urban Gardening Program Leader, Urban Roots Youth Program Part-time contract, March 19 to June 29: 20 hours/week; July 3-Aug. 24: 24 hours/week Wage: Hourly $18.50, contract position. Reports to Program Director/Volunteer Co-ordinator, Green Thumbs Growing Kids Green Thumbs Growing Kids works with children, youth and their families to learn about, grow and prepare fresh foods, cultivated in an environmentally sustainable manner, in hands-on programs. We are excited to offer our Urban Roots Youth training and employment program for the second year. The ...

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Back-to-school harvesting

Do you feel that? It's the cool fall breeze rustling your hair. Do you hear that? That's the sound of children's voices gleefully picking vegetables from their school garden carrying over: eating beans, tomatoes, sorrel, chives and what have you straight out of the garden. Last week at Winchester, Gabrielle Roy and Sprucecourt children picked a large bounty of vegetables that went into the schools' lunch and morning snack programs, as well the fresh and immediate consumption! Tomatoes for everyone! Globular and pear shaped, small and big, stripey, red, orange, ...

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The urban food-producing ecosystem

It's important to remember the value of trees in our food-producing landscapes. I remember when Ecoschools first started, feeling like sometimes we were in conflict with the idea of planting more trees on school grounds, because we were thinking about the sun and the annual food plants that need 6-8 hours of it to produce. Other folks were thinking about the need for shade, to cool buildings and children. It just doesn't seem right to have a conflict about this! We need shade AND sun. So the ideas around ecosystems and permaculture start to make sense in this context. I ...

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GTGK: January and February updates galore! Plant Nerd alert!

Oh boy. It's not quite gardening season (although we do have our onion and stevia seeds planted indoors!) and already we've had our hands full with various events, presentations and programs, not to mention grant writing and seed inventory! Eeeeee! On January 27, I went out to Ajax to present on a panel discussing engagement with newcomer youth. The Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA) organized this overarching conference on community engagement and settlement issues. Recommended by a Kitchener-Waterloo public health nurse, I was invited to participate on a ...

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Urban Roots Youth covered in Parliament St. Newspaper

Parliament St. News, a new local paper, featured our Urban Roots Youth program in their February edition. The program continues to gather steam, and participants learned all about cuttings and division last week.

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