The Healthy Food Bank foundation and our magazine, Spezzatino, are proud to support The Stop Community Food Centre. Here’s a quick update on what The Stop has been up to recently.
There are so many benefits to growing food in backyard gardens: accessing fresh, organic vegetables for a lower cost; obtaining culturally appropriate foods that may be hard to find at the grocery store; helping the environment by reducing the chemical inputs and pollution caused by conventional farming – all while getting exercise, fresh air, and the satisfaction of watching food grow!
In fact, gardening is one of Canada’s most popular outdoor recreational activities. But here in Toronto not everyone can go right out and start digging – many people would like to garden but live in apartment buildings or do not have access to yard space suitable for growing food. And yet others have access to a yard but do not have the time, interest, or the physical ability to maintain a vegetable garden.
The Stop is launching Yes In My Back Yard (YIMBY) to connect people who have land to offer with people who would like to garden.
The Backyard Gardening project
Wave after wave of immigrants have transformed Toronto. Their influence is everywhere – in our roads and buildings, institutions, stores and restaurants. But there is another place where this influence is felt, one many people never see. It is in the productive backyard gardens of the city, those verdant green corridors squeezed between brick and concrete, new and old.
On June 2, 2010, we will host Big Night at The Green Barn to celebrate the immigrant families who have tended these spaces, sharing their knowledge of plants and gardening techniques, passing on stories and memories, enriching the soil and the city with their passion for the earth and growing good food. This event will raise critical funds for our Backyard Garden Project, an initiative that will inspire and support members of our community to grow food in the city, building a stronger, healthier, more connected Toronto.
This special evening will be hosted by David Rocco and feature Nonna-inspired recipes prepared by Lorenzo Loseto, Ted Corrado, and The Stop’s own Chris Brown. Each course will feature a recipe drawn from each chef’s own family traditions.
The Stop is also establishing seven culturally specific garden plots, each with a unique mix of heritage/traditional vegetables and plants, which will be tended by experienced volunteers drawn from Toronto’s diverse immigrant communities.
Team Spezzatino was out in full force at this latter event. Here are some shots from the evening.