Riverdale Meadow Community Garden

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Custodians:

Welcome to our Donations: Giving and Receiving page!

For making donations to Riverdale Meadow Community Garden,
please see the second half of this page.

Donors to our garden are listed below, at this link.

Donating To Others - what we can offer:

Sharing knowledge and perennial food plants with other Community Gardens

and

Sharing organic garden foods with local shelters and crisis centres
as inspired by the national Plant A Row ~ Grow A Row program

Riverdale Meadow Community Garden regularly engages with the broader gardening community, farmers' markets, and our local neighbourhood's residents and businesses.

We do this partly through donating and trading perennial food plants and Ontario Native Species shrubs and wildflowers with other community gardens across the city; and partly by offering workshops and tours, as well as participating in Seedy Saturday events across Southwestern Ontario and local organic farmers' markets.

We also invite those in our neighbourhood, who live in apartments and have no other place to recycle their fruit and vegetable scraps, to bring their compostables to the garden.

Additionally, we donate fresh organic produce, from spring through fall, to the kitchen of a local mental health centre.

A list of perennials available to other community gardens is posted at the bottom of the Donating To Others portion of this page.

Queries: cgwebsite (at) sympatico (dot) ca. (Sorry, address spelled out for anti-spam purposes.)

Queries are answered weekly, as we spend more time in the garden than on the internet,

thank you for your interest and patience.

 

Reaching out across the fence

Single-click this link

IH2005FallNews_web.pdf (computer requires Adobe Reader)

for an example of donations of fresh organic produce made by our gardeners to the kitchens of local crisis centres every year, inspired by the national Plant A Row ~ Grow A Row program.

Sharing

 

First Strawberries, Eager Folly

photo by Zora Ignatovic

These strawberry plants were donated to a local public school's Learning Garden, from a Riverdale Meadow Community Garden member's own plot.

Eager children just can't wait for the fruits to ripen fully before picking.

Small Hand, Big Prize

photo by Zora Ignatovic

Members of Riverdale Meadow Community Garden delight in reliving their own childhoods by teaching youngsters the pleasures of discovering and tasting fruits fresh from the plant.

Donating edible perennials to other community gardens is a regular practice.

These berry plants are at Jackman Public School, donated in Spring 2006.

In 2005 a quantity of plants were donated to the Gerstein Centre, among other locations.

This year, plants are already organized for donation to Frankland Community School, as well as offers being made to other city-wide community gardens.

 

31 March 2007
Jumpstarting Spring: Peas & Strawberries

photo by Kyla Dixon-Muir

Helping set up experimental ColdFrames at Dufferin Grove Park.

Even though the forecast calls for one more late-season snowfall in the coming week, we're optimistic enough to show how to plant peas under a makeshift shelter.

In the foreground are strawberry plants donated in 2005, showing the first signs of garden green.

 

31 March 2007
Garden Peas, soon, please...

photo by Kyla Dixon-Muir

The basics of Season Extension Techniques:
Riverdale Meadow C.G. lends a hand in learning to give early crops an extra head-start by applying simple ColdFraming. Here Mammoth Melting Peas are sheltered from wind and a forecasted late snow, and the sun is given an extra opportunity to warm the soil under the wood and plastic.

Right foreground: a baby asparagus plant, grown from Riverdale Meadow C.G. seed, and donated to Dufferin Grove Park last year, shows a few wispy beige strands. Asparagus takes patience: planted in 2006, spears cannot be harvested until 2010. By then, the fist-sized root crown will have grown to the size of a watemelon.

Peas, asparagus, and strawberries are among the earliest crops to grow and harvest in any garden, giving hope for all the delicious foods to come over the warmer months.

Getting into the soil early creates a special sense of bonding among gardeners as we re-emerge from winter cocoons and dreamy hours spent drooling over seed catalogues, to get literally grounded, encouraging dirt under our nails once again.

Feedback on our garden's donations to others:

Fall 2006
Wire Frame Cages for Jackman Public School
Riverdale Meadow CG volunteer
demonstrates simple construction techniques

photo by Zora Ignatovic

From emails mid-May 2007

Hi Camila:

In case you keep track of these things, all 8 kindergarten classes, Ms. Simon's 2/3 and Mrs Plytas Gr. 2 received received a tasty looking baggy of fresh and fabulous Jackman lettuce. I think the cold frame is a hit. It sure is fun to harvest in the spring!

Perhaps we should expand our cold frame planting next year? Robin

Kyla and Zora, Wanted you to know about the success of the Mache in the cold frames. Thank you both so much for orchestrating this project! As you can see from Robin's note there was an abundant and lush looking harvest.

Kyla, are you giving more workshops on the subject?

There are now four cold frames stored behind the Jackman composter - what would you like us to do with these? Camila

Hi Camila; Cold frames are school property, our gift for the seasons to come. Store them safely please - maybe in the basement. Enjoy the crop and festival. Zora

No fall workshops planned as yet, Camila; perhaps Jackman would like to host one? Don’t forget I donated a copy of my Growing to Eat text to Jackman Public School’s library. Kyla


Plants and seeds we can donate or trade

If your community garden is in a full-sun location we can offer the following:

Black & Red Currant (cuttings from our bushes, to root yourself, each January)
Raspberry Cane on roots (Nova variety, July bearing; sometimes bears again in November) available to transplant as soon as the ground thaws (~ early April).

'''2010 update: Oops! we've made so many donations of fruit canes to other gardens, that we're temporarily unable to provide more. We've also learned, sadly, that many recipients claim that their canes have not taken root properly in the first year, or haven't come back the second...

Raspberry canes do take time and care to transplant and nurture; and we seem to have success with that, so, for now, all we can do is offer - for sale - what we have managed to nurture ourselves...

 

Other plants that will take root more easily for you are:

Strawberry Plants (June bearing) generally available August to November

Asparagus seed
Black-Eyed Susans
Daylilies (orange)
Foxglove
Grape Vine roots
Irises
Jerusalem Artichoke
Lemon Balm
Purple Orach seeds
Spearmint and Peppermint
Yarrow
Valerian
Vinca
Here's the deal:

Ensure that your garden beds are prepared ahead for the transplants.

Make an appointment with our Development Coordinator, Kyla Dixon-Muir

Arrive punctually, rain or shine. We have tools, and re-used plastic soil bags for packaging.

You and your helpers do the digging; while smiling, and singing or whistling while you work.

Provide your own transportation for carting away the plants.

Contact 'cgwebsite (at) sympatico (dot)ca. address spelled out for anti-spam purposes''

(Serious enquiries will include your full name and phone number.)

While we cannot make donations of plants to individuals for private use, we are certainly willing to trade or barter...


Donations We Are Grateful To Receive:

 

While garden receives tap water in summer via TDSB's City Adult Learning Centre, we do not have any paid staff, formal programming, nor official funding.

All activities at the garden are member-volunteer initiated and achieved.

!!!Donations of goods and services go a long way in helping us keep the garden vital.

While we are grateful to receive donations, please contact our coordinators first, to make delivery arrangements. Never just drop things off. Thank you.


Especially wanted in mid-July each year: Commercial Kitchen Space

In order to preserve our fabulous raspberry vinaigrette, the use of a commercial kitchen for about four hours would be tremendously helpful. We sell our popular vinaigrette at fall harvest festivals to help raise funds to keep the garden going.

All we need is to boil some water or use a dishwasher to sterilize the commercial-grade bottles, and some table space. We can provide all our own utensils and other materials, and will leave your kitchen cleaner than we found it. We'll even offer up some of the garden's (local, organic) produce to sweeten the deal.

Because this garden operates without funding or paid staff, we are grateful to those who can support us in any way.

Pre-arranged donations are most appreciated. Our Wish List is posted at the bottom of this page. Please do not just drop things off: contact us first. Thank you.

Please contact our Development Coordinator, Kyla Dixon-Muir, via cgwebsite (at) sympatico (dot) ca, to enquire about relevant donations and to arrange for pickup; we have a van. (Please include your full name and phone number.)

Again, please do not drop off any items without having contacted us first. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and support.

Because we participate in the national Plant A Row ~ Grow A Row program, your donations help us make donations in turn, of fresh organic produce, to the kitchen of a local crisis centre.

 

Wish List for 2010

Please, do not deliver any donations to the garden without first contacting the coordinators. Thank you.

Living Things:
Perennial herbs (lots of thyme for pathways) Ontario Native Species wildflowers

Fencing
Garden is ~ 50' x 50' Welded Wire, rectangular aperture; and/or T-Bars; (To increase the security of our 4' tall farm fencing; and discourage trespassing, theft, and vandalism) Chicken Wire (to keep dogs and rabbits out) Trellising (or lumber to build it) for our grape vines and roses Lattice to build a shade arbour (our garden is full sun, no shade)

Irrigation:
Water Barrels (& mosquito-proof covers) PVC pipe & connectors to hoses (~ 300' to go around parking lot between garden & school) Soaker hoses (for our community raspberry patch) "Posts" for the perimeters of our 25 plots (to keep the watering hoses in the pathways)

For Growing:
Free-standing shelving (which we could wrap in plastic to create a temporary greenhouse) for hardening-off seedlings grown in members' window-sills -- or some small form of greenhouse system or solar pod (Note: nothing big enough to become "habitat for humanity": we are located right next to the Don Valley, where there are numerous vagrants, and is no neighbourhood watch) A sturdy outdoor work table -- which we could stake to the ground (for carpentry, potting, members' meetings, and fundraising sales…) Plexiglass, in any size (for building coldframes or temporary greenhousing, or to sheath our perimeter fencing and make it climb-proof)

For Comfort:
Seating on which to rest (chairs or benches, which we could stake to the ground -– but nothing on which someone could stretch out to sleep overnight…)

Doing The Work - in the Garden:
Leather Work Gloves: 8 pairs (ours now have patches on the patches) Garden or Construction Tools (edging spades, hand cultivators, garden forks; a sledgehammer, post pounder, drill bits & driver bits; galvanized Robertson screws, spiral nails, construction-gauge galvanized wire, vise grips ... Untreated lumber, patio stones and whole (paving) bricks ...

Doing The Work - Administration:
8 ˝ x 11 paper, 6 x 9 and 9 x 12 kraft envelopes, cartridges for HP5L LaserJet printer, waterproof & fadeproof markers

Again, please do not, ever, drop off any items without having contacted us first. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and support.

Contact us at cgwebsite (at) sympatico (dot) ca

Queries are answered weekly, as we spend more time in the garden than on the internet,

so thank you for your patience.


The First Donations - How RMCG Was Started

In April 1993 the Toronto Board of Education granted a space of 50' x 50' to a collaborative effort begun by Dalton Shipway of Bring Back The Don. That group included Karl Eder, then principal of CALC; Pam McConnell, then the local Board of Education Trustee; Sean Cosgrove of the Toronto Food Policy Council; Grow T.O. (now FoodShare, and a driving force behind the Toronto Community Gardens Network); and David Stonehouse, Task Force staff with the City Planning Department.

The garden was initiated as a Land Reclamation Project (LRP), a term used specifically to denote the project as being established with a continuance perspective of fifty years and beyond.

There are two components to this: LRP-gardening and LRP-naturalization.

The naturalization began that fall in partnership with the Landscape Architect's Association. It includes a variety of Ontario Native Species plants, transplanted from Ecology Park when the TTC resumed active use of this Spadina Avenue property.

These plants included the wildflowers New England Aster, Small White Aster, Blue False Indigo, Tall Coreopsis, Purple Coneflower, Common Wild Strawberry, Shrubby St. John's Wort, Wild Bergamot, Shrubby Cinquefoil, Gray-headed Coneflower, Sweet Coneflower, Cup-Plant, Prairie Dock, Solomon's Seal, Herb-Robert Geranium.

Virginia Creeper and Wild Grape vines were also planted.

The shrubs and bushes planted were Red Currant, White Currant, Purple Flowering Raspberry, Blackberry, Blue False Indigo Gray Dogwood and Red Oiser Dogwood.

Red Mulberry, Saskatoon Serviceberry, Apple, Choke Cherry, Red Bud Pin Cherry and Eastern White Cedar trees were also planted.

A wide variety of herbs were also planted: Yarrow, Chives, Horseradish, Southernwood, Absinthe Wormwood, Costmary, Daylilies, Lavender, Lovage, Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Applemint, Dwarf Catnip, Golden Oregano, Oregano, Santolina, Comfrey, Thyme, and Valerian.

The LRP programs under which this land was granted intends Riverdale Meadow Community Garden to be a demonstration garden of indigenous plants and urban farming practices, in order to show the viability of community gardens and ecological restoration in the urban environment. RMCG members commit to the continuance of these goals.

 


 

Many thanks to generous donors who contributed in 2009 and 2010:

 

Monique G. Linteau

more than our great neighbour: this garden's best friend

for practical support that keeps us grounded and well-rooted,

for myriad recycled items, and for generous inspiration

 

Helen Mills

yes the inimitable Helen of Lost Rivers Walks, Toronto Green Community, and more wise community works

for a generous quantity of books, soil supplies, structural materials, pots, tools, patio stones, and much more...

 

Mike P. Nevin

for an ongoing abundance of the city's best black-gold: vermicompost

 

the Bain Co-op Resident's Council, via Mike Nevin

for much-needed water barrels and compost bin parts, and other recycled, valued garden items

 

Andrew K. Roy

proud new father of Audrey

of Green Gardeners Collective and Green Oasis on Broadview

for a stunning, professionally-built, cedar cabinet that we have needed so desperately for so very long,

with which he was hard-pressed to part

 

Dennis, and Eva, and all family and staff

New York Cafe

757 Broadview (at Danforth) - the neighbourhood's favourite restaurant

for consistent community support

for helping us with commercially-approved kitchen space

to produce our raspberry-apple cider vinegar -- a favourite at farmers' markets

as a key fundraiser for the garden

 

Linda Rozmovits

Tennis Crescent, Riverdale

for garden furniture in perfect condition, that will help us so much when fundraising at farmers' markets

 

- - -

 

thanks also to:

Sarosh Anwar

community gardener, and community garden animator

for locks and keys; and for soil, mulch, and compost

 

our shy neighbours, in two homes on Tennis Crescent, Riverdale

for a generous quantity of big terracotta "planters" that have helped us rebuild hillside terracing; and for an umbrella that gives us welcome portable shade for working in the blazing sun

 

Cecil Critch

Tennis Crescent, Toronto

for diverting and forwarding many recycled gardening items on an ongoing basis

 

Katie Fullerton

Community Animator, LiveGreen Toronto, East

for many tomato cages and some lovely lattice

 
 

Dan Jenkins and Daniel Megill, of the Carrot Green Roof team

for treasured lumber offcuts

 

Doug Pegg and CALC custodians

for lumber offcuts, padlocks, lockers, and for a welcoming inclusiveness as a great new team is fostered

Jess Speir

Brookbridge Drive, Burlington

for a gift card to allow us to purchase new merchandise for infrastructure repairs

 

Claire Vodden

Tennis Crescent, Riverdale

who is always on the lookout for what belongs in the garden not in landfill

 

Wes Wilson, and gardening staffers Jung, Margaret, and Shakeela Loblaws, Broadview Avenue

for bags of soil, compost, and mulch, to further our work with ColdFraming; and for spent potted plants for further terracing a hillside

 
 


Many thanks to generous donors who contributed in 2008:

This year we received gorgeous wooden boxes for storing and merchandising tubers, seeds, and drying catnip; as well as heavy-duty wheelbarrows, and many much-needed large tools; a significant quantity of plexiglass (delivered, even!); T-Bars for fencing repairs; wooden framing and stairs; pots and soil; the use of a commercial kitchen to produce our fabulous Raspberry Apple-Cider vinegar; a cash donation from New York Cafe's Halloween party fundraiser; a significant quantity of prime-quality paving stones; volunteer time from a kind neighbour to help us develop Mothers' Garden, by planting the most difficult, thorn-bearing black-cap raspberries; and a much-needed bike rack.

Lorraine Clarkson, Toronto Urban Studies Centre (TDSB)

Carmelo, Christine, Dave, Richard, Victoria, Will, and all the staff at LCBO Store #4 (Danforth east of Broadview)

Cecil Critch, Tennis Crescent, Riverdale

Monique Linteau, Toronto Urban Studies Centre (TDSB)

Wendy Keefe, Market Manager; and Margaret & Jung; Loblaws, 720 Broadview Avenue, Riverdale

Mike Jackson, Pickering

New York Cafe, Broadview @ Danforth (Dennis, Eva, & Lorraine)

New York Cafe patrons: Eva Niko, Lorraine McKay, Shelley Burns, Jason Amsler, Robert Purcell, Robert Vallance, Doreen Hobson, Brian Danes, Brent Grimmard, Roy Ruskey, Michael Chopp, Dan Wright, Serena, James, Andrew Robertson, Kim Lovisrk, Lianne Butts, Peter Moody, Pamela Hannan, George Dyco, Shanee & Arnie Mangulins, Michael Kennedy, Jim Allan, David Lincon, Rein Ristmagi

Owen, Facilities Services, TDSB

Rada Ristich, Peter Pauls Flowers

Rob, on Tennis Cres., Riverdale

Ray Rose, and caretaking staff, City Adult Learning Centre

Julian Sleath, Cabbagetown

Laurie Stanley, Danforth Avenue, Riverdale

Thanks, too, to Withrow Park Farmers' Market, The Brickworks Farmers' Market, and Trinity Bellwoods Farmers' Market for allowing us to share in their festivals and special events.

Thanks also to generous donors who contributed in 2007:

This year we received untreated wood, gardening hand tools, clay pots, storage bins, plant pots, terracing materials, topsoil, worm compost, infrastructure supports, coldframing materials, original music and video editing skills, the use of a commercially licensed kitchen for preparing our fabulous Raspberry Apple-Cider Vinegar, and a pair of huge, heavy concrete planters.

A1 Bait Inc., Scarborough

Rhea, & Therese Beaulieu, Riverdale

Cecil Critch, Tennis Crescent, Riverdale

Dufferin Grove Park staff

Nicholas Fasullo, FortySomething, Riverdale

Sandra Jelenich & Richard Perrin, Riverdale

Monique Linteau, Toronto Urban Studies Centre (TDSB)

Rada Ristich, Peter Pauls Flowers

Mike Thorne,Garden Manager,and Margaret & Jung; Loblaws, 720 Broadview Avenue

Martin Toombes, Riverdale

Thanks, too, to Withrow Park Farmers' Market, for allowing us to share in their Spring & Fall festivals.

Continued thanks to generous donors who contributed in 2006:

This year we received leather work gloves, heirloom tomato plants, paper, fabric, ties, labels, video editing and music, hardwood offcuts, patio stones, buckets for storage, a gift certificate to a garden centre, plant pots, wildflower and vegetable seeds, theatre tickets for a raffle, coroplast for a greenhouse, metal sign frames, and window security bars that will help us build frames for solar ovens.

Thanks so very much to all of you for all you have offered,
and for your imagination and generous support of our garden.

Caroline Burgess

Desjardins Credit Union, Rocchina Colangelo

Terry Cooke, The Mill Centre

Alexa DeWiel, Sutton Group

Eugene, Head Caretaker, City Adult Learning Centre

Nicholas Fasullo

Paula Forst, Theatre Passe Muraille

Eleanor Franklin, Bravado! Designs

Cynthia French, One Girl Media & Design

Alastair Hepbourne

Daniel Hoffman, FoodShare

Sandra Jelenich

Jack Layton Campaign

Monique Linteau, Toronto Urban Studies Centre, at CALC

Andrea Muller

Brian, and Howard, North American Native Plant Society

Rada Ristich, Peter Pauls Flowers

Sheridan Nurseries

Peter Tabuns Campaign

Rhonda Teitel-Payne, The Stop Community Food Centre



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