Riverdale Meadow Community Garden
This organic food garden is on Toronto District School Board property; it is, as far as we know, the only non-school community garden on TDSB land. It was started in 1993 by a partnership of Bring Back The Don, Grow T.O. (now FoodShare), the Toronto Food Policy Council (Board of Health), and the City Adult Learning Centre.
The soil is clay-based, and when tested in 1993 was determined to be rural-quality. The garden follows organic principles, meaning no pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides are used here. Water conservation and mulching are practiced.
We participate in the Plant A Row Grow A Row program, donating foods directly to the kitchen of a local crisis centre.
Riverdale Meadow Community Garden is entirely volunteer-member run, and, other than seasonal access to water provided by the school, is supported entirely by the efforts of RMCG's gardeners, none of whom are paid staff.
This is a FULL SUN garden, that gets blazingly hot in the summer.
It is a community garden (not city allotment plots).
Participation for 2012 and beyond has changed:
In 2010 and 2011, members began sharing the plots and harvests communally, rather than using plot spaces individually. This means precious space isn't wasted growing duplicate annuals and perennials; it also means we're better able to keep grass from invading plots by removing some pathways, as well as enhancing other practices that benefit the garden as a whole. All plots are now shared and shares in the harvests are based on participation.
Application to participate at Riverdale Meadow Community Garden is open to individuals who wish to develop their gardening skills, by working with experienced gardeners and coordinators on an appointment basis, all year round.
By offering our gardeners' expertise in exchange for participants' assistance, we are able to continue the development of this once-neglected garden, and can expand the experiences and community connections of individuals who have the strength and interest but not the land or experience. There can also be opportunities for those with experience whose strength is fading; but this is a "rough-and-tumble" location where the abilities to lug and to dig are greatly valued.
We are also able to work with students who need community service hours to graduate high school or receive GED accreditation.
As Toronto District School Board by-laws prohibit both smoking and animals on their properties, among other restrictions; and as we operate completely within these guidelines, please do not bring dogs or other pets or other forbidden items onto CALC property.
To enquire about this garden's new participation practices, contact George A. Moore:
rmcommunitygarden (at) sympatico (dot) ca
For any other queries, contact: cgwebsite (at) sympatico (dot) ca
Addresses spelled out for anti-spam purposes
Please make an individual query for yourself only; and do not add these address to any mass-communication lists. Please also note that we cannot accommodate third-party queries. Thank you.
Serious enquiries will include your full name and phone number.
Queries are answered weekly, as we spend more time in the garden than on the internet,
so thank you for your patience.
If the style of this garden does not suit you, feel free to contact either FoodShare's FoodLink to enquire about other gardens, or call the City of Toronto (dial 311) regarding community gardens on Parks Department property, or about the City of Toronto's Allotment Gardens (such as in High Park or at Leslie Spit). You can also visit the Toronto Community Garden Network's website, to view listings of some of the city's gardens at http://www.tcgn.ca.
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