Riverdale Meadow Community Garden
posted April 04, 2007
Caption from the photo pictured at left:
"Jennifer Volk, Riverdale Meadow Community Garden Coordinator, devoted some time on Saturday, April 24 to spreading compost on the garden plots at the garden, located behind the City Adult Learning Centre just south of Broadview and West of Danforth."
Photo by Colin Grant; The Voice, Page 10, May 2004.
Click here TheVOICE-April2004-Page12.pdf for an April 2004 article on the history of Riverdale Meadow Community Garden.
Click this link TheVOICE-April2006-Page2.pdf for the first of two pages providing an update on redevelopment achieved in recent years.
This link connectes you to the remaining half of the same article.TheVOICE-April2006-Page4.pdf
Sadly, sometimes vandalism occurs at community gardens and other public places. Occasionally, as in this case, it is willful and malicious. Usually that type of damage occurs because a stranger to the space is venting rage and frustration in a misplaced way. It was heartbreaking to both our gardeners and neighbours to see all the previous years' hard work and dedication reduced to ruin. TheVOICE-May2006-Page3.pdf This link details a tragic loss that took place on Easter Weekend, 2006. See the Letter to the Editor. A year later we still haven't been able to repair or replace all that was destroyed.
Just to complicate things, while we were cleaning up from the vandalism someone decided to make an unreasonable and unwelcome "donation". TheVOICE-June2006-Page3.pdf The driveways leading to the garden are now chained off to control access. This is why, on our Donations Received page, we request contact before generous offerings are brought in.
Wanton Rage and Grief
ColdFrames, carefully built and tended throughout the winter of 2005-2006, were just a small part of the destruction that ruined water barrels, trampled plants and tomato cages, smashed folk sculptures and plants just potted up for our fundraising sale, broke tools and hoses, and crushed the joy of the gardeners.
The vandals left identification behind, beneath all the debris.
Under guidance of a process called Restorative Justice, the youths were invited back into the garden to see the results of their dark-night behaviour under sun and supervision, where they worked to undo some damage.
We hope they were left with a greater understanding of the practices and pleasures of growing organic food, as they dined on salads from the garden that night.
Thanks to support from Jackman Public School, they also spent a day helping out at the school's Earth Day event, seeing children their own age and younger are involved in caring for the earth and ecology.
Jackman's Peace Garden, the school's response to acts of war, in which tulip bulbs were planted by every student in the school, was blooming vibrant inspiration.
photo by Colin Grant, the Voice
Broken Ground, Broken Hearts
photo by Colin Grant, the Voice
Our garden engages with the broader neighbourhood, through participating in events such as Withrow Park's first Farmer's Market, Fall 2006. Click this link to see the preview story about that event. WithrowPage2.pdf
The event's organizer, Roberta Stimac, of Toronto's new Urban Seed Saver's Network, and Riverdale Meadow Community Garden's Development Coordinator graced the October issue's cover. FrontpageOctober2006.pdf
This link leads to the media review after the event. TheVOICEoCT06pg2.pdf
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