The Featured Garden Story for the month of September is:
The Stopís Sheltered Garden
Just south of the intersection of St. Clair Avenue West and Christie Street, youíll find The Stop Community Food Centreís Green Barn (www.thestop.org) housed in the Artscape Wychwood Barns complex. Once an old TTC streetcar repair facility, the Barns have been re-developed into a state of the art, multi-purpose sustainable building fusing together affordable housing, art and culture, environmental leadership, heritage preservation and urban agriculture.
The Green Barn is a sustainable food production and education centre that reflects The Stopís philosophy of increasing access to healthy, culturally appropriate, locally grown food, fostering social development and education on food and social justice issues and involving community members in decision making. Covering approximately 1,900 square feet, the garden was planned and planted by people living in the community and other volunteers.
Fresh, organic and culturally diverse crops are grown in the sheltered garden to support The Stopís programs. These crops include lettuces, tomato, sweet potato, tiger-nut, fig, and the ďthree sistersĒ (squash, beans and corn). The Sheltered Garden is an ideal location for experimenting with crops from around the world as the surrounding brick walls keep the space warmer for longer periods of time, thus extending the growing season.
The Sheltered Garden is has become a show piece where people of all age groups, ability levels and socio-economic backgrounds can engage in growing food. People use the space for activities like gardening, teaching, workshops, demonstration tours and building connections to other people from the neighborhood in a safe, welcoming environment. Visitors come on drop-in days to ask questions related to starting seedlings, management of organic plants and soil, and pests and disease control. They also come in to observe the diversity of plant species (food crops, herbs and native flowers) in the space, and to explore the possibilities for growing new crops in Toronto. Cooking events to raise funds for The Stop are held in the sheltered garden. This provides a cosy environment and marvelous atmosphere for dining surrounded by lush, green, diverse plant species - natureís blessings!
The Sheltered Garden is an ideal location for experimenting with crops from around the world as the surrounding brick walls keep the space warmer for longer periods of time, thus extending the growing season.
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Content last modified on January 26, 2010, at 12:25 PM EST