Leaside Park Community Garden

The Leaside Park Community Garden (LPCG) was developed in partnership with the Thorncliffe Park Urban Farmers and Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office (TNO) in 2015. It is a food-growing, gardening, and learning space for residents and community members of all ages. The garden is open from April to the end of October. We welcome individuals, families, school and other program groups from Thorncliffe and Flemingdon Park.

About the space:

The garden is like a "community farm", with rows of vegetables that are maintained by residents/community members (volunteers) for the benefit of the community. We grow a wide variety of culturally appropriate vegetables including several types of tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, peppers, eggplants, and more. Most of the plants are grown from seed right here in Thorncliffe Park.

Since the first season we have planted many types of vegetables in rows in approximately half of the 0.4-acre area. There are also 5 raised garden beds and some of individual allotments. By having communal/shared space, rather than plots/allotments, many more people can have access to fresh produce and can benefit from the space. Over the past 3 seasons we have grown between 200 and 300 pounds of food.

Sustainable growing practices are used, the most important being that absolutely no chemicals will ever be used and organic plant varieties are used whenever possible. It is also a priority to maintain the ecological health of the area by creating bee and butterfly habitat by using native plant species.

How it works:

Volunteers come to the garden during scheduled group gardening times (several times a week, morning and evening) as often as they like, usually at least once a week for 1-2 hours. Volunteer gardeners also spend time in the garden on their own time, tending the plants and enjoying the environment.

Vegetable harvesting is done as a group in order to ensure that everyone gets a fair amount. The harvest is distributed – as it becomes available - among those who come to the space to grow and learn, as well as to community members in need and to local food banks.

Garden activities:

  • Learn about food-growing and gardening in an urban environment
  • Participate in group gardening and harvest with us
  • Gather and share gardening knowledge, feedback, recipes, and stories
  • Plant vegetable, herb, fruit and flower seedlings and seeds
  • Prepare the rows for planting/seeding by weeding, spreading compost, and polishing the pathways
  • Watering the shared plants
  • Lightly weed the rows, thin seedlings, and prune plants when needed (general crop maintenance)
  •  “Put the garden to bed” for the winter
  • Participate in the planning for the next season

 

How to get involved:

Thorncliffe and Flemingdon Park residents can become volunteers at the Leaside Park Community Garden from April to the end of October. Volunteers will participate in the activities listed here in the shared/communal area, depending on what they are comfortable with. Youth aged 13+ will receive volunteer hours. Registration will begin in May 2019.

A limited number of small individual allotments are available and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, to those who do not have a space in another community garden. Allotments will be advertised to the community in May  2019. Those with individual allotments are welcome to participate in all volunteer activities in the shared/communal area.

For more information please contact Esha Kidwai at 416-467-0126 x 245 or ekidwai@tno-toronto.org