The Green Artisan Retailers & Designers Environmental Networking Space (GARDENS) and the GARDENS Advisory Council (GAC) is a non-profit organization from Ward 3 (Etobicoke-Lakeshore) committed to food security and education. We operate in collaboration with the LAMP Community Health Centre and Humber College to assist in creating an Urban Agricultural Framework for South Etobicoke through the creation and maintenance of garden pods as well as knowledge sharing. All food grown in our garden pods is redistributed to the community.
We envision an engaged and collaborative community working to empower everyone in South Etobicoke through a grassroots approach to locally growing and distributing food, as well as providing education and knowledge sharing about urban gardening and related topics. We envision the issues of food security and environmental resiliency embraced as a team and hope to improve on our current food system to support solutions to these problems.
To engage the citizens of South Etobicoke in community building and addressing issues of food insecurity by creating urban community gardens and a community hub, to provide food and education to promote community, social, and environmental resiliency.
The GAC also seeks to enhance the community with gathering, educational, and employment space that promotes:
partnerships within the community and perhaps beyond;
education opportunities as related to urban gardening, ecology, nutrition;
research, experimentation, and innovation in garden technologies, land reclamation, water conservation, clean energy that supports sustainability;
retail, and other employment possibilities; and
a working model for land and facility reclamation/redemption.
In 2015, The GARDENS partnered with Humber College and its Summer Intensive Studio Program. This interdisciplinary team of students researched and designed an urban farm and community hub model that would address our concerns about environmental and food security issues in South Etobicoke. They designed functional creative spaces that emphasized social, economic, and environmental considerations.
All food grown by The GARDENS gets redistributed to the Ward 3 community through one of our two donation streams. Our first and most frequent stream is through the Good Food Markets operated by Food Share Toronto. To find out when Good Food Markets are happening, follow us on social media for updates. In the event that we have harvest to share and there is no upcoming Good Food Market, our produce gets donated to the Daily Bread Food Bank to be redistributed by them.
The GARDENS would like to acknowledge that the GARDENS Pod Sites are located in Adobigok, known as “Place of the Alders” in the Ojibwe Anishinaabe language. The land on which they are built is uniquely situated along GabeKanang Ziibi, the Humber River, providing an integral connection for Indigenous peoples between the northern shore of Lake Ontario and the Lake Simcoe Georgian Bay region. The GARDENS operates on Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ, Ho-de-no-sau-nee-ga (Haudenosaunee), Wendake-Nionwentsïo, and Mississauga ground.