Our Grow Veggies program provides participants with an effective balance of instruction and hands-on experience to successfully grow organic fresh vegetables to feed their family and friends.
Program participants will learn how plants grow, how to build an ideal organic garden, and how to deal with all of the challenges along the way to growing their own food. More importantly, they’ll receive hands-on experience in planning and planting a vegetable garden, and then protecting and maintaining it until it’s time for the harvest.
Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and confidence to grow your own food at home and we will give you the training and encouragement to do exactly that.
For 2021, we’ve had a chance to prepare for COVID restrictions and we’ve designed a format that maximizes safety while continuing to be able to offer the full curriculum. In-person classes are fully outdoors where there is space for physical distancing, tools are sanitized after each use, and there will be fewer than 10 participants per session. We’re also offering an online-only program – details below.
We’ll be offering three streams of classes in order to accommodate all schedules (dates below):
- We’ll run two in-person programs in Toronto, which start on Zoom while the weather’s chilly, and move to in-person, hands-on sessions once it warms up (approximately late-April). The in-person program includes learning the full curriculum online and at the farm, growing vegetables together, and a share of the harvest. The in-person sessions take place on an urban farm at Downsview Park, easily accessible by car, bus or subway, and it has all of the resources we’ll need for the success of our team garden plots.
Please note, if COVID restrictions don’t allow for in-person sessions to occur by mid-June, in-person program participants have the option to switch to the online-only program and we will refund the difference in price.
- New for 2021, we’re offering an online-only program for those who prefer not to travel to our urban farm at Downsview Park. The online sessions include the full curriculum delivered via webinars and workshops online, including optional activities for your own garden. Online program participants will have lots of opportunity to ask questions and will receive troubleshooting advice about their own garden. Note, online-only participants can log-in from anywhere, but our curriculum focuses on growing in the Toronto climate.
Both in-person and online-only program participants will receive:
- Practical, detailed information on how plants grow and what they need to survive and thrive
- A full season of experience in preparing the garden, planting seeds, weed/pest control, pruning/trellising, and harvesting the crops
- The opportunity to ask any garden questions that you have, even after the program has ended
- Most importantly, participants will leave trained, equipped, confident and inspired to have many successful growing seasons in their own vegetable gardens
In-person program participants will also receive:
- A share of the organically-grown vegetable harvest that each class grows together, with any excess veggies to be donated to a local food program
- All land, seeds, tools, fertilizers, soil supplements, etc. needed to grow together at the class plot
- Access to some seeds and organic fertilizers for use in their home gardens
Who should enroll? Anyone who:
- Would like to gain experience in growing vegetables
- Is looking to help create food security in their community
- Wants to improve their connection to the food that we eat
- Wants a share of the organically-grown vegetables that they had a hand in growing (in-person program only)
- Is looking for an opportunity to work hard and have fun
KEY ELEMENTS OF THE PROGRAM
- Classroom and workshop sessions on timely topics including:
- The ability to follow along at home in activities such as seed-starting, garden planning and set-up, customized plant fertilization, harvesting, and seed saving
- An opportunity to discuss successes and obstacles in their own garden in order to fine-tune their own gardening skills
For those who followed our programs in previous years, the 2021 program will be similar except that we won’t use the greenhouse for our classes.
IN-PERSON PROGRAM DETAILS
- Participants can choose the program day that works best for their schedule, subject to available space:
Thursdays starting at 6:00pm from March 18 to October 21[Class Full] Saturdays starting at 10:00am from March 20 to October 23[Class Full]
- The initial online workshops will last for 90 minutes per session, and the in-person sessions will run until just before sunset on Thursdays, and mid-day on Saturdays.
- In-person programming will start when the weather warms (approximately late-April).
- The total cost for the in-person program is $480. This includes 7 months of program instruction, detailed handouts, a share of everything harvested, and everything that we’ll need to grow vegetables in our team garden plot (seeds, tools, etc.).
- The program takes place on our urban farm plot located beside 70 Canuck Avenue in Downsview Park, near Sheppard Ave West and Keele St in Toronto: click here for MAP.
- There is free parking on-site, and the farm is TTC accessible.
ONLINE-ONLY PROGRAM DETAILS
- Wednesday evenings from 7:00pm to 8:30pm from March 17 to June 2, with two additional sessions in late August covering topics that are relevant to that time of year.
- Webinar recordings will be made available for anyone who can’t attend live.
- The cost for the online-only program is $160. This includes 14 webinars (each with timely information for your home gardens), emailed handouts, follow-along-from-home workshops, and the ongoing ability to ask questions about gardening best-practices along with what is happening in your home gardens.
All of our Grow Veggies programs are full for 2021. Please check back at the end of the year for 2022 program details. Alternatively, subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when registration for 2022 Grow Veggies begins.