Grow Veggies Program

Program Introduction
Key Elements of the Program
In-Person Program Details
Online-Only Program Details
Program Registration

Photos from the Grow Veggies program

Update: We are no longer taking registrations for our 2022 programs as they are now full. Please sign up for our newsletter to be notified when we open registrations for 2023, and follow us on Instagram or Facebook to see this year’s program in action!

PROGRAM INTRODUCTION

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 2022 we’re offering four streams of classes in order to accommodate all schedules (dates below):

  • We’ll run three weekly, full-season in-person streams in Toronto, which start on Zoom while the weather’s chilly, and move to in-person, hands-on sessions once it warms up (usually mid-to-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, that 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.
  • We also offer an online-only stream 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 participate from anywhere, but our curriculum focuses on growing in a southern-Ontario 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
  • Opportunity for group-rate purchases of fertilizers and other soil supplements

Who should enrol?  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
  • Is looking for an opportunity to work hard and have fun

Want to turn your hobby into a career?

  • Upon completing the Grow Veggies program, graduates can apply for our Grow MORE Veggies program where you can rent your own 500 square foot vegetable plot, and have access to tools and mentorship as you learn to grow on your own in a larger space.
  • Following that, you have the opportunity to grow food for a living through our Growing Urban Farmers partnership with Zawadi Farms. Learn more here!

KEY ELEMENTS OF THE PROGRAM

  • Classroom and workshop sessions on timely topics including:
Curriculum by season
  • 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

IN-PERSON PROGRAM DETAILS

Schedule:

  • Participants can choose the program day that works best for their schedule, subject to available space:
  1. Tuesdays starting at 6:00pm from March 15 to October 18 [Sold Out]
  2. Thursdays starting at 6:00pm from March 17 to October 20 [Sold Out]
  3. Saturdays starting at 10:00am from March 19 to October 22 [Sold Out]
  • The initial online workshops will last for 90 minutes per session, and the in-person sessions will run until just before sunset on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and mid-day on Saturdays.
  • In-person programming will start when the weather warms (usually mid-to-late-April).

Cost:

  • 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, supplements, tools, etc.). 

Location:

  • The program takes place on our urban farm plot in Downsview park (closest intersection is Keele and Downsview Park Blvd: click here for MAP
  • There is free parking on-site, and the farm is TTC accessible.

ONLINE-ONLY PROGRAM DETAILS

Schedule:

  • Wednesday evenings from 7:00pm to 8:30pm [Sold Out] from March 16 to June 1, 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.

Cost:

  • 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, tour of the urban farm, and the ongoing ability to ask questions about gardening best-practices along with what is happening in your home gardens.

PROGRAM REGISTRATION

Update: We are no longer taking registrations for our 2022 programs as they are now full. Please sign up for our newsletter to be notified when we open registrations for 2023, and follow us on Instagram or Facebook to see this year’s program in action!

“The Program was excellent, no questions. Derek knows an awful lot about growing food and he’s very good at sharing that knowledge with others. And beyond the many useful learnings, the other great thing about this course is coming home every week with a bag full of tasty veg! If you have an interest in growing your own food, I highly recommend this program.

~ Dirk Kalff, 2020 Grow Veggies Participant

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