Building gardens to grow communities

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By Jenna Campbell

Rye’s HomeGrown Community Garden marks two years of success in urban gardening on campus this school year.

The group promotes environmental sustainability through urban agriculture and has built and maintained six gardens on campus since 2011.

“Before, food growing wasn’t seen as aesthetically appealing, but this is another way to showcase how you can interact in the space that you built. It’s also a really great way to use food as a connector,” said co-founder of Rye’s Home Grown, Catharine Lung. “If you have these spaces, more people can come together.”

The gardens are made and maintained using recycled material.

Milk crates are used as planters and the bottom of campus lounge chairs are transformed into watering containers.

The focus of the 2013 season will be to find more growing spaces and to use what is already available on campus. Since Ryerson is more vertically oritented, Rye’s HomeGrown Community Garden is taking a closer look at growing opportunities on campus rooftops.

Ryerson is part of the World Crop Learning Project, a group that seeks to provide the GTA with a diverse selection of local food, and is one of 14 locations across Toronto.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if people could walk anywhere in this city to a community garden… and enjoy the growing of food?” said Peter Mitchell, an organizer from the World Crop Learning Project.

He said he would like to see garden “living rooms,” around the city as an infrastructure for people to enjoy.

– With files from Victoria Stunt

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