This newsletter is a service of theToronto Community Garden Network INDEX EVENTS AND WORKSHOPS Seedy Sunday, February 13 Food for Change, February

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This newsletter is a service of theToronto Community Garden Network

INDEX

EVENTS AND WORKSHOPS

Seedy Sunday, February 13
Food for Change, February 17
Hot Yam! Food-In Conference, February 18
Your Food, Your Choice: The Promise of Organic, February 19
How to Start a Community Garden, Feb19&26 - Feb 26&Mar 5
Great Big Crunch, March 10
Ethnographic Appetites, March 12 2011
Forest Gardening Workshop, March 19

JOBS AND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

The Cutting Veg- Field Manager
The Cutting Veg- Program Manager
FoodShare Toronto- Bathurst Finch Community Food Animator
The Stop Community Food Centre Volunteer Opportunities
Urban Farming Internship with The Cutting Veg
Fresh City Farms, Head Farmer

NEWS AND RESOURCES

Local veggies – all year
Micro-farm yields big learning curve

ONGOING GARDENING OPPORTUNITIES

The Stop Community Food Centre’s Yes In My Back Yard

EVENTS AND WORKSHOPS

Seedy Sunday, February 13

Seedy Saturday and Sundays are the days when the new gardening season begins in earnest. You can have an opportunity to learn more about gardening, hone and share your gardening skills, and buy or exchange vegetable and flower seeds. See the latest innovations in adapted gardening tools and find out how your Community Garden can provide more access to those that face many barriers.
Details

Food for Change, February 17

The Stop’s acclaimed chef Chris Brown, former Executive Chef of Perigee Restaurant, presents an intimate dining experience in support of The Stop’s innovative programs that fight hunger, build hope and inspire change.

One Thursday each month, Chef Brown prepares a mouthwatering five-course meal featuring local, sustainable food, and enjoyed in either the sheltered garden or greenhouse at the The Stop’s fabulous Green Barn at Christie and St. Clair. If you're a budding chef and want to experience life in a professional kitchen, you can also join the kitchen crew and help prepare the feast.

Meal only $75; with wine pairing $120; kitchen crew $100.

To reserve your spot, please contact Christina Palassio at 416 652 7867 x 250 or [email protected]

For more details click here

Hot Yam! Food-In Conference, February 18

We the people of Hot Yam! (hotyam.ca) – University of Toronto’s weekly student-run vegan lunch group – would like to invite you to our very first student food conference. We have organized this event for like-minded foodie groups to exchange ideas, learn from one another and teach to groups that want to start their own operations.

Food-in conference essentials:
WHO: You, and other members of groovy campus student food organisations (or folks wanting to start one)
WHAT: an co-created unconference-style gathering of sharing and learning from one another and work sessions.
WHEN: Friday, February 18th evening (optional), 19th, 20th.
WHERE: Hart House farm, just outside of Toronto. We’ll get you from Toronto on 19th, and back on the 20th.
WHY: because this is how you make the revolution
HOW: Fill out the registration form here: http://bit.ly/food-in-registration, by Feb 4th. Cost $70/person, but speak to us if that isn’t affordable.

More gritty details:
On the 18th of February, which is a Friday, us Yammers will head on up to Hart House Farm, which is in the countryside near Toronto. It's a fantastic spot, with a farmhouse, bunkhouse, kitchen, and fireplace. While the fields outside are frozen and sleeping, the inside is cozy and will be cozier yet once people arrive (this is where you come in). On the 19th, a bus will be traveling from Toronto to Hart House Farm, carrying those conference-goers who have arrived in Toronto. We will have spent the previous day preparing the space, and getting food ready for a busload of hungry travelers. On the 19th and 20th, the conference will occur, with workshops, discussions, and of course, tremendous amounts of cooking. On the 20th, which is a Sunday, the bus will travel back to Toronto from Hart House Farm, taking those who need to get back to the bus or train station. For those with personal cars, the day of arrival is on Friday the 18th; if you have to leave early, you can, although of course, you'll want to stay for all the happenings. We are also working on accommodating those visitors who would like to arrive in or leave Toronto a few days to either side of the conference: we'll pair you up with Yammers who can host you in their homes. We're pretty flexible on when you get here and when you go back, and we'd love to have you over!

"But Yam," you say, "once we get to this conference, what will happen?" (I'm glad you asked.) Well, this is not your usual farmhouse campus food organization conference. The agenda at the Food-In Conference will be determined by the participants, and will consist of things that you think would be useful and interesting for others at the conference to know and learn. This might be a wide range of things: you can tell us the history of how you organized yourselves, run a workshop on large-scale cooking techniques, discuss how you get students on your campus excited about food, or just share a great recipe for rhubarb crumble. We'd love to see your ideas before the conference, so that we can send out to you a list of all the conference content that people have offered to run. Then, when we convene at the Farm, each group of participants will decide on what it would like to run, and we'll make a schedule of activities. Then, fortified by a stream of good food, hot beverages and a substantial supply of magic, our conference will occur!

For those of you enticed by this description, here's your next steps:
1. Send us an email stating your continued interest in attending, and roughly how many people you are expecting to go.
2. Think about what workshops or discussions you're interested in running.
3. Fill out the registration form: http://bit.ly/food-in-registration, by Feb 4th and tell us about those workshops. We'll then contact you to work out the details.
4. Pay $70 per participant to Hot Yam!. This covers food, transportation, and lodging. If this is not affordable for your group, let us know and we'll try to work out a sliding-scale payment.
If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or tips for keeping pilaf from burning to the bottom of the pot, just send us an email, and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Your Food, Your Choice: The Promise of Organic, February 19

When: Saturday, February 19 · 9:00am - 5:00pm
Where:University of Toronto Conference Centre, 89 Chestnut St., Toronto

Presented by Canadian Organic Growers in association with The Big Carrot
$65 ($85 after Feb. 5); COG members $55 ($65 after Feb. 5)
Rates for seniors, students and unwaged
Organic lunch included!
Info and registration: www.cogtoronto.org or 416-466-4420

Imagine a country choosing to prioritize its citizens' happiness over traditional economic measures. Imagine health and environment taking a front row seat. Bhutan is doing just that. This remote South Asian country is choosing to value "Gross National Happiness" above conventional economics as it deals with the dominate influences of todays’ world. This philosophy will be their guiding principle over their nation's development, which includes certifying the entire country's agricultural system organic. Vandana Shiva says "Bhutan, which looks idealistic, is actually being realistic about what you need for a sustainable society." Imagine the impact if we followed suit? Join us to learn how the promise of organic is making a difference to our health and how we live and eat.
Keynote speaker is Silver Donald Cameron, one of the few observers to Bhutan's transition to an entirely organic agricultural system. Panels include: Moms Against GMOs, Natural vs Organic, Whistleblowers, EnviroPig™, Is Walmart Compatible with Organic?, Make Heritage Seeds Work for You, The Wonder Years: Organic Bread and Beer, Sludge on our Farms, The Future of Agriculture, Organic Beauty Products, and more. The Promise of Organic will stir you with the inspiring stories, the difficult challenges and the proven visions that are bringing healthy organic food from the field to the table.

How to Start a Community Garden, Feb19&26 - Feb 26&Mar 5

Learn all there is to know about starting a community garden in your
neighbourhood at this exciting two day workshop. We’ll cover the basics:
from finding land, to finding gardeners, to finding resources.

North York:
Sat. Feb 26th and March 5th
9:30am-3:00pm
Lawrence Heights
Community Centre
5 Replin Rd., M6A 2M8

Scarborough:
Sat. Feb 19th and 26th,
9:30am-3:00pm
West Hill Apartments
4175 Lawrence Ave. East,
M1E 4T7

REGISTER NOW! Space is limited!
Lunch will be provided. Please let us know if you will need
childcare or have any special dietary needs.
To register please contact Rachel at: [email protected]
or 416-363-6441 x 222.
Sliding Scale:
Agency Staff - $50, Waged Workers - $15, Unwaged - FREE
Please talk to us if you have any questions or concerns about the cost.

Great Big Crunch, March 10

Join students across Canada in taking one big bite towards healthy living through healthy eating. FoodShare’s Great Big Crunch invites students and teachers to learn about healthy eating and local and global food systems while following the journey from the apple seed to the harvest, to the market and to the core.

Ethnographic Appetites, March 12 2011

An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference and Feeding the Senses: an Exhibition of Cross-disciplinary (Art)Work. In recent years, anthropological studies increasingly explore the ways in which desire, appetite, and need influence everyday social interactions. Such focus spurs the development of new approaches to ethnographic techniques, tools, and areas of study. At the same time, it inspires researchers to think critically about the ways in which these same concepts and sensations directly influence our own orientations in the field. The Social Anthropology Graduate Association (SAGA)’s second annual student conference aims to provide a forum for such questions. As a graduate student, activist, artist and/or other interested party.

Details

Forest Gardening Workshop, March 19

Mother Nature never uses pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, or machinery. And yet her ecosystems seem to have a steady law of ever increasing fertility, diversity and abundance. How does she do it? There's actually quite a bit of science and magic involved! Looking to imitate the natural techniques for fertility, pest control and renewal that Mother Nature has employed for thousands upon thousands of years, a natural agriculture is born.

From Masanobu Fukuoka's "lazy farmer"/natural agriculture system, to Robert Hart's Edible Forest Garden - come hear about how nature's natural techniques have been carefully observed and imitated to create human-influenced ecosystems that provide not only the possibility of sustainable nourishment, but also for
medicines, fodder, fuel, fertilizers, shelter, wild-life habitat, beauty and inspiration.

Could the average gardener conceive of never having to poke a shovel in the earth again? Of never having to weed, fertilize or even bury seeds in the ground again, all the while producing harvest after harvest, year after year? Could you imagine walking out into your backyard only to step into an enchanted seven story edible forest?

All this is possible, if we only had the patience and insight to follow nature's lead. Come find out how at FoodShare

When: March 14th, 6 to 9 pm
Where: FoodShare, 90 Croatia Street
Cost: $25 waged

$15 student

unwaged folks free
refreshments will be served

for registration contact: ana maria santinoli (416) 363 6441 ext.277

[email protected]
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JOBS AND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

The Cutting Veg- Field Manager

Application deadline: Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011.
Contract Length: May 1 - Oct 31, 2011 (possibility of transition to permanent position)
Location: Brampton (the farm), Toronto & GTA (CSA's/markets)
Organizational Mission: "Cultivating Personal, Social, Environmental, and Economic Health through Organic Agriculture."

Primary Goal: Cultivation of 4 acres of land to produce mixed produce for Community Supported Agriculture Programs

Primary Activities:
1. To produce maximum quantity, & highest quality, organic produce, while enriching soil health
2. To support on-farm coordination of Interns and Volunteers to carry out necessary farm tasks
3. To support the supervision of Interns in their learning process
4. Other General Tasks: Weekly Team Meetings, Vehicle Support, Support with volunteer recruitment, Ongoing Communication with staff team (in-person, phone, email), Washing Harvest bins, Supply pick-ups and other errands, etc

Compensation:
$2000+/month from May – October
Possibility of position changing from a 6-month contract to permanent position
Abundance of Produce
Qualifications:
Experience farming mixed produce and managing multiple acres in southern Ontario
Strong social-skills and experience managing & coordinating people
Commitment to balance and wellness in one’s own life
Drivers License and access to vehicle
To apply:
Please submit resume with cover letter by Feb. 23rd to Daniel Hoffmann at [email protected]
For more information about The Cutting Veg, visit http://www.thecuttingveg.com

The Cutting Veg- Program Manager

Application deadline: Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011.
Contract Length: May 1 - Oct 31, 2011 (possibility of transition to permanent position)
Location: Brampton (the farm), Toronto & GTA (CSA's/markets)
Organizational Mission: "Cultivating Personal, Social, Environmental, and Economic Health through Organic Agriculture."

Primary Goal: To oversee the “on-the-ground” management of weekly CSA distribution, the Internship Program, the Volunteer Program, and Farmers Markets.

Primary Activities:
1. To produce maximum quantity, highest quality, organic produce, while enriching soil health
2. Supervise Interns in their learning process, including scheduling and coordination of workshops & field-trips
3. To facilitate all CSA distribution, by running two CSA’s per week, and supervising the CSA assistant
4. Support on-farm coordination of Interns and Volunteers to carry out necessary farm tasks
5. Other General Tasks: Weekly Team Meetings, being on-call during CSA’s and markets, Vehicle Support, Support with volunteer recruitment, Ongoing Communication with staff team (in-person, phone, email), Washing Harvest bins, Supply pick-ups and other errands, etc.

Compensation:
$2000+/month from May – October
Possibility of position changing from a 6-month contract to permanent position
Abundance of Produce
Qualifications:
Excellent social-skills and experience managing & coordinating people
Experience farming mixed produce
Commitment to balance and wellness in one’s own life
Drivers License and access to vehicle
To apply:
Please submit resume with cover letter by Feb. 23rd to Daniel Hoffmann at [email protected]
For more information about The Cutting Veg, visit http://www.thecuttingveg.com

FoodShare Toronto- Bathurst Finch Community Food Animator

Detailed job description:
Assisting Bathurst Finch community groups and organizations in all phases of new and ongoing food projects determined by the Bathurst Finch Food Action Team in group development, goal setting, organizational development, fundraising, resource acquisition, problem solving, etc.
Working with partners, volunteers and community members to develop and coordinate ongoing activities such as training in gardens, food banks, markets, and kitchens
Organizing and delivering workshops, outreach and informational presentations
Maintaining partner relationships, databases, preparing and distributing reports, attending and organizing special events and other commitments as required
Assist in the coordination of Bathurst-Finch Food Action Team meetings
Completing related administrative duties and food project evaluations
Assist in the coordination of grant writing for Food projects
You will mostly be working in the Bathurst Finch Community, some time will be spent at FoodShare Toronto

Qualifications and skills:
2 years experience in food project and/or neighbourhood-based organizing experience
Experience in outreach, leading workshops, and presentations
Strong communication and organizational skills
Knowledge of and experience working with people of Toronto's diverse communities
Commitment to anti oppression and inclusion
Ability to work alone and as part of a team are equally important
Ability to work with all age groups
Basic proficiency in Excel, Word
Some evenings and weekends required
Familiarity of the Bathurst-Finch neighbourhood and a second-language is an asset

Hours and Compensation: 18.5/week hours at $18/hr plus benefits

Duration: This is a contract position beginning February 28th, 2011 and ending October 15th, 2011

How to apply:
Please email your resume and cover letter to Angela ElzingaCheng at [email protected] or fax at (416) 363-0474. You may mail it to 90 Croatia St, Toronto, ON M6H 1K9

Deadline for applications: February 15th, 2011

We would like to thank all applicants however we will only be contacting those candidates selected for an interview.

The Stop Community Food Centre Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer opportunities at 1884 Davenport

We continue to run Volunteer Information Sessions once a month for positions in our Food Bank and Drop-in programs at 1884 Davenport Rd West. Please call Susan at 416-652-7867 ext 249 to register for a session.

Our Good Food Market needs two people to prepare baked goods in our kitchen and sell them at the market Tuesdays from 2 to 6 pm. We also need one person with lots of enthusiasm to help run the market
on Tuesdays. Please contact Susan at 416-652-7867 ext 249.

Volunteer opportunities at The Stop's Green Barn

We are currently looking for volunteers to support the following programs at The Stop’s Green Barn at the Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie St (at St. Clair):

The Stop Café, which runs during The Stop's Farmers' Market on Saturdays, needs a driver to bring goods from our location at 1884 Davenport to The Green Barn on Thursday afternoons. This would probably take only an hour but we need someone who can come regularly each week. If you are interested in helping, please contact Susan at 416-652-7867 ext 249.

Our Community Kitchen program needs volunteers to help with our Shovel and Spoon series at the following times;

• Every second and fourth Wednesday of the month from noon to 3:30pm with youth-at-risk
• Every second and fourth Thursday of the month from noon to 3:30pm with Native women

If you are interested and available, please contact Susan at 416-652-7867 ext 249.

Ongoing volunteer opportunities

We often have one-off events (community events like Seedy Saturday or fundraising events like What’s on the Table) where we need a large number of volunteers for the day or half day. If you would like to be on our events list, please email Susan at [email protected]

Urban Farming Internship with The Cutting Veg

Do you want to learn to grow your own food, or take a step towards becoming a farmer? The Cutting Veg Organic Farm offers season-long, part-time farming internships, in which you can immerse yourself in the world of organic agriculture. Located in Brampton, ½ an hour from Toronto, this internship is ideal for people who are rooted in the city, yet ready to take a significant step into the world of veggie farming. Through farm work and discussion, Interns will be exposed to various aspects of organic agriculture, including plant propagation, plant care, soil preparation and health, pest-management, green-manuring, and planning & marketing. As a potential Intern, you must be willing to commit two full days per week (on-farm from 6:30am-3:30pm) from the beginning of May to the end of October, and be excited to receive agricultural skills, knowledge, and organic veggies, in exchange for your labour. As this farm is not residential, no accommodation is available on-site.

To Apply:
Please contact Daniel Hoffmann at [email protected] to receive an email version of the Internship Curriculum. Please indicate in your email which orientation session you will be attending.
Interested applicants need to attend one of two Orientation sessions --- either Tuesday, March 8th, 7-9pm, or Thursday, March 10th, 7-9pm. Orientation sessions will take place at Cooper's Furniture (111 Bathurst Street at Adelaide above Waddington's)
At the end of the Orientation session, those still interested will sign up for an interview.
Those who cannot commit to the Internship, but are interested in volunteering on the farm, please [email protected] , and say "Add me to the Farm Talk Newsletter"

Fresh City Farms, Head Farmer

About us:

Fresh City Farms is a startup social enterprise that empowers young people to farm organically in the Greater Toronto Area in backyards, community gardens and other locations. Our goal is to encourage financially and environmentally sustainable organic and local farming practices. We accomplish this through providing access to high capital cost equipment, volume discounted supplies, support of an experienced farmer and a guaranteed market for produce through a centralized brand and marketing effort. Our model seeks to combine the lessons learned from existing for-profit and non-profit urban farming initiatives, the student-based franchising systems and rural farmers' co-operatives.

The Position:

We're looking for a Head Farmer, a dynamic, ambitious, and confident individual who can perform as both farmer and educator. The Head Farmer will be responsible for all aspects of planning, planting, tending and harvesting our one-acre organic farm and 400 square foot greenhouse. We're looking to you to suggest what we should cultivate, so creativity and foresight are key to this position. Our Head Farmer will also plan and lead several basic skills workshops for member farmers throughout the growing season and will need to be available to answer member farmer questions in-person, by e-mail and/or phone, so ideally you are a good leader and enjoy talking about farming as much as you love practicing it!

Qualifications and Skills:

Personality:
- Strong work ethic
- Leadership skills
- Able to work independently
- Enthusiastic
- Willing to work in difficult weather

Farming
- Two or more seasons experience in organic market gardening growing a variety of vegetables
- Experience leading and motivating volunteers
- Experience with CSA program would be a plus
- Urban farming experience would be a plus
- Experience using a walk behind tractor (roto-tiller) would be a plus
- Class 'G' drivers licence

Schedule and Compensation:

The Head Farmer will start working on a part-time basis in mid-February, with an increased time commitment during the farm season. We are flexible with designing the Head Farmers' work schedule and will work with the right candidate to make sure the position is ideal for both of us; there is the potential for employment beyond the growing season. The Head Farmer would be paid a monthly stipend in addition to the majority of the revenues from our 1-acre plot at Downsview Park. The Head Farmer will have access to volunteers, interns, member farmers and a farmer assistant.

Contact:

Applications will be accepted until we find an appropriate candidate. Please send a resume and cover letter to Abra Snider at [email protected]

NEWS AND RESOURCES

Local veggies – all year

Imagine eating a fresh salad made up of locally grown, organic lettuce, carrots and spinach. Didn’t think it was possible? Think again. In an innovative but simple back-to-basics move, a small Amish farm near Aylmer is growing all that delicious produce in small, unheated “hoop houses.” Mervin Miller’s farm is only the second known in Ontario to have pulled off such a feat. The other is in Cookstown, north of Newmarket.

Story

Micro-farm yields big learning curve

That’s just one of the barn-load of insights a Guelph-area couple learned in short order when they started a tiny farm, or micro-farm, on a half-hectare (1.18-acre) lot with a house near the city. Over 100 people laughed, sighed and groaned along with husband and wife farmers Tim Fisher, 42, and Jennifer Osborn, 37, as they shared what they’ve learned about animals, plants and themselves since taking to the land in 2007. Fisher sported a long ponytail; Osborn, a floppy hat made from wool she processed herself; and their story of an often-bumbling entry into agriculture had the audience enthralled.

Story

ONGOING GARDENING OPPORTUNITIES

The Stop Community Food Centre’s Yes In My Back Yard

Would you like to grow a food garden, but don’t have the space?
Do you have a backyard that you would like to put to use?

The Stop Community Food Centre’s Yes In My Back Yard (YIMBY) program
connects people who would like to garden but don’t have the space, to
people who have space in their yards they are willing to share.

Growing your own food has so many benefits! But here in Toronto not
everyone can go right out and start digging – many people would like to
garden but live in apartment buildings or do not have access to yard space
suitable for growing food. And yet others have access to a yard but do not
have the time, interest, or the physical ability to maintain a vegetable
garden. Some just like the idea of co-operating with others to create a
garden together. Whatever the motivation for participating, YIMBY is
working to build community and strengthen relationships between people who
might not have otherwise met.

The Stop acts as a connector, helping to set up garden sharing matches. We
also offer a tool lending library, free gardening workshops to enhance your
skills, some free seedlings, a community seed exchange, and opportunities
to meet and learn from other gardeners.

YIMBY connects people to garden in the neighbourhoods around The Stop’s 2
locations, The Green Barn at Christie and St. Clair, and our centre at
Davenport and Symington. This area extends roughly from: Bloor up to
Rogers/Vaughan Rd and Bathurst over to Dundas W./Old Weston Rd.

We are hosting an orientation for people interested in getting involved on
Mon. Feb 28th, 2011 at 6:30 pm
For more info, or to RSVP for this meeting, please contact Liz Curran at
The Stop Community Food Centre: 416-651-7867 ext. 27 or [email protected]

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