“It is an exciting feeling – to grow something that belongs to you and then share it with somebody.”
This summer the Student Association (SA) of George Brown College has been running a unique project, its very own garden in Regent Park.
Mireya Forero came up with the idea after talking to students and staff of the Good Food Market and hearing the same question, “why don’t we have a place to go and grow things?”
After conducting research and doing some planning, Forero managed to get support from Toronto Christian Resource Centre (TCRC) and City Hall.
With the help of the TCRC, the SA Garden found a home in Regent Park. City Hall was also extremely helpful holding several introductory gardening workshops; both organizations also donated seeds and small plants.
“The idea was to create a relaxing space for students and that’s what a garden is about,” said Forero. “It’s a place for well-being, improving mental health, and just breathing and living in the moment.”
Forero added that one of the volunteers missed the garden so much that during her trip to China she had asked her for new photos of the garden.
The SA Garden is a flexible community open to everyone. All you need to do is show up on Wednesdays at 3 p.m. in Regent Park at Cole St. and Sackville St.
Currently there are four staff members and approximately 20 volunteers who come out weekly to take care of the plants.
Throughout the season students have grown tomatoes, peppers, green onions, berries, mint and celery. All the crops will be divided; volunteers can take some and the rest will be donated to the TCRC.
Although the season is coming to its end the garden will still run and welcome new members until October. Participation is free and all costs are covered by the SA.
The garden will most likely come back next spring so be sure to check the SA Garden Facebook page for notifications.