Growing community at George Brown College

Students find a sense of responsibility with new community garden at Casa Loma campus 

Students at George Brown College were working on their green thumbs between classes this summer. The new student garden is growing vegetables, but also a sense of community at Casa Loma campus.

Tucked between trees on the edge of a barren green space beside a loading dock might not seem like an obvious place for a community garden. But for Camilia Lima it was a project she worked hard to bring to fruition.

As previously reported in The Dialog, Lima organized a petition getting students to ask the college to give them space for a garden at Casa Loma.

Previous to this year, the Student Association’s food bank had a small garden beside their offices at the campus but it wasn’t big enough to allow more students interested in gardening to participate.

The Student Association funds The Dialog.

This summer, the college allowed 20 students to set up eight garden beds, made by carpentry students at the school, on the little-used green space along Dartnell Avenue.

Lima, an architectural technology student, spent all summer in classes but kept getting the feeling she wanted to be elsewhere. 

“I just came out, looked at my garden, sat here and had lunch with my friends and it felt so good,” said Lima.

She shares one of the garden beds with her friend Van Nguyen who is in the general arts and science program. They got to know each other last year when they worked together as peer coaches at the college. 

“I really love the fact that we’re responsible for something in the school,” said Nguyen. “Sometimes it just feels like we’re students going to school and doing academics but really this is our community. I really enjoy that we’re giving back to the community and are very involved in it.”

They plan to have a harvest party later in the fall, when they will pick their crop of kale, lettuce, carrots, eggplants and beans. 

“It felt great seeing them growing.” said Lima. “I took care of them like little babies.”

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Growing community at George Brown College