volunteer gardener

June 18, 2019 - 09:30 to 17:30

Morning only: New College, U of T St George campus, 40 Willcocks St #1007 / Afternoon only: Campus Farm (corner of Conlins rd and Chartway blvd) and Culinaria Research Centre (SW 313), U of T Scarborough campus

This one-day event provides an opportunity for individuals and communities interested in urban farming and agriculture to hear from leading practitioners in Toronto, share stories, build networks, and see UTSC’s rooftop garden, urban farm, and the Culinaria kitchen lab.

With speakers and facilitators drawn from Toronto’s Indigenous, settler and newcomer communities, as well as contributions from university faculty and students, this event will serve as a forum for cross-cultural sharing and an opportunity for New College and the Culinaria Research Centre to highlight different food initiatives to academic and non-academic communities alike. This initiative is meant to bolster collaboration between two of UofT’s food-focused academic communities, strengthen community relationships across the GTA, create a network for participants to connect and remain in touch about this and other food security issues. It invites participation from the Culinaria community as well as practitioners, theoreticians, and the curious from the wider urban agriculture community in Toronto.

We will be sending out more details early in June, but meanwhile we invite interested participants to email an inquiry to the main organizer Dr Jo Sharma at: ideally by Friday May 24.

Spaces are limited, we are serving lunch, and have booked a bus to convey us from UTSG to UTSC, so it is critical to email in order to be registered as an attendee. This is also so that we can release any remaining spots to our community partners in the week before the event and facilitate your & your students’ participation in the proposed digital network counterpart to this workshop. If you want to participate only in the morning or in the afternoon session/s, please indicate so in our email and we will get back to you to see if that is possible.


9.30 am -12 pm: MORNING, NEW COLLEGE

9.30 am – Coffee & Light Snacks, New College Welcome & Workshop Introduction: Sharing Histories of Urban Gardening, GTA & beyond - Dr Jo Sharma (Culinaria) & TBC (New College)

10am-11 am: Roundtable: Indigenous & newcomer growers share practical knowledge of gardening for food security: Mr Issac Crosby (Evergreen), Mr/Mrs Mustafa (Bangladeshi Agriculturists) & Ms Ashrafi Ahmad (Regent Park Community Food Centre): facilitated by Ms Sarah Elton (UofT) & Discussant TBC

11-11.25: Toronto Urban Growers & grower-to-grower initiatives; Introductions & Discussions.

12pm-1 pm: Lunch from Syrian newcomer caterers Beroea Kitchen

1pm-2 pm: Pre-arranged chartered bus to UTSC


2-3.30 pm: UTSC farm & garden tours with Dr Beatrice Lego & informal group conversations

3.30-3.45 pm: UTSC Library: Seed library, Indigenous book exhibit & cookbook collection 

3.45-4.45 pm: South Asian Refreshments from newcomer chefs & Sharing community growing stories from the Danforth, Parkdale, Scarborough and elsewhere

4.45 pm: Histories & futures of urban agriculture keynote (TBC)

5.30 pm: Workshop ends and people take TTC express buses from UTSC to Kennedy subway

(Note: There is plenty of visitors’ parking for a fee at UTSC that people are welcome to access on their own – see the university website - but TTC is the easiest & quickest mode of transport in the evening if returning downtown, therefore no other arrangements for then).

ASSOCIATES & SPONSORS: Access Alliance (Danforth); Culinaria Research Centre; Evergreen Brickworks; Greenest City; Ho Centre for Buddhist Studies; Intellectual Community Fund UofT Department of History; Milky Way Community Garden; New College; Toronto Urban Growers; UTSC Campus Farm & Edible Campus Initiative; UTSC Partnerships Office