With a focus on gardening for the first two weeks of the market, and especially in utilizing to the maximum, the small spaces we are given in the city, we are kicking off May 18th by bringing in key vendors from Toronto’s urban gardening and landscaping scene. From vendors who will equip you with the proper supplies needed to grow a healthy crop of food in your own backyard, to those who will get you thinking about incorporating pollinators in your landscaping, there will be plenty to learn and purchase!
On the edible gardening side, cedar raised beds, a wide variety of organic seedlings and seeds, organic soil amendments, gardening equipment, native pollinator plants and more will all be available. Our two main urban gardening vendors this year at the garden market are Backyard Urban Farm Company and Beaches Homegrown. For Beaches Homegrown, a new addition to the market this year, seeds are started, and then hardened off as seedlings all in the Beaches! Talk about thinking and acting local. The Wildlife Garden Company is joining with their extensive collection of native plants that will bring back the wild in your garden!
Need to occupy your children while you shop? We can help you out on that as well. A wide range of kids activities await you and your young ‘uns! The Beach Community Edible Garden will making seed balls with kids for sprouting wildflowers, beets and other veggies, and welcoming children to help out with the painting of their new bee hotels. Quince Flowers will be running a fun and kid-friendly workshop on how to make paper pots for seedlings! Finally, Gillian Leitch from Alter Eden Landscaping and Bee City Canada will be leading a workshop on how to make your own wild bee condo for your backyard!
Please bring cardboard toilet paper rolls, pithy stemmed stalks, and as well clean milk cartons or container to participate.
Our musician for the day will be Brendan Cavin from Only Ukes, keeping things lively with upbeat ukulele and vocals! Brendan sings a mix of pop, jazz and country and will be playing purely acoustic to create a fun and intimate setting for your first Fairmount Park market experience of the season.
For our garden market, this week and next we have a certain special guest focusing on certain special insects that just happen to be very, very important for our food systems: Bees! Gillian Leitch, who wears a number of hats in the Toronto bee circuit, is the Head Apiarist at the Carrot Common Green Roof, is one of the founders of a new bee advocacy group influencing cities to become more bee friendly – Bee City Canada, and runs her own landscaping company – Alter Eden.
Gillian focuses on creating natural habitats utilizing native pollinator plants to attract native, wild bees. Gillian wholeheartedly embraces the natural “messy” landscaping that bees thrive in, and aims to educate the public about this aspect of gardening and plant selection. At the market she will have bee condos for show, honey and candles for sale collected from the roof of The Carrot Common, and will be work-shopping how to make DIY bee condos using materials around your home or from nature as described in our kid friendly workshops.
Something for the Belly too...
On the veggie side, let's be real. It's been a slow start to the growing season. There will be frost again tonight which doesn't help the crops much. But you can still expect some veg from cold storage, Cedarhedge Farms famous arugula and pea sprouts, and maybe some early spring greens and wild leeks. Cedarhedge Farm will also have his tomato and pepper seedlings which are super hardy and successful little growers. Over the next couple of weeks we will see more from the farms and more of our fabulous prepared food vendors!
We are Family!
This past week, we’ve had an extremely generous donation come in from Green Thumbs gardening store. Green Thumbs donated 100 litres of worm castings to our 5 fruit trees in the park and the trees are LOVING it! Please check out their website here and support a wonderful local organic gardening and hydroponics business: http://www.green-thumbs.ca/
Our fruit tree leader, Sharon, has already put a healthy dose of worm castings in. Check out this picture of our park's very own cherry tree; just finishing a full bloom.
In local community gardening news, The Beach Community Edible Garden who will also be at the market on May 18th as well as the 25th will be having it’s main planting day on May 29 from 10am-12pm. A second planting day specifically for toddlers between the ages of 2-6 will be held June 4th from 9:30-11:30am as part of Evergreen’s 100in1day. The garden is next to the boardwalk, just south of the parking lots at the foot of Ashbridges Bay Park Rd. Learn more about the garden and upcoming events on facebook: “Beach Community Edible Garden”.
Beaches Homegrown is hosting an edible garden workshop at Pitchfork Company on May 26th. Join Jamie to learn how to start your own edible landscape with the garden space you have. No garden? No problem! Tips and tricks for container garden will be provided.