Unearthing May

Upcoming Events

Farmers’ Market Opens — Wednesday, May 13th, 11am to 3pm
Spring Fair — Wednesday, May 13th, 11am to 3pm
Drop-In Volunteering — Friday, June 5th, 1pm to 4pm
CSA Application Deadline — Wednesday, May 20th

The growing season has officially started! I say this knowing that we just started harvesting our spinach which will be sold at a farmer’s market coming to the Ryerson campus soon. And even more exciting, we have been busy hard at work seeding and planting in the gardens. To date we’ve also planted lettuces, fava beans, peas and even an array of radishes. With all the rain, sunshine and everything in between that mother nature has provided us, all the gardens will soon be looking lush and fruitful. We encourage everyone to visit our gardens!

We’ve been very busy over here moving compost up onto the roof with the help of so many beautiful faces from our community. It has been great. Last Friday we had our second monthly drop-in volunteer day and had a great turn out! Fortunately, we were able to move all the compost up to the roof and were able to make great progress flipping and weeding the beds. With the beds almost ready to go, we’ll be laying drip tape and starting to plant some brassicas this week – a little kale, some broccoli and some kohlrabi perhaps. We were also fortunate to have an amazing group of Ryerson staff from around campus come out last Friday (it was a very busy day), and we couldn’t have gotten so much done without them.

If you’ve stopped by the Valerie and Andy Pringle Environmental Roof located on the George Vari Engineering and Computing Center recently, you might have notice a couple new faces, along with a couple old ones. We’ve got a lineup of interns this growing season including Cindy Pham, our outreach coordinator, who has been with us since the very start of Rye’s HomeGrown, Jenna Chiandet, our Programming Coordinator, and Spencer Quinn, our Garden Coordinator, both of them having helped us farm the roof during the last year, and Kaylem Boileau, our Communications Coordinator, who is new to the Ryerson Community.

Next Wednesday, May 13th, from 11am to 3 pm, will mark the beginning of the Ryerson Farmers’ Market! In conjunction with the opening of the market, we will be hosting ourSpring Fair! We will be offering free guided tours at 12pm and 2pm, a chance to win a free harvest box! We will also be selling microgreens, spinach and compost tea.

Interested in helping out in the gardens and getting weekly harvest boxes?
Join Rye’s HomeGrown as a Member Farmer!
What: Working Member Share of our weekly CSA basket
When: May to August (13 weeks) and/or September to November (13 weeks)
How it works: Member Farmers spend 3hrs/week in the garden to help with the harvest and general farm upkeep (weeding, planting, watering, etc.) and receive a CSA basket of food at a reduced rate of $5.00/week (regular CSA price $25.00). In addition to receiving a basket of fresh produce each week, it’s a great opportunity to learn more about urban agriculture and develop skills as a grower.
Program cost: 
Registration Fee: $25.00
CSA Basket: 13 weeks x $5.00 = $65.00
Total Fee: $90.00
To apply, email Cindy at ryeshomegrown@gmail.com and tell us:
1.    Why you want to participate in the program
2.    Your past gardening experience (if any) or related outdoor experience
3.    Some info about yourself; department at Ryerson (if any), field of study, profession, interests…
4.     What session are you applying for: Summer and/or Fall
5.    What weekly shift you can commit to (if you have alternative availability, rank your choices with number 1 being your preference):
Monday 1pm-4pm | Tuesday 4pm-7pm | Wednesday 8am-11am | Friday 9am-12pm

Application Deadline: Wednesday, May 20th 2015

This Week’s Feature Edible: Spinach!

Grandpa Mark’s Spinach Macaroni

Kaylem’s grandpa Mark used to make this all the time. It’s one of those dishes that has a little bit of everything in it. A relatively easy dish that is packed full of flavour.
Serves: 3-6


  • 3 Tbsp or 1/8 cup olive oil
  • One large white onion, cut into chunks
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp dried basil or about 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves cut into strips
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 300g spinach, chopped
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes, or one can and one pint of cherry tomatoes
  • One can (514mL) chickpeas or white beans, drained and rinsed
  • About 300g pasta


  1. In a large pan on medium heat, add olive oil, onions, garlic, chili flakes and herbs and sauté for 2 minutes.
  2. Sautée the onions for 5-7 minutes, meanwhile chop up the spinach.
  3. Add two cans of tomatoes and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile start a pot of salted boiling water for your pasta.
  4. Add the beans and the chopped spinach to the sauce. Cover and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  5. Once the sauce is complete, you can add your pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook to al dente. Meanwhile remove your sauce from the heat, taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  6. When you pasta is finished, strain and spoon the pasta onto plates and cover with sauce. Any leftover pasta can be tossed in olive oil so that it does not stick.
  7. Garnish with fresh basil if desired and enjoy!

This recipe has been reproduced with permission from NoEmptyFridge.