Bringing May Flowers

With only a few weeks until the opening day of the Farmers’ Market and a month until the start of our CSA, our garden design team has been hard at work turning green manure and preparing the rooftop farm for planting. The unexpected bout of snow gave us a few minutes to rest and catch our breath, and despite the inclement weather, we still managed to plant our cool season crops, completing two of five sections of our crop rotation. This means we’re ready to start preparing for our hot crops, so we’re calling on you to join us on the first Friday in May for another compost moving day. Later this month, we’ll also be turning our attention to the ground level gardens where we are excited to be including pollinator attracting plants to host bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects. If you’d like to participate in this project, we invite you to join our weekly Get Growing Monday drop-in sessions. Read more about how to get involved below.

Cheers to a beautiful start to the growing season! Thanks as always for tuning into our newsletter.

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Members of our Garden Design Team hard at work. Photo: Sammy Tangir

Upcoming Events

Friday, May 6th | 14pm  
Drop in and volunteer on the roof: First Fridays

Monday, May 9th | 14pm 
Drop in and volunteer at our on-ground gardens: Get Growing Mondays

Wednesday, May 11th | 11am2pm
Ryerson Farmers’ Market begins

Friday, May 13th | Registration Deadline!
Sign up for a CSA Share or Member Farmer CSA Program

June 1st4th
Grey to Green Conference: Addressing Climate Change with Green Infrastructure

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer at this month’s First Friday: May 6th

Ryerson’s rooftop farm hosts volunteer sessions on the first Friday of every month from 1pm to 4pm. This is a great opportunity to visit the farm, meet other garden enthusiasts, and learn more about urban agriculture.

What: Drop-In Volunteer Event, every first Friday of the month
When: Friday, May 6th, 1–4pm
Who: Anyone and everyone is welcome, bring your colleagues, friends and family!
Where: Ryerson’s rooftop farm on the Andrew and Valerie Pringle Environmental Green Roof located on the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre (245 Church Street).
Directions: To get to the farm, go to the fourth floor of the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre located at 245 Church Street. Head to the stairwell in the North-West corner of the building. You’ll find the stairs to the Andrew and Valerie Pringle Environmental Green Roof there.
Instructions: Dress with the weather in mind and be prepared to get dirty!
Please RSVP by sending an email to

Get Growing Every Monday

We are proud to also operate gardens throughout campus at the ground-level and we need your help to get them growing! These gardens include a container garden featuring traditional companion plants and a food forest of annual and perennial polyculture guilds that support pollinators and beneficial insects. We draw upon principles of ecological garden design to create gardens that are beautiful, productive and resilient. This involves incorporating local resources into the design, focusing on soil building strategies and using low-impact techniques. The results are gardens that are abundant, nourishing and lasting. Join us on Mondays to help plan and plant these gardens. This is a great opportunity to volunteer on a weekly basis and learn more about ecological gardening.

What: Drop-In Volunteer Event
When: Every Monday, from 1–4pm
Who: Anyone and everyone is welcome, bring your colleagues, friends and family!
Where: Ryerson’s ground-level gardens, meet under the Archway in the Quad off Gould Street
Instructions: Dress with the weather in mind and be prepared to get dirty!
Please RSVP by sending an email to

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All are welcome to drop in and volunteer at our First Fridays and Get Growing Mondays. Photo: Sammy Tangir

Sign up for our CSA Programs

Sign up for our CSA Program to receive a weekly or bi-weekly share of rooftop produce 

Do you want 20 weeks of seasonal vegetables grown on the campus rooftop farm? Sign up to be a CSA member and you’ll receive a basket of fresh vegetables from June to October!

Why CSA? CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. As a CSA member, you become a “shareholder” and receive a weekly portion of the harvest as a return on your investment. This allows you, as the consumer, to participate in both the risks and rewards of farming and become more intimately connected with how and where your food is produced. All while enjoying a local, seasonal diet and contributing to a healthier food system, right here on campus!

The Benefits: You’ll save a trip to the grocery store and take home a diverse variety of fresh, campus-grown vegetables like leafy greens, heirloom tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, salad mixes, peas, beans, summer and winter squash, leeks, onions and garlic. What’s more, by signing up, you’re supporting your local food movement and urban agriculture programs on campus.

What you receive: A basket of seasonal vegetables, culinary herbs and edibleflowers, picked fresh every week!


  • Weekly Share: June to October 2016, every Wednesday
  • Bi-Weekly Share: June to October 2016, every other Wednesday


  • Weekly Share: $500 / 20 weeks
  • Bi-Weekly Share: $250 / 10 weeks

Pickup: Ryerson’s Gould Street Farmers’ Market, every Wednesday from 11am-2pm

How to sign up: email Cindy at

Sign up to be a member farmer for a weekly CSA basket and contribute to the rooftop farm

Join the farm with a working share of our CSA program and receive a basket of food at a reduced rate of $10 per week (or $5 per week for students). Member Farmers spend three hours on the farm each week to help grow and harvest for Ryerson’s Farmer’s Market, campus kitchens and CSA program!

What: Member Farmer Share of our weekly CSA basket

When: May 26th to August 30th (14 weeks in summer; option to extend 10 weeks in fall)

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 share at a reduced rate of $10/week and $5.00/week for students (regular CSA price $25.00/week).

Summer Program Cost:

  • Rate: 14 weeks x $10.00 + registration fee: $50.00 = $190.00
  • Student rate: 14 weeks x $5.00 + registration fee: $50.00 = $120.00

Commitment: Once a week at one of three shifts (below)

How to sign up: email Cindy at Please provide some additional answers to your email:

1) Why do you want to participate in the program?
2) What kind of gardening experience do you have (if any)?
3) Please tell us a bit about yourself (such as what faculty or department you’re affiliated with at Ryerson, your field of study, profession, interests, etc.)
4) Farm work is traditionally hard, and includes physical work in extreme heat or cold; explain why you want to participate in this work, and what experiences or attributes make you feel ready to take on this commitment.
5) What weekly shift you can commit to? If you have alternative availability, rank your choices with number 1 being your preference: Sunday from 1–4pm / Tuesday from 5–8pm / Thursday from 9am–12pm

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Member farmers spend 3 hours per week to help with the harvest and general farm upkeep, and in exchange, receive a CSA share at a reduced rate. Photo: Sammy Tangir


Ryerson Farmers’ Market begins May 11th

Market season at Ryerson has finally begun! Join us on Wednesday, May 11th for the first Farmer’s Market of the year. Come by to chat and see what we have in store for you this season.

What: Ryerson Farmer’s Market
When: Every Wednesday, 11am–2pm
Where: Gould St. between Bond and Victoria
Who: Anyone and everyone is welcome

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The Ryerson Farmers’ Market takes to the streets every Wednesday starting on May 11th, 2016! See you on Gould between Bond and Victoria.

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Be on the lookout for our table and enjoy a taste of early spring.

Grey to Green

Grey to Green Conference: Addressing Climate Change with Green Infrastructure

The Grey to Green Conference, held on June 1st–4th in Toronto on the Ryerson University campus, is about helping us understand the value of green infrastructure (bioswales, green roofs and walls, urban forests, etc.) as an important tool in the fight to both mitigate against and adapt to climate change.

Grey to Green is Ontario’s leading forum for designers, policy makers, manufacturers, growers, landscapers, and more to discuss the benefits of the important green infrastructure industry, and how to grow it even further. The interdisciplinary conference will explore the latest science on green infrastructure performance, economic valuation and public policy developments, new technological developments, and best practices in design, installation and maintenance. The conference also includes a trade show, cutting edge training courses, and tours of outstanding projects.

When: June 1st–4th, 2016 | Please visit the conference website for a more detailed agenda
Where: Department of Architectural Science at Ryerson University, 25 Church Street, Toronto, Ontario
What: Anyone interested in learning more about rooftop farming or any other types of green infrastructure
Registration Details: Register for the conference here before April 7th, 2016 for $275(+HST). Students can register for $99 (+HST).

Interested in volunteering for the conference? Email conference@greenroofs.orgfor details.

This Month’s Featured Edible: Microgreens

This month we are featuring the mighty, little microgreen. These tiny greens are grown from seed in the greenhouse and picked right when the first leaves appear. Microgreens are full of flavour and packed with nutrients. They are valued by farmers as a high-income, year-round crop and are beloved by chefs for their unique flavours and bright colours. We grow these sprouts year round and sell them at the Farmers’ Market May through October. Our mix includes pea shoots, purple daikon, china rose radish, red mustard, purple kohlrabi and sunflower sprouts. One of the questions we often receive at the market is how to include them in recipes. We have compiled a list of delicious uses for microgreens below, but if you have any other innovative ideas, we would love to hear them!

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Our microgreen mix includes pea shoots, purple daikon, china rose radish, red mustard, purple kohlrabi and sunflower sprouts. Photo: Sammy Tangir

1) Include microgreens in any salad for added nutrients and flavour. Try pairing them with seasonal ingredients such as roasted root vegetables in winter and cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion in summer.
2) Sprinkle them on top of a fresh-baked pizza for a nice, fresh crunch.
3) Use them as a topping on burgers, sandwiches or tacos.
4) Just as you would garnish with fresh herbs, use them to finish a hot dish, like soups, stews, roasts, etc.
5) Create a whole salad out of microgreens! Use a simple dressing, like lemon and olive oil, to allow the flavours to stand out.
6) Milder microgreens, such as sunflower, kale or pea shoots, go great in a smoothie. Add in banana, spinach, frozen peaches or other fruits of your choice, some milk and you have a healthy, satisfying treat for the day.


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