Blooming into Summer | August 2016

The month of July was hot and dry, but the rooftop farm has stayed lush and productive. The flower farm on Gould St. has benefitted from the enduring heat to produce beautiful pollinator flowers that are rife with butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects. The constant picking of peas and cucumbers has kept our Member Farmers busy and we’re gearing up for a bumper crop of heirloom and cherry tomatoes. Carrots and beets have slowly made their way to market, and over 400 bulbs of garlic are now curing and are almost ready to make an appearance. The overwhelming number of zucchinis in the field means you can expect to see squash blossoms at our market stand now. Of course, we wouldn’t have any of these lovely fruits without the hard work of our local pollinators. To celebrate, we are opening the doors of the farm on August 8th for tours and field walks. Workshops will take place in the Sears Atrium on flower farming and urban beekeeping. Join us for our Summer Open Farm in the late afternoon to observe the wonderful progress the farm has made and take part in workshops that will be engaging and informative.

(Photo: Gary Beechey)

Upcoming Events

Friday, August 5th | 14pm
First Friday

Register to volunteer on the rooftop

Every Monday | 14pm
Get Growing Monday

Register to volunteer at our on-ground gardens

Every Wednesday | 11am2pm
Ryerson Farmers’ Market

Fresh campus-grown produce and delicious lunch options

August 8th | 14pm   
Summer Open Farm
Celebrate the season with us

Tomatoes ripening on the vine (Photo: Gary Beechey)

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer at this month’s First Friday: August 5th

Ryerson Urban 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: Pre-registered volunteer event, every first Friday of the month
When: Friday, August 5th, 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!
Registration: There is a limited capacity for volunteers on the rooftop farm. There is a limited capacity for volunteers on the rooftop farm. Please RSVP by registering with Eventbrite here. If you do not RSVP, you will not be able to attend this volunteer session.

Get Growing Every Monday

We are proud to operate gardens throughout campus at the ground-level and we need your help to get them growing! These 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: Pre-registered 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 at our Gould Street Garden (across the street from the Student Campus Centre – 55 Gould St.
Instructions: Dress with the weather in mind and be prepared to get dirty!
Registration: We will be moving around multiple gardens throughout the season so please RSVP by sending an email to urbanfarm@ryerson.ca to ensure that you do not get left behind!

Roll up your sleeves and sign up to volunteer with us! (Photo: Sammy Tangir)

Events

Celebrate August’s Full-Bloom at our Summer Open Farm

The Summer Open Farm is an opportunity for Ryerson students, staff, faculty and the broader community to visit the rooftop farm in full-bloom. August marks the beginning of peak harvest, so this event will showcase the garden at the it’s height of it’s growth on a beautiful summer’s day. We will open the doors to the farm by inviting the community to take a guided tour of the garden. Additionally, there will be a reception and educational workshops located in the Sears Atrium themed around the importance of supporting local pollinators.

When: Monday, August 8th, 4–7pm

Who:  Anyone and everyone is welcome, bring your colleagues, friends and family!

What: Farm tours will be offered between 5pm and 6pm. The Atrium will serve as a reception area for guests to convene before and after their tour. Workshops will take place in the Atrium at 4pm and 6pm.

Schedule:

  • 45pm | The How-to’s of Flower Farming with Jessica Gale of Sweet Gale Gardens
  • 5pm, 5:20pm & 5:40pm | Farm Tours and Field Walks
  • 67pm | Urban Beekeeping with Blake Retter of Alveole

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. To get to the Sears Atrium, please go to the third floor and the entrance will be in the centre of the building.

Instructions: RSVP to this event with eventbrite. Tours will start on time so please arrive 10 mins before your desired tour so that you can participate in a brief safety talk and liability waivers can be signed.

Ryerson Farmers’ Market: Every Wednesday

Market season at Ryerson is well on its way! Join us every Wednesday 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

Come by and say hello to our team at the Ryerson Farmers’ Market!

This Month’s Featured Edible: Tomatoes

Thanks to the intense heat this summer, our tomatoes have produced tremendously and we are gearing up for a beautiful harvest of heirloom tomatoes of all shapes, colours and sizes. Some of the cultivars you can expect to see at market include: Brandywine, Ponderosa Pink, Grightmire’s Pride, Black Krim, Oxheart, Amish Paste, Green Zebra, Black Cherry and others. Real Simple created a recipe that is true to their name with this pasta dish that highlights the fresh taste of heirloom tomatoes and is perfect for a hot summer’s evening. Pair it with a cool drink on your patio or backyard for a fully enjoyable experience.

Big ones, small ones, some the size of your head!

Early summer tomatoes

Pasta With Ricotta and Heirloom Tomatoes
Recipe adapted from Real Simple

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds beefsteak tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 small sweet onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces bocconcini (small balls of fresh mozzarella), quartered, or fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound dried fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, torn
  • 1/4 cup pinenuts

Methods

  1. Heat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, herbs, lemon juice, oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Let stand, tossing occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot.
  3. Spread the pine nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven, tossing occasionally, until golden, 5 to 6 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they do not burn.
  4. Toss the pasta with the ricotta, Parmesan, and enough of the reserved pasta water to create a creamy sauce. Top with the tomato mixture and pine nuts. Serve with more Parmesan, if desired.
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