Giving Thanks | November 2016

Thanks to everyone who came out to our 2016 Fall Harvest Party! (And to those who didn’t make it, we missed you). We’re so grateful to have your support and encouragement. We’re thrilled to report that we had a very successful season despite drought conditions. Last year we harvested nearly 8,000 lb of produce, and this year (drum roll please) we beat it by a whopping 25%, harvesting roughly 10,000 lb on our little quarter acre!

We couldn’t have done it without you, and we have a few special thank yous to highlight:

Firstly, to our entrants and judges for our first ever Pie Contest (and congratulations to Winner Maria Jude and Runner-up Elizabeth Manderson!)

Secondly, to Harvest Party event volunteers, who are an integral part of why this project thrives.

Thirdly, to our event sponsors: Ryerson Eats, Beau’s Natural Brewing Company, Brickworks Ciderhouse and The Big Carrot Natural Food Market, for their generous donations.

Moreover, we’d like to thank:

  • Dr. Mark Gorgolewski and Building Science students for the tool shed made out of entirely recycled materials (down to denim shingles!) for our ground level gardens;
  • CSA members, member farmers and volunteers; and
  • Ryerson University’s administration and to Andrew and Valerie Pringle for your continued support.

We are now between the Fall equinox and Winter solstice, celebrated with a festival called “Samhain” (Sah-win or Sow-in) in Gaelic tradition, which marks the time between the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. You might be wondering how we could possibly occupy ourselves over the winter months with the garden in a dormant state, but in fact we are gearing up for some big things:

  • Next year will start off with our Ecological Garden Design Program in February, and then we’ll be growing our CSA over the summer and fall sessions (registration will be announced in the new year)
  • We’re revamping our ground gardens to better showcase pollinator gardening with native plants using various permaculture techniques and developing programming around honeybees
  • We’re also working on various upgrades for the rooftop farm, improving our website, among other things! So stay tuned!

We’ll be meeting for our last First Friday event on the rooftop this Friday, November 4, and will continue to meet at the ground-level for our weekly Get Growing Mondaysessions until November 14. Hope you can join us in preparing for the winter garden, and thanks again for supporting a great growing season!

Rows of garlic being planted for next year

Upcoming Events

These will be the last sessions of First Friday and Get Growing Monday for the 2016 season. We hope to see you there!

Friday, November 4th | p.m. – 4 p.m.
First Friday 
Monthly Rooftop Volunteering

Monday, November 7 & 14 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Get Growing Monday 
Weekly Ground-level Drop-in Volunteering

Volunteer Opportunities

Last First Friday of 2016: November 4th

Ryerson Urban Farm hosts volunteer sessions on the first Friday of every month from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. This is a great opportunity to visit the farm, meet other garden enthusiasts, and learn more about urban agriculture. This month we’ll be preparing for the winter garden by turning compost and prepping beds for overwintering cover crops and green manures.

What: Pre-registered volunteer event, every first Friday of the month. November 4thwill be the last session of the season.
When: Friday, November 4th, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
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! We also highly recommend you wear close-toed shoes.
Registration: 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 Monday (Two Sessions Left!)

We are preparing the flower farm and pollinator gardens for next season, drawing on principles of ecological garden design such as incorporating local resources, focusing on soil building strategies and using low-impact techniques. 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 p.m. – 4 p.m. Please note that Monday, November 14th is the last session for 2016.
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 at 55 Gould Street).
Instructions: Dress with the weather in mind and be prepared to get dirty!

We will be moving around multiple gardens throughout the season so please RSVP by sending an email to to make sure you aren’t left behind!

There are three more chances to volunteer with us before the end of the season. We hope you’ll join us!