Location, Location

The HOPE Garden is located in the vibrant community of South Parkdale.

Over the years, Parkdale has undergone much transformation. Did you know that Parkdale was once its own town in the 19th century?

ParkdaleTheatreCheck out this fascinating BlogTO post!

The neighbourhood is very different today. Parkdale is now one of Toronto’s most diverse areas. Many cultures compose the social fabric of the community. Over 50 percent of all families in South Parkdale self-identify as immigrants, and close to 45 percent speak a language other than English or French at home. (You can find these and more stats here.)

TibetMemoryPlot

One major reason why the H.O.P.E. garden is so vital to the community is that 90 percent of South Parkdale’s 25,000 residents are property renters and more than 45 percent are low income families. The accessible plots allow gardeners to grow the foods needed for their cultural cuisines for free.

H.O.P.E Garden is Officially OPEN!

Something’s sprouting in South Parkdale…

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The Greenest City is excited to kick off another growing season with around 75 community gardeners from the neighbourhood planting the seeds for a fruitful harvest.

On Saturday, May 11th, the HOPE Garden officially opened its gates beside the Masaryk-Cowan Community Centre. Participants from Parkdale tilled, laid compost, and planted everything from beets to bok choy. Gardeners have committed to maintaining their plots for the whole season, but they wont be doing it alone. Many will work the soil with friends and family, some with community groups, and of course, all with the help of Greenest City employees and volunteers.

 First Day Out!

The free garden plots are situated in a 4000-square-foot space on Cowan Avenue at Queen Street West in Toronto. The garden’s emphasis is on growing food organically, but flowers will help beautify and attract pollinators as well. The year 2013 is the HOPE Garden’s 7th growing season.

Keep updated on the HOPE garden’s growth on Facebook and Twitter.

Best Day In Greenest City!

TODAY IN GREENEST CITY I LOVED THE WHOLE  DAY LITERALLY FROM THE MINUTE THAT I GOT AT THE HIGH PARK’S CHILDREN GARDEN UNTIL THE END THAT CAME TO OUR MORE THAN CHILD’S PLAY PERIOD. OKAY LET’S GET TO BUISNESS, I ENJOYED THE GREAT RESPONSIBILTY OF HELPING THE KIDS IN THE HIGH PARK CHILDREN’S GARDEN AND I THINK THAT ALL OF MY TEAMATES(DOLKAR, AND EOIN) ENJOYED OT TOO BUT I WOULDN’T TRUST THAT SOURCE OF INFORMATION BECAUSE IT MIGHT E MISINFORMATIVE.

SOON I WAS SO FILLED WITH WORK THAT I COULDN’T GET ENOUGH TIME TO THINK BUT WITH THE WORK CAME THAT FAMILIAR FEELING OF ADRELINE FLOWING THROUGH ME. EVEN THOUGH WE DIDN’T DO A LOT OF WORK I STILL THINK THAT WE ACCOMPLISHED A GREAT DEAL WHICH BRINGS A QUOTE TO MY MIND ACCOMPLISHING SMALL THINGS BRING BIG STRIFE. YEAH IT’S KIND OF WEIRD BUT THE MEANING IS TRUE AND I THINK THAT THIS QUOTE APPLIES TO THIS SITUATION, AFTER WORKING THE GARDEN WE PAYED A SMALL VISIT TO THE OFFICE FOR THE GARDEN AND ONCE WE HAD FINSIHED BRAINSTORMING IDEAS FOR THE VISIT NEXT WEEK WHERE WE WOULD BE HELPING THE GARDEN’S DROP IN WHICH WAS HAPPENING NEXT WEEK.

 WHEN WE WERE FINISHED THAT WE ALL RETURNED BACK TO MASARYK COWAN TO THE GREENEST CITY OFFICE. AFTER FINSHING THIS I FELT AMAZINGLY HAPPY SINCE I LEARNED A LOT OF THINGS AND ALSO IMPROVED MY SKILLS ARSENAL.

THIS MAY BE THE LAST BLOG THAT I WILL POST FOR THE YGS BUT I THANK THE READERS BECAUSE THEY ARE TAKING THE TIME AND FOCUS TO READ MY WORK THANK YOU AGAIN BECAUSE WITHOUT YOU THINGS WOULDN’T TURN OUT THIS WAY.

SINCERELY,

                       TENZIN NAMSEL 

WAZZAP HOMIES?!

ImageI know it’s been a while since I last wrote a blog, but this week I’m back!  First and foremost, I’ve been working for greenest city for 5 weeks now and I only have one week left. Sad I know, but they have treated me well and I’ve come to love working for them.  They have given me so many learning opportunities and have taught me a million things about my neighborhood that I never knew.  Lately, the Youth Green Squad has been setting up the mural in our youth garden and sketch is preparing a leaving due for us when we leave next week.

But enough of the down sides, now on to the fun stuffs we did.

We haven’t been to the farmers market this week due to the bank holiday Monday, well, I went but no one else did (I went shopping!) and there were a lot of people just chilling and buying food and having a good time.  On Tuesday though we had work at PARC which is always fun and rewarding.  This week we made hotdog weenies with bread and salad, and some cooked squash that I didn’t eat, I dun like the taste.

Sadly, our plans to go to the brick works went down the manure express due to too many things needed to be done around the office and instead we had a “field trip” to the Parkdale health center for about an hour.  We finally got round to cleaning out the hope gardens shed so that it was more accessible, though I didn’t like being inside it because it had been overrun with spiders.

And on a final note, this is my final blog whilst working for Greenest city. Not many people will read this but I like to think at least a few people have and have enjoyed what I’ve got to say. On top of that it has been a tremendous pleasure working with my fellow youth squad members and for Greenest City, and I hope to see my co-workers doing well in the future and saving the environment one leaf at a time.

THURSDAY, THE SWEAT DAY!

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Hello people my name is Tenzin Namsel and I will be talking about how
Thursday was one of the hardest days I had in the Youth Green Squad
program.

The heat wave was murderous and I could actually feel myself tiring
before I had even started any work. I was sweating like mad when I was
working and the heat nearly made me fall down from tiredom. Impossibly, I
still pushed myself to work because more than anything else I was
gaining experience from working right out in the sun.

I learned how to bear the heat and I also learned how to weed. I
learned how to water plants and save seeds. I’m looking forward to the
weekend for every week. I have learned a lot about how to garden, and
how to cook and it is a great experience working with amazing people
on amazing topics. I truly feel honored to work with a great bunch of
team mates and also having a good time together work on issues that
need to be addressed by the public and the city of Toronto.

Thanks for reading this,
Tenzin Namsel

Tuesday is stew day, stew day is Tuesday!!

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Hi, I am Dolkar. I recently graduated from Parkdale Collegiate Institute and will be enrolled in nursing program at George Brown College. I feel quiet lucky to have one of the best youth summer jobs this year, that is being part of Greenest City YGS (Youth Green Squad)-yah! It has only been my first week, and I am just so amazed at how much new things I have learned and new friends that I have already made! It’s incredible. I first learned about this opportunity through previous YGS members and also through other programs of Greenest City such as the Youth Kitchen and Youth Garden Drop-In. Both these programs are great as this awesome summer job. If I had one wish in life, I would wish that I would achieve lifelong happiness, I don’t mean to be polite but I think that our ultimate goal as humans are to be happy, and it’s just the matter of how we approach it.

Our second day as Youth Green Squad was a blast. We had a chance to visit PARC (Parkdale Activity Recreational Centre). Although I often pass by their building, that was my first time learning about PARC and their mission. Our YGS members arrived there around nine in the morning, and already there was a lineup of people, mostly elders outside the building.

The PARC building looked like any ordinary buildings in Parkdale, it was located near St.Christopher House, but when we actually went inside, we saw many tables and chairs including sofas for have meals and chill. It reminded me of Coffee Time near my house, but this place was much more vibrant, and it had a warm and homely feeling when we entered the door. We met James in the PARC kitchen; he was the guy in charge of the kitchen- our official YGS chef! He told us that we were going to cook meal for over hundred people and the main dish was going to be borsch. I never tried borsch before, it was a like a stew but it was made from grated beets, pork and beef. Unfortunately, because of my diet, I didn’t have a chance to try it. But from my team members-Namsel, Eoin and Agar-who worked really hard in preparing the meal and had the chance to taste it, said ‘it was superb!’ Among several tasks in preparing the meal, my favourite was grating the beets; which was consider the most challenging task. It was funny when Namsel started to speed up-although it was not a competition- and he end up winning him a cut. But we all had fun and were laughing till the end.

After we finished cooking the meals, James told us to meet at the kitchen. And there, we shared our knowledge about Greenest City to James, and he talked to us about PARC and their mission. From how he spoke to us, we could tell that James was an enthusiastic and had the passion working part of the PARC to serve others in need and make a positive difference. We learned that PARC is a home for all diversity of people in Parkdale community. Other than providing people with these exceptionally delicious free meals, PARC has also lend it’s hand in assisting people with shelters, healthcare, and dealing with legal issues. The people that come for help at PARC are generally struggling with serious health and social problems. And their problems are often being neglected by the society and so they feel depressed, hopeless and excluded from their surroundings. Organization like PARC has treated these people with respect and human dignity, which also serves as giving them the hope and a stepping-stone to make the right choices and live happier lives.

I already love the things that we have been doing as YGS. And I am looking forward to some of our field trips, especially the one coming up next week- Carrot Commons Green Roof Trip!!!

Monday, wazzup?!

ImageHey!

Hey guys, Eoin here! This is going to be my little intro about the youth green squad and other stuff. So yeah, Y.G.S is a team of high school students helping out the Parkdale community, and we aim to provide help and services to some organizations

First Day!

So, on my first day we went and helped out at the Sorauren farmers market (located at Sorauren park). Helping them really felt rewarding, even though it was just setting up stalls and unloading the produce from their trucks to the stands. The vendors were thankful for all the help and that made it worth the sore arms.

The farmers market is run by Westend Food Co-op, who have been working to secure a home for their store which will be a huge organic food mart basically, but it won’t have all those nasty high prices that all the other organic food places have.

The experience

During my time wandering the stalls and helping unload the vans, I got to know a little bit about each stall and vendor. They all grew their own food naturally, and the all did it differently. One vendor has 12 acres on which he grows just about everything where as another vendor I spoke to, she only grows in her tiny back yard. all joined the farmers market to secure a position in the Co-op and to sell their produce to the public and get recognition. This really opened my eyes to what is going on in my area and its really surprised me.

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