The GARDENS Pod Project stems from the concept of a community garden, except the pods are smaller, mobile, raised beds that are easy to maintain and dispersed to various locations within the South Etobicoke community. Pods are defined as ‘sites’ that serve the end goal of supplying food to persons that are food insecure. There are three pod classifications, an organization pod, a residential pod and community pod. The pods are considered urban farming and require little land that produces a high yield. The produce is 100% organic with a sophisticated harvest system that greatly benefits the community.
The project comes from the idea of a community garden, except the pods are smaller, mobile, raised beds that are easier to maintain. The goal is to use them to improve food security in South Etobicoke participating organizations giving a minimum of 50% or more back into the community.
“We have created of new model of gardening where we are taking gardens to the community and creating communities around to pods to produce food, promote small planter gardening, provide education around healthy choices and create awareness around food security,” says Wanda Buote, principal of Lakeshore Campus and a GARDENS volunteer.
“By growing this Garden Pod, we get to know each other, we learn, we share and, we build community. Today, we see the results of working together and how in a few short hours we transformed empty space into a beautiful, green and nourishing place. At harvest time, the pod will continue to benefit many as a portion of the produce will be shared with others,” Sandra Van, LAMP CHC and The GARDENS Co-Chair.
A dedicated volunteers water and care for the plants. The GARDENS has installed planters at various pod site locations including:
Toronto Public Library – Long Branch
St. Leo’s Catholic School
Thomas Berry Early Learning and Child Care Centre
Marguerite Butt Early Learning and Child Care Centre
Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
Lakeshore Lodge Long Term Care
Humber College (Fashion Institute)
LAMP Community Health Centre
Barsa Kelly Cari-Can Cooperative Homes Inc.
Haven on the Queensway
If you are interested in volunteering and learning more about the project – visit the GARDENS website http://www.gardenslakeshore.ca/