Category: Our First Potluck!

Harvest Fest!

The rain is falling, and the weather’s turning colder…as we wrap up the 2011 garden season, I thought I’d post some photos from our fantastic Harvest Festival a few weeks ago. 


Youth Field Trip

Last Thursday we had a great field trip with our Youth Apprentices!  Our first stop was visiting The Stop Community Food Centre’s Green Barn.

Then we cooled off from the heat at the water park outside!

After enjoying a great pizza dinner, we walked down the street to the Frankel Lambert Community Garden for a workshop on Organic Pest and Disease Management.

Thanks everyone for a great field trip!

Hey I’m Saud, a member of “The Peaches” which is a youth group at  Oriole Community Garden, by the advent church, run by Working Women Community Center. First of all it is a community garden where people from the area own plots and grow their plants. We have 5 plots, where we grow plants like mint, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and strawberries! We help maintain the children garden by watering their plants.  We also help maintain the strawberries and raspberries patch. We participate in workshops, which includes fieldtrips and building raspberries trellises. We are learning tons and always busy! We also hold Arts and Crafts lessons for kids every Wednesday from 5pm to 6pm.  We also work with the “Fairview Community Health Centre.” We hold festivals with them for example the “Garden Festival.” Its free where people from the neighborhood come and buy fresh fruits and vegetables, which are directly from Ontario farms.  There are also free games for children and winners win prizes.

I have gained great experience volunteering with the other youth and it is SO MUCH FUN!!!!

Spring Cleaning

We’ve been hard at work the last few weeks cleaning up the garden to get it ready for spring planting. Thanks to a grant from Home Depot, we are installing black plastic edging around each plot, and working on other things to beautify the garden!

Here are a few before shots:

And here’s the transformation in progress:

After a long, cold winter the snow is melting and spring is in the air!  This morning in the garden I even saw a few purple flowers poking up out of the ground…

We’ve been hard at work this winter planning for the upcoming gardening season.  We are very grateful and excited to announce that we  received funding from Live Green Toronto to build a small greenhouse, plant a bunch of fruit-bearing shrubs (strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, and more!), and start a youth apprenticeship program in the garden.  Looking forward to getting all of these projects off the ground this spring! 

We are also thankful to Home Depot for a generous grant and gift card to redo the garden this year–we’ll be putting in wider pathways, and reorganizing the plots to make sure that everyone has an equal size.  Thanks Home Depot!

This summer has had many highlights–youth gardening, community potlucks, container gardening workshops, arts in the garden, yoga in the garden, community kitchens, and more!  Thanks to everyone who has contributed to a beautiful and delicious community garden this season. 

The Oriole Community Garden is currently closed for the winter season.  The waiting list is also closed–if you would like to be added to our list, please come visit the garden in April 2011.

See you when the snow melts next spring!



The Oriole Community Harvest Festival was a beautiful and delicious celebration of our community, our garden, and our traditions–thanks to everyone who contributed to make it great!  Here a some highlights and photos:

On Wednesday morning, 15 people gathered in the kitchen of the church to preserve a bushel of apples and a huge bag of beets!  Apple pie, apple sauce, and pickled beets were on the agenda, and people got to work chopping, coring, and peeling right away. 

As canning pots bubbled on the stove, we put our apple pies in the oven, and prepared a delicious mix of vinegar and honey for the beets.  By the end of the morning, we’d made (and promptly eaten!) four apple pies, as well as dozens of cans of applesauce and pickled beets for everyone to enjoy this winter. 

On Friday we took 70 people to a vegetable farm to harvest tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cabbage, and corn!  

People had lots  of fun, and harvested both for themselves and for our potluck and corn roast on Saturday.  The farmers were also grateful for our business–so it was beneficial all around.

And it looks like we might have some future farmers in our community!

Saturday we had a rockin’ harvest party from Noon to 8, with a little taste of every program we had throughout the season–container gardening, arts, a community kitchen (with 40 people in Fellowship hall chopping and cooking!), youth programs, a gardening workshop on planting cover crops, yoga in the garden, and more!  

In addition to running great games for the kids, the youth were responsible for shucking and grilling all of the corn–yummm…


Despite the chilly weather we had a great turnout–we estimated that around 175 people attended. We were excited to welcome quite a few people who weren’t our regular gardeners–they were community members who had been involved in our communal gardening plots, arts programs, or just people that wandered by and wanted to see what we were all about.  City Councillor Shelley Carroll stopped by for a while–we are grateful for her interest and support. 

 The highlight of the evening was the potluck and live music!  First a great drumming concert that got people clapping and dancing, and then live, traditional Afghani and Irianian music that got the babies and the grandparents (and everyone in between) dancing and laughing  and enjoying each other. 

A big thank you goes out to everyone who made this festival possible.  Our partner organizations for the Harvest Festival were: Working Women Community Centre, the Advent Lutheran Church, the Fairview Health Centre, and the Oriole Community Centre (of Toronto Parks and Recreation).  We gratefully acknowledge the support of our funders:  the Toronto Food Security Investment Program, the Trillium Foundation, and Toronto Public Health.  And of course, the biggest thank you goes to everyone in the community who has built our garden to be such a welcoming, beautiful, diverse, and delicious space!  Thanks for a great 2010 gardening season–see you when the snow melts in 2011!

Everyone is welcome–join in the fun!

On Saturday October 2, Noon – 8PM at the Oriole Community Garden, Advent Church, 2800 Don Mills Road

Music, Celebration, and Good Food rain or shine.  Everything FREE!

  • 12:00 – 2:00 Gardening Workshop!
  • 2:00 – 4:00   Arts in the Garden with Nasrin! Yoga with Sunita!
  • 2:30 – 5:30   Cooking Traditional Harvest Dishes!
  • 4:00 – 6:00   Container Gardening! Kids’ Games!
  • 6:00             Corn Roast and Potluck—Bring a dish to share!

Wednesday Sep. 29, 9AM-Noon

Community Kitchen—Preserving Apples!  To register, call Bronwyn: 416-640-5298 X 202

Friday October 1, 9 AM-Noon

Bus trip to pick corn at a local farm!  To register, call Bronwyn:  416-640-5298 X202.