John Polanyi Collegiate Institute Gardens
Located in the Lawrence Heights and Neptune area in T'karonto aka Toronto. This garden is home to an acre of veggie and native pollinator garden, run by PACT Urban Peace Program since 2011. Ma friend ran that garden for lots of years. I would visit, finding all my forest friends hanging out in an urban context. They'd let me pick the elderberries. One day, I wondered if they was looking for anyone to work there, and when I went, they asked if I was looking for a job. I went on to work there for 3 growing seasons. And learned so much.
It ain't easy being in a smaller not-for-profit organization in all the complexities of getting to the heart of the matter: Decolonizing white supremacy, race, class, gender, this is the soup. And I certainly have felt the burn from it. And have likely been a part of the burn. Prayers for the healing power of plants and food sovereignty, of mentorship and leadership, and goddamn good conflict resolution practices.
This Garden was sooooo beautiful, and I got to come onto its 3rd year of running a hugely successful Community Compost Exchange Market Program, where all kinds of folks would gather weekly, bringing their veggie scraps in exchange for market dollars. Buying their veggies and sharing food in the middle of this buzzing booming garden in the city.