When we talk about the concepts of Reduce, Reuse, and Repair, it is of utmost importance that we include and address food consumption and wastage. On average, we Canadians waste $31 billion worth of food every year, while a part of our own population and the world population goes hungry. Food waste also creates severe challenges when recycled. Growing one’s own food is one of the best ways to address this issue and prevent wastage of food.
On March 6th and 7th, The Corner @ 240 in partnership with the City of Toronto’s Tower Renewal Program organised a workshop “Get Growing” on balcony food gardening. The workshop was attended by more than 50 individuals during the two days and participants were given starter kits and necessary seeds to get started. The workshop began with participants sharing their previous experience in gardening, their failures and successes and their expectations for this workshop. The City team, led by Lara, introduced participants to the basics of gardening like selecting your soil and fertilizer, how to set up your pots, basics of watering, ideal temperature and other important aspects of growing your own garden. The team also introduced different types of plants ideal for beginners and for Canadian homes and the correct time to plant these seeds, different procedures to be adopted at different stages and when and how you can harvest your crop.
The team also spoke about the benefits of gardening and how it can positively influence the life of residents living in urban areas and in high rises. Growing your own food helps in reducing wastage as you pick and pluck only what you need. Having access to organic and healthy veggies and fruits, providing greenery in your rooms and keeping the indoor air fresh are some of the health benefits. It is a great hobby and can even help individuals cope with isolation, depression and other mental health problems. It is also a great hobby to engage your kids and help them develop a basic respect for all forms of life. It is also important as consumers to know how our food is grown. Gardening provides some insight into the process and the challenges and hardships that farmers face as they try to feed the human population.
During these times of social distancing and lock down, gardening is a great activity to engage in by yourself and with your family. It’s already spring and it is the best time to start planting and ‘Get Growing’.