The University Health Network in Toronto received funding from the Greenbelt Fund to investigate short and long-term opportunities to provide more local food for in-patients in their hospital network. From interviews and an advisory panel, they have identified 3 long term challenges that they would like to submit to the community for input. They have launched an idea crowdsourcing platform where you can vote on the existing ideas, or add your own ideas for review.
Do you eat food? Then you have an opinion! Join in and unleash your ideas to better connect local Ontario food to the hospitals at University Health Network. Read more…
The Project SOIL pilot at Homewood has been in the news lately, with coverage on radio and in print, including this fine article in the Guelph Mercury.
After constructing a Victorian-styled, replicable garden, Homewood is just starting to use their fresh produce in the kitchen, to great response.
“When you think about it, we have a number of rural hospitals and long-term care facilities in this province that actually have a significant amount of land as part of their property,” he said. “Certainly the ones in urban settings may have less land to work with, but in the case of Homewood, their property is 42 acres large.”
In bygone times, Homewood had a full 80-acre farm on site, situated across Delhi Street. It produced enough food to feed its patients and supply the broader community with fresh vegetables, fruit and eggs.
Last month we went to the grand opening of the Telus Corporate Community Garden, on the roof terrace at 25 York Street, the Telus Toronto head office.
The Telus Garden Rationale
“It is one of the first of its kind to involve employees of a corporation in a community garden setting. We really feel there is great value in this project to inspire other corporations to install community gardens for their employees. Like the gyms and the wellness centres now common in the corporate culture the garden is a natural extension toward living sustainably, preventative health practices and connection with community. ”
The garden, on the 5th floor patio at Telus House, has impressive views but also holds some unique challenges for the garden curator, who has to worry about not only an excess of sun -both direct and reflected off the glass building- but also the wind, which can pick up in the afternoon. Planting delicate veg at floor level will hopefully protect the plants from the buffeting.
If all goes well on the 5th floor in 2014, a much larger space on the 4th floor patio is available, and growing food on this scale could really generate some momentum in the building, and in the community.