Shared Opportunities on Institutional Lands
Challenges and opportunities of on-site food production
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. EDT
In Ontario, several institutions are already producing food on their properties as a way to generate revenue; supply nutritious fresh food for consumption (by staff, patients, students, etc.); provide skills training and therapeutic benefits; and build social enterprises.
Project SOIL is a three-year feasibility study that explores the potential of on-site food production at public health care and educational institutions in Ontario. This webinar will share how project partners at health care, social service and educational institutions went about getting gardens off the ground at their institutions, as well as some of the lessons we learned in the first year of working with pilot projects across the province.
Webinar participants will include:
- Chef Christopher Jess, high school culinary arts instructor in Fergus Ontario, and the guiding force behind the Food School Farm (Centre Wellington District High School);
- Doug Dowhos, Supervisor of Employment Options for St. Joseph’s Care Group and creator of the GreenWerks Garden social enterprise (Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital);
- Tami Proctor, Registered Horticultural Therapist leading the Victorian Garden project at Homewood Health Centre;
- Louise Quenneville, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator and Project Manager at Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital; and
- Jenny Weickert, Our Farm coordinator at KW Habilitation.
For more information and to register, please contact Irena Knezevic at email@example.com
Led by postdoctoral researchers Phil Mount and Irena Knezevic, this three-year project will look at the viability of on-site food production at public institutions, through collaborative arrangements with local food producers.
Project SOIL is funded by the New Directions Research Program of the Ontario Ministries of Agriculture and Food and Rural Affairs.
The project builds on emerging production models that can flexibly adapt to institutional resources (including SPIn or Small Plot Intensive farming), as well as land tenure models that could contribute to community food production, health and well-being – such as Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital’s donation of land to a social-purpose business (GreenWerks) that grows food for the hospital, local markets, and food bank.
The feasibility of alternatives will be explored by:
- surveying public institutions to identify capacity to support food production;
- interviewing institutional key informants to understand opportunities/constraints; and
- performing in-depth site analyses to explore food production models and cooperative opportunities with existing local food networks.
Case studies and cost/revenue flows will help to guide three innovative and groundbreaking food production pilot projects. These pilots will test the therapeutic benefits at gardens on the properties of Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital -which focuses on post acute stroke rehabilitation- and Homewood Health Centre, a leading addiction and mental health treatment facility. The multiple values of the food and synergistic benefits produced from the soil on these properties will be explored at these health facilities, and also at the Food School Farm, Centre Wellington District High School’s radical participatory agroecological education program that looks to produce “critical and confident food growers and consumers”.
Return often; this site will expand organically, reflecting the growth of the project.