by Sophie Mihevc
We were joined in the garden by some amazing youth this fall as part of our 2023 Urban Roots Youth Program. Together, we got to work on some fall garden tasks. We harvested the last of the garden produce, sifted compost, planted garlic, gathered native plant seeds, kept the pathways nice and mulched, potted up paw-paw trees, and even cleaned out the shed!
Once the weather got cold, we moved inside for some cooking and crafting. We tried making paw-paw pudding and popsicles - the outcome got mixed reviews but we enjoyed paw paw debates and jokes in the process!
Fan-favourite upside-down delicata squash pizza also made an appearance again this season, featuring rooftop-grown squash. We saved bean and squash seed brought in from our 3 sisters rooftop garden, and had lots of fun doing corn-themed crafts. Ella told us the story of corn husk dolls while we made our own, and we then used our beautiful glass gem corn seeds to make seed art (thanks to farmer JP at the Cabbagetown market for the idea!)
At the end of the program, participants shared some thoughts:
“Urban Roots Youth was the highlight of my fall and I enjoyed every second I was there. It was a wonderful environment to make friends and to expand my knowledge of the environment, foods, and cultures. I really hope to continue attending in the spring!
“I adore this program. No matter what I always looked forward to spending a calm afternoon either encouraging native species growth or planting activities. The staff are amazing and it is generally just a wonderful place.”
As program coordinator, Urban Roots Youth quickly became one of my favorite parts of the week. Thank you to the wonderful youth volunteers for your enthusiasm, curiosity, creativity, and dedication. Keep on growing!