Entrance is free; we will be selling tickets (50c each) to purchase food, plants, and craft activities. Green Thumbs members and volunteers will receive free tickets upon registration at our Welcome table. Yearly memberships ($15) will also be for sale.
If you want to start a raspberry hedge along your backyard fence, or companion-plant a tomato and basil pot for your balcony, plants from Green Thumbs gardens and greenhouses will be available for sale from 1 p.m. on. Both the Children’s Greenhouse and the adjoining Tropical Conservatory will be open to visitors; Building Roots will be offering tours and information about their new outdoor installation in collaboration with Ryerson University and a host of community partners, collectively called Edible Allan Gardens.
At 2:00, Lara Mrosovsky, author of An Illustrated Guide to Growing Food on Your Balcony, will demonstrate how to create an edible container garden. A Green Thumbs Garden Educator for many years, Lara now works as a Health Promoter with Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services, where her Green Access programs bring together members of largely immigrant and refugee neighbourhoods for rooftop cultivation of a healthy community with a side of vegetables.
Want to explore growing hydroponically? Mark Grimsrud of Design Build Grow Studio will be on hand with The Loop, a home farming prototype called a “must see” by Canadian Architect. Created by Grimsrud, Newton Xian, and Ron Noble, the installation is a closed-loop system with a bicycle wheel-powered pump. Spin the wheel to activate the nutrient-rich water through the loop, then harvest some greens for a salad.
Feed Your Senses
Whether you want a light lunch or an afternoon snack, we will have something to tempt you. We are grateful to AquaGreens for ensuring we have extra greens to top with Green Thumbs produce, pea shoots, sorrel, and red orach at our fix-your-own Salad Bar. Then add some tasty fresh fruit and Green Thumbs herbs to a Black River cold-pressed fruit juice mocktail!
Coffee Shed partners will offer sweet and savoury treats from Lemon & Allspice Bakery and fair trade coffee from Alternative Grounds. Try one of their cheese scones with your salad, or a cookie with your mocktail. Both the Coffee Shed and Lemon & Allspice Bakery are “business partnerships of people with developmental disabilities who, with the help of Common Ground Co-operative, are using the skills and talents they have to create employment for themselves.”
Toronto Farmer’s Market and College Street Cloak and Dagger Pub favourite Bradley James McGoey will help us kick off and close the afternoon, with sets at 1 and 3. A teacher at the Regent Park School of Music, Brad’s skills as a one-man band fascinate kids and entertain grownups. In between, Green Thumbs Growing Kids program alumna MyA Tran and members of the Culture Shock Toronto Youth Outreach crew will get you moving, using Hip Hop dance and music to promote positive values “for all people.”
For those who want to make-and-take something crafty, we will have beautiful seed-catalogue images ready for transformation into collages, fridge magnets, or buttons. If you want to get your hands on some real seeds, we’ll have all the supplies you’ll need to make seed bombs.
Contribute to Green Thumbs Eco-Education Programs
Want more to take away? Make a bid on one of our Silent Auction items to support our Kids Growing, Urban Roots Youth, and Grownups Gardening programs. Green Thumbs is grateful to our many donors: choose from a highly-recommended selection of readings for urbanists from Spacing Media, a Mexicana basket featuring ChocoSol Traders drinking chocolate, a Kurtis Fair Trade Organic Coffee Basket, a Dine-Out (or In) Gift Certificate from Dundas Park Kitchen, LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, kitchenware from Browne & Company, and much more.
Find Out What Else Is Going On in the Downtown Eastside this Summer
Green Thumbs shares its commitment to building inclusive communities in Toronto’s most densely-populated and culturally-rich downtown neighbourhoods with many collaborators. Central Neighbourhood House, Dixon Hall, Square Circle, Culture Shock Toronto, Regent Park School of Music, Centre Francophone, and The Horticultural Societies of Parkdale and Toronto will also be on hand to share information about their upcoming programs and events.
Come and connect!