Thank You Team PNG!

Thank you for a great season! 2019 has been a fantastic year for Parkview Neighbourhood Garden.

Starting in January, a group of interested volunteers started meeting at North York Public Library to discuss the priorities for the growing season, determine project opportunities, accept roles such as city liaison, volunteer support, shift leaders, volunteer recruitment, social media and of course, what we were going to plant and where. With our core group of leaders, we spent the snowy months planning and looking forward to spring.

We advertised for volunteers through Volunteer Toronto, schools, universities, and community groups and this resulted in each garden shift being staffed by a group of enthusiastic and committed volunteers. Some of us had no previous experience and others a wealth of experience. Together we grew into a team that built a beautiful garden.

After all our planning, we started our physical work during a warm April when we reclaimed two beds, cut the raspberry canes, weeded and composted all the plots, planted potatoes and harvested 50 Lbs of asparagus. In May we planted seeds and seedlings only to have the weather turn windy, cold and rainy until June when we could finally complete our planting. By early July we had harvested strawberries, lettuce, radish, garlic, rhubarb and herbs.

Our volunteers watered and weeded in a cycle of comradery and hard work. Volunteers reclaimed our orchard and with care, compost and information from YouTube. The trees grew plums, apples and pears. With so many volunteers we controlled the weeds, worked on different projects and harvested. We composted kitchen scraps and garden waste and received a gift of 500 red wigglers to grow our own worm castings.

The 10th anniversary of the garden was celebrated on a Saturday in September. It was a gathering of friends, volunteers, customers, musicians and supporters. We gathered in the garden, ate cake, listened to speeches and music. It was a glorious day where we could enjoy our community and each other, admire our efforts, and appreciate this piece of nature in our crowded city.

Once August arrived with the heat of the summer, eggplant, tomatoes, squash, kale, chard, cucumbers, peppers, carrots and beets became part of the weekly offerings on our sales shifts. After three plantings, the yellow and green beans started to grow. The sunflowers and zinnias provided food and shelter to birds, rabbits, other creatures. To our delight, we grew sweet cantaloupe melon which although were small in number, we shared with our shift volunteers whenever they were harvested.

September continued to offer an abundant variety of garden produce including the very popular harvesting of potatoes. October, we started to take down the garden, complete our soil augmentation project, harvested Jerusalem artichoke, tomatoes, and the last of everything which was donated to Community Share Food Bank. We put each bed to rest with a generous blanket of compost and leaves and look forward to meeting again staring in January 2020 to begin the cycle again.

Many people contributed to the garden this year. We worked together as a group of individuals demonstrating our commitment to nature, community and having fun. No names are mentioned in this article, each volunteer offered the best of their skills, interest and abilities to Parkview Neighbourhood Garden. The Garden would like to thank you for your care.