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Farming Diaries: Reconnecting with the Land and Inspiring a New Generation of Growers

Updated: Jun 14, 2021

It’s been a busy time!

The month of May always feels jam-packed. The window to get seeds and seedlings closes in just as the May long weekend draws near. And it can feel like there just isn’t enough time.

Fortunately, we partnered with @wegotplants to use their greenhouse in Scarborough to get a headstart on the growing season.

Over the last few weeks, we covered a lot of ground. Between trips to our growing plots at Adinkra Farm and Downsview Park, we got lots done. In the midst of it all, we hosted a family farming day on May 24, 2021.

At left, three participants seated at a picnic table along with a young boy wearing a hat, seated under a roofed structure. On the right, a mom and toddler are seated on a bench.
Photo: Some members of the Collective resting after planting seedlings at Downsview on May 24.

Family Fun and Farming

The idea of working the land can be a sensitive topic for African descendants. The brute force of colonialism scarred and alienated many from farm work. That’s deeply problematic, considering the long-standing history of agriculture that’s part of African heritage. A history that spans thousands of years.

So you can imagine how important it is for us to help mend this fracture.

The Grow Your Own initiative launched in 2020 as an effort to address this issue and help reconnect our community to the land and its healing properties.

We want to see Black families fully engaged in farming; their hands deep in the soil, joyfully planting away and reaping the fruits (and vegetables) of their labour.

Against a backdrop of an open green field, a sunny sky and bright blue sky, a snail climbs up the arm of a watchful toddler wearing a flowered lavender top and yellow shorts.
A young grower meets a curious snail.

On May 24, we got a good glimpse of that vision.

We organized a Covid-friendly farming day our Downsview Park plot. The families learned about sustainable, regenerative farming methods by planting peppers, tomatoes, fennel and basil plants. Most importantly they had fun.

With smiles plastered on, the kids happily played in the sun, and even made friends with a few snails.

Everyone got something special out of the experience. In fact, it was exactly like we envisioned: generations reconnecting with the land, finding healing and sustenance through Mother Earth.

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