Growers Sharing Knowledge to Improve Production
Cavaleiro Farm aims to help communities in the GTA access culturally-appropriate food. We want to do this by finding cultivators (farmers) and community networkers. Our farmer incubator provides all the tools a New Canadian would require to grow food for their niche community.
For The World Crops Learning Gardens Workshop, we wanted to share our story: How We Work With Nature. Use Systems Thinking and Permaculture principles to test assumptions and developing solutions for Urban Growers and Community Farms.
Topics chosen by the group of community gardeners were:
Cavaleiro Farm Tour: The Systems and technology
Explaining Systems Thinking and Permaculture
Market Gardening and Integrated Pest Management
Composting and Aquaponics
Sheep and Composting
Automated, Solar-Powered Irrigation Systems
Solar Powered Irrigation
The group was comprised of small-plot and rooftop gardeners. Our focus was to provide insight into how we observe nature to inform the design of our technological solutions. Similar principals and means of problem-solving could be applied to challenges faced in their gardens.
As we toured the farm and introduced our animals, we walked and talked about inter-planting polycultures to confuse pets and composting systems with our fowl, sheep, and pigs. We took a break in the cafe and highlighted books from our library that were useful for the group.
Afterwards, Antonio demonstrated our solar-powered watering system, which by far was of most interest to the group. It seems that a very common challenge in these spaces is access to water and reliable delivery in the appropriate quantity.
Thanks for the great discussion. It was pleasure to learn about everyone’s goals, and we hope that we can support one another in the future.
World Crops and Cavaleiro share similar goals and have been supporting one another with crops trials at Cavaleiro and Molloca Garden. Amy Cheng and Peter Mitchell organized a series of workshops/gatherings with the world crop learning gardens network.
The World Crops initiative is a joint collaboration between The Stop Community Food Centre, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, and the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation to create awareness about new world crops in the Greenbelt and Ontario.
Many foods from around the world can be grown here in Ontario. By helping local farmers tap into the expanding niche market of crops favoured by GTA immigrants, we can help make farming in the Greenbelt and Ontario more viable.
Considering the fact that half of Torontonians were born outside of Canada, it comes as no surprise that the GTA has a 61 million dollar market for ethnocultural vegetables among Chinese, South Asian, and Afro-Caribbean communities.
(taken from World Crops FB Page)