By: The Stop Community Food Centre, Toronto
A buzzing crowd of 70 community members gathered outside The Stop Community Food Centre on a beautiful August morning. With bins, bags, and packed lunches in tow, we embarked on our highly-anticipated trip to Farintosh Farms in Gormley.
When we arrived at the farm, folks were very excited and eager to start. Many people expressed surprise and delight that there was such a beautiful farm so close to the GTA. Each year, The Stop asks community members to not only pick for themselves, but also to help pick corn for our programs and services as a way of giving back to the community. Equipped with keen eyes and enthusiasm, our community members picked more than 400 stalks of corn in no time at all. While the trip had been billed as a corn-picking trip, folks were excited to discover the array of pick-your-own varieties that the farm had on offer. The Chinese and Caribbean community members were especially pleased with the lush, bushy callaloo that thrived in the hot summer days.
Given the unseasonably hot August days this year, lunch under the shade was a welcome reprieve. Community members sat together, cheerfully talking about the different varieties of corn that would be grown in their home countries, and the different ways of preparing it. We learned at least five different words for corn just from our South American community members!
After lunch, our host Guy offered to take our group on a walking tour of the farm. Since many of our community members are highly knowledgeable farmers or gardeners in their home countries, they were particularly interested in learning about farming methods suited to an Ontarian climate that would nourish both the soil and our bellies. Many community members were excited to integrate techniques they learned from the tour in their own growing practices.
Thank you to The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation for providing The Stop Community Food Centre with such a wonderful opportunity to take our community members on this trip!
Into the Greenbelt is a project of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, in partnership with RBC, The Stop Community Food Centre, and regional Conservation Authorities to bring new Canadians into Ontario’s Greenbelt for fun, educational day trips.