Rooftop Garden – Back on the Roof with Cultivate Toronto

It’s hard to remember that we had a frustratingly cool spring when you step on to the roof of TAS’ building in Regent Park. Home to Cultivate Toronto’s rooftop garden for the second year running, the roof delivers full sun and lots of heat for growing a range of herbs and vegetables.

TAS’ partnership with Cultivate Toronto began last year as a test site for implementing a rooftop garden with 72 EarthBoxes to grow food for the local community, and provide educational opportunities for volunteer interns. Needless to say, the project was deemed a major success, resulting in 400 lbs of food being donated to the community meal program housed in the Regent Park Community Food Centre at 40 Oak St.

This year, Cultivate Toronto has added another 36 EarthBoxes and although they will continue to bring donations to the community meal program, have also begun sales of the produce at the nearly Regent Park Farmer’s Market.

The Regent Park garden team is a small but determined bunch. Garden coordinator, Melissa Luk, is a seasoned veteran with Cultivate Toronto having helped as an intern on the project last year. Along with three interns – Michaela, Ryan, and Madison – Melissa will keep the garden well watered and regularly harvested.

Work on the rooftop garden began this year in early June with a Sunday afternoon session to refresh the existing EarthBoxes (i.e. add new organic fertilizers and replace soil volume lost due to compaction and erosion), and bring in the additional 36 EarthBoxes. Seedlings were planted shortly thereafter. I was pleased to be able to help out the team, not only because I love getting my hands dirty, but because I was able to take lots of pictures of the process!

Check back through the season for progress updates on the garden. Better yet, contact Christopher Wong (chris@cultivatetoronto.com) of Cultivate Toronto to arrange a tour of the space!