BREAKING NEWS on Community Gardening in Ontario – April 20

Please see update from meeting with Premier April 20, 2020:

Multiple offices have been meeting over the past week (Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Premier’s Office), are giving “serious consideration” to the issue and are “making good progress towards an exemption for community gardens”.

We requested an announcement this week that all food providing gardens (community gardens, allotments, apartment gardens, etc) are deemed essential food services, with the request that gardens can open at the end of this current emergency period – May 12 at the latest. This allows for flattening the curve on the incidence of COVID cases, and for time for gardens to organize health and safety protocols to ensure individual and public safety.

We provided them with the list of examples across Canada and beyond – see below. Please let us know any other articles you come across.

The Premier’s Office made special note of the efforts that went into developing the recommendations and found these very helpful.  (Thanks to everyone that fed into this!!). We also heard that contacting your MPPs and media coverage really had an impact and emphasized the importance of food producing gardens.  Statements of support from Mayors and Boards of Health help advance the issue too.

So while there’s no confirmation yet, it seems to be heading in the right direction, and we are hopeful to hear something more definitive soon.

The same post is also on Sustain Ontario.

Start-up Farm Program

Just Food established the Start-Up Farm Program to support new farmers in the Ottawa region. By offering access to land, shared infrastructure/equipment, and training, the program aims to enable more people in this region to start their own successful farm business.

> Read More about Just Food’s Start-up Farm program