Creating a Community Garden Policy With & For the City of Orillia – May 14th

“Humankind has not woven the web of life.  We are but one thread within it.  Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.  All things are bound together.  All things connect.”         -Chief Seattle, 1855

Mayor Steve Clarke planting some seeds to help fill out our gardens.

Mayor Steve Clarke planting some seeds to help fill out our gardens.

When we connect, we get things done. Important things, like building the policies and programs that benefit our community and its residents.

On Thursday May 14th, from 5:30-730pm the Orillia FOOD Council in partnership with the Orillia Community Gardens and the City of Orillia, are hosting a free public forum on the Creation of a Community Garden Policy for the City of Orillia. The community is invited and encouraged to attend and learn about the progress between the community and city officials towards promoting and enabling healthy food production.

Below is a request to form a “Community Garden Policy Working Group”

Dear Mayor and Council,

On behalf of Orillia Community Gardens (OCG), following community consultations and recommendations gathered at the Orillia Food Council’s Food Democracy event on February 22nd 2015, we request your support and collaboration in the creation of a “Community Garden Policy Working Group”.
Continue reading the letter to Mayor and Council

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5th Year Anniversary Garden Party!

1396041_10102117042437062_854870633_nSpring is finally here. It’s time to celebrate!  This exciting, all-ages event, in partnership with the Orillia Youth Centre as part of Orillia National Youth Week, is one you won’t want to miss!

Wednesday May 6th 3-6 pm at High Street Park Community Garden (behind Brian Orser Arena)

What’s happening?

  • Planting of garden beds (seeds and tools provided, no experience necessary)
  • Orientation for new gardeners (come prepared to get dirty)
  • Food – zero waste potluck – bring a small, healthy contribution if you can (BYObowls/cutlery)
  • At 5 pm, we’ll pause to hear from long-time community gardeners and local dignitaries as we kick off the new growing season

The weather forecast is looking amazing for our special event, 21 degrees and sunny, so lets all get out, make some new friends, and help grow our community! See you there!

Sign up on Facebook for this event (or just show up, it’s ok).

Learn more about High Street Park Community Garden.


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5th Annual Orillia Seedy Saturday – April 4th @ Orillia Farmer’s Market

The 5th Annual Orillia Seedy Saturday will bee growing on Saturday April 4th, during the Orillia Farmer’s Market, from 7:30-12:30. Bee there!

The seed exchange portion of the event will run mostly between 9-12:30pm. Bring your saved seeds to share and exchange, connect with local gardeners and learn about the Orillia Seed Library.

Look out for informative displays and collaborating community groups as we grow Orillia! Interested in setting up an seedy info display get in touch!

The Orillia Seed Library, which is permanently housed within the Orillia Public Library, will have seeds available for ‘loan’ from the community and will be accepting donations or ‘returns’ of seeds that day. Come and learn about this a-maize-ing community project!

Matchbox Seed & Garden Co. (!) will be on hand vending their quality local seed collection, and local gardening experts will bee near to answer any gardening related question you may have!


Stay tuned for future updates regarding future gardening and seed growing workshops! If you’d like to lead a gardening or seed growing workshop, please get in touch with us at .


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Save the Date – BIG – Food Democracy event – February 19th!

A launch event for the Orillia Food Council, learn how to participate in cultivating our common food future!

A launch event for the Orillia Food Council, learn how to participate in cultivating our common food future!

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Seedy Saturday Orillia

Seedy Saturday Orillia

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Growing Orillia’s Food Future

Growing Orillia's Food Future: Wed. Feb 5th, from 4-6pm, join us at the Orillia Public Library as we are Growing Orillia's Food Future! We are unveiling the first ever Food Access Map for Orillia, and continuing an important conversation about inequality, food insecurity and the need for collaborative action oriented food policy!

Growing Orillia’s Food Future: Wed. Feb 5th, from 4-6pm, join us at the Orillia Public Library as we are Growing Orillia’s Food Future! We are unveiling the first ever Food Access Map for Orillia, and continuing an important conversation about inequality, food insecurity and the need for collaborative action oriented food policy!

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May Newsletter!

Hey team,

Community Garden News  

We’ve got a lot of good news! Please take the time to read up, there are a lot of opportunities to get involved in the gardens this year, and the more hands getting dirty the more food and life we can grow!

 1.       Garden Hours at the Kearey-Moreland ‘Wiki Farm’ Tuesday & Thursday 4-8, and Sunday 10-3

 2.       Garden Hours at The High Street Park Community Garden this Wednesday from 330-530ish

 3.       Farmer’s Market every Saturday! Starting Giant Pumpkins for pumpkin competition.

 4.       Communications – Facebook group updated, Phone call list, OCG WordPress Blog,

 5.       Grant! from Orillia Horticultural Society

 6.       Wiki Farm Intro

 7.       Seeds, plants, and other garden resources

 8.       ‘Summer Heartvest’ planning committee

 9.       Highschool volunteers -get hours getting dirty!

 10.   OCG Library!

 11. Alternative Transportation – Carpooling rideshare

12. OCG Summer Internship!

 13. Coldwater Potato Co-op!

 1.       The Spring Garden Potluck Concert Workshop went swimmingly, with great ease and success, as we had close to 65 people throughout the day, planting, potlucking, gardening, concerting and learning. We hope to have a multi-themed garden party on the 1st Sunday of the month for the rest of the season. Until then the garden at the farm will be open every Tuesday & Thursday from 4-8, and Sunday from 10-3. All are welcome to get dirty. Also, we hope to enlist a roster of local yoga teachers and offer a free Sunday morning class from 10-11. (Message me for more details)

  2.       The community garden at High Park is growing! We’ve dug up 3 plots of 4 by 10 feet, we made a sod chair out of all the dug up grass, and planted 2 of the plots. There is tons of space for community members to grow their own plots this season. We will be moving our garden hours to every Wednesday from 330-530ish. We are still looking for volunteers, and people to help lead programming at the new garden.

  3.       We are looking for volunteers to help staff our community garden booth at the Orillia Farmer’s Market this season. This week we will be starting close to 90 giant pumpkin seeds and then in three weeks time will be giving them away to market goers for the giant pumpkin competition. Volunteers at the booth may be requested to help staff other community events such as Canada Day, Dragonfly Festival and or Mariposa Folk Festival!

  4.       Communicating community garden news and events has always been one of the most important and difficult tasks.  Our facebook group has been updated by Facebook to the new groups style, which will limit my ability to message the whole group at once. So this new group style will take some time to get used to. We have started an OCG wordpress BLOG and are looking for volunteers to help put up content! We have also started a phone call list for any one who wishes to receive a phone call update about upcoming events and news. Please call Ross @ 705 325 9976 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              705 325 9976      end_of_the_skype_highlighting. We might also start a twitter account, but need more volunteers!

 5.       The Orillia Horticulture Society has received a $500 grant and have decided to share it with OCG, yay! So now we have the arduous task of deciding how to spend it! At this Thursdays community gardening event at the farm, we will be taking suggestions and having an informal brainstorming session. We are likely to buy tools, soil, plants and other resources for the various gardens and possibly promotional materials, or fruit trees.

   6.       Wiki Farms apply the open-source collaborative philosophy of Wikipedia, existing in cyber space, to the physical space of traditional farms. Wiki Farms are spaces that grow not only agriculture but all forms of culture; from art to health, education to love, there are ultimately no limits to what can be grown on Wiki Farms. They are hubs which bring people together to grow the diverse needs of a community while nurturing creativity and promoting life. By opening up the farmspace to anyone, via the removal of traditional barriers such as money, property, geography, it enables countless people to participate and contribute their time, energy and ideas, thus creating new content and value freely accessible to everyone. We are starting a Wiki Farm at the Kearey-Moreland farm, and are looking for contributors! ‘Like” the facebook page –!/pages/Wiki-Farm/193795493998065?sk=info

  7.       We have a lot of seeds left over in the OCG Seed Bank, and have begun sprouting more plants for the gardens. If you are in need of seeds, come to any of the garden days and pick up some seeds or plants for your garden. We are still accepting extra seeds and plants you may have as well. Also any useful garden resources like tools, soil,compost etc. also welcome. We are looking for volunteers to help with Resource Management!

  8.       We are organizing a Summer HeartVest- It will be our big summer garden party. It is a quadra-themed party focusing on Heart/health/life and love, art (music, visual, dance whatever), Harvesting the garden and promoting local agriculture, and everyone wheres their best vest. We are aiming to have it in august, and are looking for volunteers to join the planning committee!

  9.       We are offering volunteer hours for highschool students. If highschool students want to intern with OCG this summer that is also an option!  

10.   We have also started an OCG garden/kitchen library at the Wiki Farm. If you’d like to check out a book just ask! Also garden and cooking books welcome!

11. We also hope to start an alternative transportion group for OCG to increase the accessible of the farm. If you would like to drive OR need a ride, please email us and we can better coordinate carpooling.

12. OCG is offering summer internships for young people (or anyone) in the community. OCG is a lot of work and I am looking for some people who want to learn the ropes and help grow the project behind the scenes this summer. Tis a great networking opportunity and a lot of fun/meaningful work. Call me @ 705 325 1261 to learn more.

 13. Cindy, an OCG’er from day one, has ordered 50 lbs of potatos and is planning on starting a Potato Co-op/Community Garden at her farm near Coldwater. Still waiting for the garden to be tilled, we hope to have our first Potato Planting Party Picnic in mid June. If you are in or around Coldwater and want to get involved you can email her at , or message me (Jake) and I can fill you in.

  That is all for now! Thanks for your time team,


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