On June 15th, the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council and Toronto Food Policy Council took a field trip to visit our friends at the Black Creek Community Farm. We were welcomed with a tour of the farm on a beautiful sunny day—our guides gave us a background of the farm, the food they were growing, as well as potential uses for the site.
After a delicious lunch catered by a nearby community caterer, we were given insight into youth education and programming at the Black Creek Community Farm (BCCF). Leeway of BCCF says the goal is to connect people to the land through learning. Youth education and programming at BCCF goes beyond traditional boundaries, by connecting food to various aspects of social justice and the arts. For example BCCF painted a mural to beautify a neighbourhood street, as well as hosts frequent poetry and storytelling sessions.
Next, we heard from our guest speaker: Sarah Corey, a recent graduate in Urban Planning at the University of Toronto, and a collaborator in various food policy projects in Toronto. Sarah told us how traveling and taking part in a permaculture design program sparked her interest in rebuilding cities to become resilient, diverse, and stable. As a planner, Sarah makes use of the following tools to create positive changes in the city:
- Land use policy
- Making land publicly available
- Official plan: a big vision
- Provincial policy
- Stakeholder and community engagement
Sarah also emphasized the importance of feedback, testing and evaluation in urban planning. As a citizen, Sarah says, it’s important to have and show public interest. The ultimate goal is to strengthen ties while building on successes.
Before we ended our trip, our community members divided up into groups to discuss how and where we shopped for food in our respective communities.
Thank you to our friends at the Black Creek Community Farm, the Toronto Food Policy Council, Sarah Corey, and our amazing community members for making our first field trip a great success!
See our Facebook for more photos from our field trip!