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Outdoor program in summer, indoor year-round

Photography project- June 2015 087Baycrest has built edible community gardens for residents through the Community Garden Program, which was developed in consultation with Shoresh, a gardening organization that is rooted in Jewish, social, and environmental values. The purpose of this program is to provide Jewish/cultural gardening experiences  that allow clients to acquire, improve, and utilize gardening skills and knowledge as part of a social experience.

There are two outdoor edible community gardens located around the perimeter of the Apotex building. The central community garden program takes place in the Wandering Garden Court and features vegetables that do not require minimal sun such as: lettuce spinach, radishes, dill, cilantro, parsley, and mint. We also tend to some flower beds which contain Lobelias, Begonias, Geraniums, and many others. The front courtyard garden, located in sunny conditions, features a variety of sunflowers, cucumbers, tomatoes, sage, rosemary, lavender, nasturtium, beets, beans, and carrots.

We use accessible gardening tables to provide our residents with the opportunity to plant, water, tend, and harvest some of the vegetables and herbs independently. The program is based on a combination of “hands on” experience in the garden, open discussions, as well as a variety of sensory activities (taste, smell, touch).

Additionally, several floors in the Apotex and the hospital have been participating in their own community gardens on their balconies, planting several vegetables and plants for the residents to take care of.