Ecosource’s Urban Agriculture program supports the community in learning about local food, through hands-on experiences like growing, harvesting, preserving, and cooking with. We offer education opportunities at the Iceland Teaching Garden, at Ecosource’s Community Hub, in the community, and virtually. Grow your field-to-table skills with Ecosource!
Growing for Our Good
The Iceland Teaching Garden
Get Involved at our Iceland Teaching Garden!
At Ecosource we believe that getting people outside and getting their hands in the dirt is an integral part of encouraging environmentally aware citizens. The Iceland Teaching Garden is planted and maintained by community volunteers and local youth working collectively.
The Peel Local Food Literacy in Action project provides training and support to volunteers, as well as school field trips for local schools. Gardening workshops, planting projects, and field trips provide students, community groups, and corporate groups with the opportunity for hands-on learning about gardening, ecosystems, native plants, and environmental stewardship. They are also a great way to share a team-building, fun experience while giving back to the community.
Young Urban Growers
The Iceland teaching Garden hosts the Young Urban Growers, an urban agriculture and social enterprise skills training program for youth. This group meets to learn about and discuss food and urban agriculture topics, work together to grow produce and cook-up their food transformation skills. Each year, they bring their learning and skills together to create youth-led projects that help raise awareness of the importance of local food.
Click on the projects below to read about what youth have worked on over the years.
This initiative engages youth in using smartphones to share stories about the physical, social, cultural and mental health impacts of growing food and giving back to the community. Ecosource worked closely with a group of youth from the Forest Glen neighbourhood to showcase the experiences of community gardeners, that of local partner organizations, and their own personal stories. The youth volunteers attended weekly sessions from May to October 2022 that focused on gaining hands-on experience with growing food and garden stewardship, while developing their videography and interview skills. Youth learnt about food justice through field trips to other community gardens and food banks, and by participating in trainings.
At the end of the project, friends, families, volunteers, gardeners, and partner organizations were able to gather and watch the wonderful digital creations at an outdoor screening event at the Forest Glen Community Garden. In addition, the youth’s digital creations will be shared through art installations at various community garden sites across Mississauga (expected May 2023). Read on to discover the digital stories created by the youth.
The Digital Stories from the Ground Up Project is made possible through the generous support of the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation.
What is food justice, and why is it important? These are some of the questions that Liz asks Vesna, who is a community gardener. This video shows all the luscious fruits and veggies that are growing in her garden, as well as some tips and tricks shared for new gardeners. Video created and edited by Liz.
Through our field trip to Churchill Meadows Community Garden, Laaiba interviews Carol, who is a long-time cultivator. Carol shares her experiences with gardening and why it’s important. Laaiba also interviews her mother, where she shares her own experiences with gardening and cooking with the crops that she grows. Video created and edited by Laaiba.
Anjali has been gardening for 20 years ever since she came to Canada from India. Her experiences with growing have changed from flowers and houseplants, to fruits and vegetables. Anjali shares the importance of growing pollinator plants. What happens when there are critters eating at your garden? Tune into this digital story to find out more. Video created and edited by Tenzin.
This is Reema’s first time growing at the Churchill Meadows Community Garden. Rafia and Smmaviah capture Reema’s trials and tribulations, as she gives us a tour of the plants that she is growing in her garden. Video created and edited by Rafia and Smmaviah.
Sofia captures the personal experience of one of our Forest Glen Youth Cultivator volunteers – Liz! Liz shares their experiences on how they got into gardening. Viewers get the chance to see what’s growing in the community plot at Forest Glen Community Garden. Video created and edited by Sofia.
What happens when you donate fresh produce to The Mississauga Food Bank? How does the food bank work? Jadel interviews Chri, a long time volunteer at The Mississauga Food Bank. Chris provides suggestions on how you can support, and ways you can donate. Video created and edited by Jadel.
As youth, we have a right to good food. In the summer of 2021, we worked with our Ecosource youth volunteers to create our very first Youth-Led Food Rights Declaration! We came together through virtual brainstorming sessions to envision and call for an equitable and just food system in the Region of Peel.
Wanting a break from gardening, youth took some time to cook their favourite dishes and showcase their culture using tomatoes from the Iceland Teaching Garden. Check out their video on our Instagram page to see how they like to eat tomatoes.
Over the summer of 2019, six youth took the stage at the Brampton Farmers’ Market to showcase their cooking skills. They used the mornings to shop the market, meet farmers and learn more about local food. After their shopping trips, they did recipe demos on stage for market shoppers to learn how to cook with different ingredients that were available at the market that day. While they were cooking, they had conversations about their food experiences, thoughts, and hopes with Celebrity Chef Jason Rosso from J. Red & Co. in Brampton.
After a year of planting, weeding, and harvesting veggies, youth wanted to share all they had learned with the community. A group of youth shared their stories and helped Ecosource write the Grown In Mississauga Training Manual – a step-by-step gardening book for new growers. Read it here.
Wanting to flex their social enterprise skills, a group of youth grew specialty herbs at the Iceland Teaching Garden and partnered with Studio.89 to use their kitchen space to create value-added products such as herb salts and pesto. These products were taken to local farmers’ markets where youth were able to engage with the community and sell their creations.