Toronto Urban Agriculture Week is taking place September 10-18, 2022 and here at Black Food Sovereignty Toronto, we’re celebrating Toronto-grown food and the people who grow it. Here are some Black farmers in Toronto and the GTA that you should know about.
Arnest runs SARN Farms which is located in Downsview Park. SARN Farms runs a CSA program getting food out to the community to support local food production. The CSA program runs from Early May to late October/November. Arnest’s farm grows foods that are culturally relevant to black communities and offers black folks a chance to learn how to grow food. If you’d like to support SARN Farms crops, you can catch them at Underpass Park Farmers Market, Deeply Rooted Farmers Market and FreshCity Farms Location Community Market.
Meet Hannan from Ujamaa Farm which is located in Black Creek Community Farm. Ujamaa Farms grows crops such as garlic, callaloo, kale, collards, cabbage, swiss chard, bittermelon, and peas. Ujamaa Farm facilitates, supports and encourages African Canadian farmers and youth to develop sustainable urban ecological agricultural cooperative enterprise. If you’d like to get involved with Ujamaa Farms and learn more about them, visit their website.
Deeper Roots Farm
Cady and Alvis run Deeper Roots Farm, which is located in Brampton. Their most popular crop in their community is Jamaican callaloo and okra. The farm has a CSA program that runs all season starting from June to October. Deeper Roots Farm aims to produce cultural specific foods locally, and grows it organically to improve access to local and organic foods. If you’d like to check out crops from Deeper Roots Farm, you can find them at Wychwood Barns Farmers Market every week on Saturday, and on Sundays at the Afro-Caribbean Farmers Market and Deeply Rooted Farmers Market.
Ubuntu Community Farm
Ubuntu Community Farm is located in Downsview Park and is run by Judith Zhiizhii. Ubuntu Community Farm grows a wide variety of leafy greens, fruiting vegetables, and herbs. One of the programs Ubuntu Community Farm runs is Community Farming. They distributed over 100 seedlings to Black mothers who wanted to grow their own food and reconnect with land and nature. If you’d like to learn more about Ubuntu Community Farm, visit their website.
NuNeYi Urban Farm
Aisha Wovenu and Immanuel run NuNeYi Urban Farm, which is located in Toronto. NuNeYi Urban Farm produces organically grown leaf vegetables (swiss chard, kale & calaloo), and onion, eggplant and tomatoes. The farm grows fresh nutritious vegetables for their Jane & Finch Food Bank at Fresh City Farms run by Downsview Urban Farm program. Email NuNeYi Urban Farm to learn more about the farm, and how you can get involved.
Atiba Farm is run by Joe Thomas in Alliston. Atiba Farm grows crops such as Jamaican callaloo (Amaranth), swiss chard, hot peppers, kale, and okra. Volunteers at Atiba Farm prepare and deliver plant-based meals weekly to people in our community who are chronically ill and Seniors with disabilities. If you’d like to support Atiba Farm, they are looking for volunteers to deliver meals for their free Meals-On-Wheels service. You can also help by donating cash or organically grown food.
Cheyenne Sundance runs Sundance Harvest, which is located in Downsview Park. Sundance Harvest grows crops such as kale, lettuce, radicchio, sprouting broc, brassica greens, mizunas, bok choy, and spinach. Cheyenne Sundance, the Farm Director, runs a free urban agriculture registered not-profit program called Growing in the Margins, which nurtures and grows the farm projects of BIPOC youth from seed to harvest. Learn more about the farm by visiting their website.
Harvest Collective and Learning Circle
The Harvest Collective and Learning Circle (HCLC) is a Black Food Sovereignty initiative run by Nicole Austin at The Urban Farm. HCLC aims to engage Black students, faculty, staff and the broader community through the sharing of food, from farm to table. They grow crops and medicines that are culturally significant to the African diaspora such as African eggplant (garden eggs), Callaloo, Jamaican pumpkin, Long beans, Okra, Pigeon peas (gungo peas), Scotch bonnets and Thyme. HCLC is challenging the systemic racism that persists within contemporary food production, urban agricultural systems and within our institutions by developing opportunities for Black-centric programming, training and cultivation. Learn more about the program by visiting their website.