Carrot City Designing for Urban Agriculture

Ryerson Urban Farm

Exhibit Category / Catégorie de l'expo: Community & Knowledge

Location/Emplacement: Ryerson University, Toronto, ON, Canada
Dates: 2010 - present
Designers/Concepteurs: Sogol Ayazy, Maya Janikowski, Sam Luong, Jonathan Pascaris, Nicholas Potovszky, Alex Wrigglesworth — Catherine Lung, Stephanie Nishi (concept)
Clients: Ryerson University

More Information/Plus d'informations: Ryerson Urban Farm
Image Credits/Crédits d'images: Drawings: Maya Janikowski, Jonathan Pascaris, Nicholas Potovszky — Photos: Nicholas Potovszky. Photos: Nicholas Potovszky, Arlene Throness, Joe Nasr & June Komisar.

Project Description: (version française ci-dessous)

The Ryerson Urban Farm (originally Rye’s HomeGrown) was a student-led initiative, brought to fruition by student volunteers and Ryerson’s Centre for Studies in Food Security, with grants from the University and the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science. The farm is a multi-site project lead by a Farm Manager, with interns, student and community volunteers and faculty.

At the start, students from Ryerson University’s Department of Architectural Science were approached in 2011 to help plan the first gardens. The initial concept was to place moveable planters along a newly pedestrianized street at the heart of the Ryerson campus but the result is a south-facing border garden between the street and a classroom building. The project has grown considerably over the years. In addition to several in-ground and container gardens on campus, their rooftop farm on the Engineering building yielded 3,600 kilos of vegetables, herbs, greens and fruits in 2015.

For the first garden, architecture students planned the site with the aid of local gardening experts, the nutrition students who began Rye’s HomeGrown and volunteers. They were charged with the task of creating attractive functional plots and garden furniture, creating a pleasant amenity for the neighbourhood.

The implementation of the gardens and their related programs led to a number of multi-disciplinary collaborations, including Ryerson’s Good Food Centre and Early Learning Centre and a partnership with Vineland Research and Innovation Centre with their world crops project (For this, they grew such food as amaranth, Chinese eggplant, okra and daikon radishes). Currently produce is sold in a weekly farmers’ market and through a weekly CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscription. Other produce is used by Ryerson’s food services and is featured in an annual harvest festival.

The rooftop farm and the gardens have an important hands-on-learning function for students and other volunteers. Workshops for the community are organised to spread knowledge from planting practices to seed saving. Just last year, over 600 visitors to the rooftop farm saw what was possible on an extensive green roof.

Overall, Ryerson Urban Farm has raised awareness about food security and the possibilities of growing food in the city and has contributed to the timely debate around urban agriculture in Toronto.

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Scale (Carrot City Category)


Location: City

Location: Country