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MAZON'S 2021 GARDEN GRANT PARTNERS

MAZON supported 10 exceptional gardens across the country in 2021.

Together, they grew over 37,000 lbs of food!

Community gardens fight hunger by teaching people to grow their own food, supplying low-cost fresh vegetables to food banks and community kitchens, and strengthening communities.

[L and R Photos: the PACT Program]


Learn more about each of these gardens below:

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HOPE HOUSE
GUELPH, ONTARIO

They grow:  eggplant, parsley, strawberries, delicata squash, purple and red potatoes, cilantro, corn, kale, bush beans, kohlrabi, snap peas, blackberries, beets, 3 types of carrots, cucumber, onions and more!

The food helps: 3700 people, through a "storefront"-style market, including prepared snacks and meals, and in educational workshops that teach clients how to cook with the fresh foods they pick up in the market - plus 2000 more through community partnerships that were new this year. 

Their other programs: include a clothing market, community meals, street outreach, counselling, tax clinics, dental services and much more.

With MAZON’s support: Hope House planned to double their crop yield  in 2021 now that they have more land and the resources to nourish it, including wheelbarrows, twine, tools, and irrigation supplies.

How'd it go?: They grew over 14,000 lbs of food this year, including more diverse kinds of food than ever before! "Due to the funds received through the Mazon Garden Grant we were able to produce more high quality produce by expanding the size of our market garden. In addition, we were able to share this permaculture produce with [2 non-profit agencies and a Seniors Association, collectively reaching more than 2000 new people], and launched a social enterprise and relationship based food system that works with local chefs to create high quality fresh & frozen meals to be purchased (75%) and donated (25%) to the Food Market. All proceeds go back into the farm."

 

LANARK COUNTY FOOD BANK

CARLETON PLACE, ONTARIO

They grow: 4500 lbs of fresh produce, including tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, beets, squash and peppers in many gardens across the whole region - including land by schools, libraries, and even private homes.

 

The food helps: over 3400 clients through their food box and hamper programs. Each box provides 5 days worth of food once a month to those who need it most.

With MAZON's support: They hoped to double their output this summer - or even more! They have much more land than last year, and now they have the resources to seed it, care for it, and protect it from pests.  

How'd it go?:  About 10,000 lbs of food has been produced through the gardens! "A core group of gardeners have bonded and spread their enthusiasm throughout the entire food bank... Our funding was to cover a Gardening Volunteer Co-ordinator so all the volunteers were on site at the right time for the job essential at that moment."

 
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VILLAGE OF HOPE
LINCOLN, ONTARIO

They grow:  more than 1500 lbs of fresh, local, seasonally available vegetables – roots, greens, and fruits

 

The food helps: 500 client neighbours in need through distribution through their food bank. Additionally, in 2021, they'll be expanding their program to support families through growing garden plots where they live.

With MAZON's support: they'll purchase more seed, plants, soil amendments, and tools for more mobile teams to visit client homes to help them with their personal gardens!

 

How'd it go?: "Our goal was to provide families with a 5 month (June through October) source of supplemental healthy fresh food... Our Home Gardens program saw the creation of 22 spaces in the backyards of  clients." Together, they harvested 3800 lbs of healthy, fresh food!

Stories: "Thank you Village of Hope for helping my family dig a garden for our backyard. With 3 children, 1 with Down Syndrome, isolation has been difficult but necessary with my child's weakened immune system. We spent hours admiring and waiting for everything to grow. Digging up potatoes from our 3 plants was definitely a highlight."

"2021 was a very difficult year with food insecurity on the rise, and the cost of healthy food beyond the reach of clients due to additional financial strain from housing costs. It was incredible to see local farmers, and neighbours step up to lend a hand too. Thank you Mazon for making this possible!

 

MIDWEST FOOD
RESOURCE PROJECT
NORTH BATTLEFORD,
SASKCHEWAN

They grow: 13,000 lbs of fresh produce a year, including beets, carrots, spinach, kale, radishes, tomatoes, squash and berries.

 

The food helps: over 300 families through hampers. The fresh fruits and vegetables are also used kids programs, teaching children and youth about gardening, harvesting and cooking a healthy meal to take home to their family.

With MAZON's support: They're expanding their garden! In late 2020, Brian & Kathy Feldman honoured their late son, Charles Feldman, with funding for a memorial garden through MAZON. MWFR has had the space available for years but no funding to develop the land until now. This garden, with integrated irrigation, dedicated teaching spaces and  a special focus on native plants important to the large local Indigenous population, will feed the North Battleford community for years to come, beginning this summer. 

How'd it go?: They harvested over 3000 lbs of food in the new garden alone, distributed by their own food bank and a collection of community agencies.  "There were just under 1000 boxes given out for free over June - October. This does not even include the [1000 lbs of] food the Food Bank harvest and circulated....

 

Stories: "The volunteers formed a strong network while working in the garden. Friendships were made and families worked together."

 
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THE LOCAL COMMUNITY FOOD CENTRE

STRATFORD, ONTARIO

They grow: 2500 lbs of a variety of root, leaf, and summer vegetables, including a garden, a greenhouse, and an edible forest!

 

The food helps: by going home with community gardeners to feed their families,  and also through community meals.

 

Their other programs: include workshops on cooking on a tight budget, low cost food markets, and community meals. They empower their community to self-advocate for food security and begin to question the systems that maintain inequality.

With MAZON's support: they will be able to expand their community garden by an additional 600 square feet, along with materials and equipment to develop the land!

How'd it go?: They grew 2,100 lbs of food! "One of the great impacts this year is that we have been moving toward a regenerative growing practice and have added an Urban Farm section to our community garden project."

Stories: "The interest in the urban farm project was tremendous. We had 22 participants sign up right away... The participants and their families shared in the harvest and were able to bring home ample food to enjoy for the majority of the summer."

 
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KSAN SOCIETY

TERRACE, BRITISH COLUMBIA

They grow: a greenhouse and garden filled with tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, potatoes, onions, spinach , cauliflower and more; a 30-fruit tree orchard; a berry patch growing 8 kinds of berries and nuts; and a vineyard with 35 varieties of grapes!

The food helps: through Ksan's workshops and meals at their shelter, and is  harvested by volunteers, mainly Ksan clients who bring the bounty home to their (mostly low-income) families.

Their other programs include: housing for families fleeing abuse, free take-out lunches 3 times a week, free kids summer camps, emergency shelters, transitional apartments, a 45 unit affordable apartment complex, and more.

With MAZON's support: they're adding raised garden beds this year and hiring a Master Gardener to coordinate staff and volunteers.

How'd it go?: They grew over 3291 lbs of food! "We added 15 new raised beds in 2021, and] had a total of 146 volunteers some volunteering in the garden for several hours while other volunteering up to 20 hours a week. With the Master Gardener available to teach and instruct all volunteers, we noticed even our experienced volunteers were more interested in helping as they as well were learning and sharing...

 

Stories: "Several of our newcomer volunteers also taught us how to utilize all of the plant. For example, in Canada, we pick the peppers and seeds but each season we put the plant into the compost. A Korean family picked the leaves and cooked as a green, added to stir fry, wraps etc."

"A young person that was unable to work on the temporary because she was recovering from an auto accident, needed to be doing something physical in order to help her recover. She chose our Ksan gardens; she said she really needed help with food on the interim and loved the opportunity to help with her personal food security, learn about how to garden, got to be outdoors, and could choose to only volunteer in the sunshine. She said, 'Ksan Gardens is helping me in so many ways - just want you to know how much I appreciate the opportunity'."

 

They grow: herbs and vegetables in tower gardens set up in the classrooms, integrated into the curriculum

 

The food helps: the many Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation children and youth experiencing food insecurity through their school's hot breakfast and lunch programs.

 

With MAZON's support: the school will double their number of tower gardens to 4, which will double their food production and enabled them to develop a comprehensive curriculum around gardening and food.

How'd it go?: "We were able to purchase hydroponic gardens for every classroom in the school with the funding Mazon provided. This allowed each classroom to teach and see firsthand the growth cycles."

Stories: "We just want to thank you very much for always working with our school. You have provided funding for supplies such as the tower gardens as well as direct food costs [in our breakfast and lunch programs]. We truly could not offer the food security we do without your help. Hiy Hiy ( Cree phrase for Thank You)!"

 
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THE PACT PROGRAM

TORONTO, ONTARIO

They grow:  kale, rainbow chard, arugula, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, pole beans, pumpkins, squash, garlic, apples, stone fruits, berries and perennial and annual herbs. They run 3 schoolyard gardens on Toronto District School Board property in disadvantaged neighbourhoods throughout the city.

The food helps: by creating a learning space for 4000 students a year, teaching high-quality outdoor education to students from junior kindergarten all the way through high school - and by distributing 5000 lbs of food a year food-insecure families and seniors through their weekly Fresh Food Boxes.

 

With MAZON'S support: they'll add garden beds and equipment to grow their two of most-requested items - leafy greens  and berries - serving at least 30 additional clients per week with their expanded harvest!

How'd it go?: They grew almost 1000 lbs of food! "We implemented a new growing strategy in 2021. We focused on growing high yield produce that was also the most expensive to purchase and add to our Fresh Food Boxes. We focused on growing greens (salad mixes, spinach, kale, head lettuce), herbs, tomatoes, peppers, and culturally relevant crops (okra, amaranth greens, beets w/ leaves, horseradish, etc.) and purchased more cost effective staples for our Fresh Food Boxes (potatoes, onions, carrots, yams, squash, etc.). This allowed us to increase the number of boxes distributed without spending more money!"

Stories: "So helpful to have fresh vegetables delivered to my door. My husband and I are seniors, and it has been very hard to get out in COVID."

 

THE LAKELAND RESOURCE CENTRE

ST. CROIX, NEW BRUNSWICK

They grow: peppers, tomatoes, beans, onions, squash, beets cucumbers, radish and greens.

 

The food helps: 80 to 120 people, through many programs: food bank, a weekend food program for school-age children, and a community kitchen that turns the beautiful produce into healthy prepared meals, as well as canned and bottled products.

 

With MAZON's support: they'll be able to expand their garden by 1800 square feet, and with the extra space and equipment, they'll grow lettuce, cabbage, corn, peas, more varieties of tomatoes, Swiss char, and potatoes. 

 

HAMILTON JEWISH
SOCIAL SERVICES AGENCY

HAMILTON, ONTARIO

They grow: herbs and vegetables in hydroponic grow kits. The grow kits are managed by many members of the Jewish community, including 7 food bank clients and 8 through community partnerships, including: a local Jewish day school, a residence for people with developmental disabilities, the Hamilton Jewish Community Centre, etc. 

 

The food helps: clients at the food bank, the volunteers who grow the food, and participants in the HJFS Friendship Circle Program.

With MAZON's support: 98 Grow Pods of greens and herbs were grown all around the Jewish Community!

 
 

GARDEN GRANT

PARTNER MAP 2021