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Celebrating Urban Agriculture at the Brick Works

September is Urban Agriculture Month! 

Garden at the Brick Works

Published on August 22, 2023

In the heart of bustling cities, a quiet revolution is taking root—one that is nurturing not only the soil but also the bonds that tie communities together. At its core, urban agriculture is a celebration of connection. It brings people from all walks of life together, transcending differences and backgrounds. In community gardens and rooftop farms, the simple act of planting seeds becomes a shared endeavor that fosters relationships, sparks conversations and breaks down barriers. 

Urban Agriculture Week runs from September 16 - 24, 2023 and is a celebration of Toronto-grown food and the people who grow it! Growing food in cities enhances urban food security, health, community building, sustainable livelihoods and environmental stewardship. Read on to learn more about the urban growers that call the Saturday Farmers Market home and how you can get involved in Urban Agriculture Week activities at Evergreen Brick Works.   

Although many of the farmers at our year-round farmers market are located outside the city, we’re home to a collection of small-scale urban farmers and entrepreneurs who have planted their roots in our urban landscape. 

Neighbours Feeding Neighbours 


Neighbours Feeding Neighbours is an urban farm operating across backyards in North York, growing hyper local foods using organic methods. Entrepreneur, Ali Lila, believes that there is enough land within Toronto locked up in front and backyards to feed the city. He also believes that lawns are not sustainable and turning them into productive arable land is a key sustainability practice for the city.

Ali started growing food in his front and backyard to feed his family and discovered a love and joy of growing food. He ended up growing more food than they could eat, so they started feeding their neighbours as well. Now, Ali is on a mission to turn underutilized spaces into productive land that can feed the city in which they live and operate. Ali is always offering samples of his crops at the farmers market. We suggest trying the crunchy microgreens the next time you’re at the Saturday Farmers Market! 

Wild by Nature Botanicals 


Wild By Nature is an urban homestead in East Toronto, nestled in a quiet residential neighbourhood. Maria Solakofski is the head and heart behind Wild by Nature Botanicals. Maria is a self-taught food and ecological pioneer, who has been involved in the local food community for over 25 years. Her primary focus is empowering and guiding people to grow their own food and wellness in the city.  Maria runs an urban homesteading mentoring program and herbal workshops at her urban farm. At the Farmers Market, Maria offers tea blends and skin care products made with herbs grown at her homestead, just 4.5 km from the Brick Works - making them a super local producer for this Market! We highly recommend trying the refreshing tulsi hydrosol.  

Youth Grown Collective / Sasa Naturals 

SaSa Naturals

Youth Grown Collective is an incubator farm program operated by FoodShare for BIPOC youth in Toronto. The collective manages a 1/8 acre urban farm in Etobicoke, where they grow callaloo, okra, eggplants, kale, potatoes, summer squash, beets, radishes, lettuce, hot peppers, sweet peppers and medicinal & culinary herbs. Kristine Harris-Watts is one of the urban farmers at the collective who uses the crops that she grows to create farm-to-skincare body products. Kristine’s farming is an extension of her family-owned and operated holistic health company, SaSa Naturals. Along with her mom and two sisters, Kristine creates handcrafted vegan soaps and skin care products and grows all the herbs and produce that they use to make them. The unique carrot soap is a must-try!   

We hope you’ll consider supporting some of these amazing urban agriculture projects during your next visit to the Saturday Farmers Market. By bringing food production closer to where we live, it has the potential to create a more resilient, vibrant, and sustainable city. 

Urban Agriculture Week Event Schedule                     

Discover your green thumb as you participate in fun, interactive activities that will deepen your understanding of urban gardening concepts. Connect with fellow gardening enthusiasts and exchange ideas and experiences. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a complete novice, we have an array of activities planned, from workshops and garden tours to nature activities for the little ones.  

Combating Climate Change with Jocelyn’s Soil Booster: Introduction to Cover Cropping at Evergreen Garden Market (Saturday, September 9) 

Come learn about cover cropping from Jocelyn Molyneaux of Jocelyn’s Soil Booster! "Cover cropping is an all-natural way to protect and replenish soil during the off-season. It is a regenerative growing tool that restores the health of soil and acts as a carbon sink — it’s not just great for plants, it’s also a climate-change fighter, putting carbon back in the ground where it belongs!” - Jocelyn Molyneaux, Founder of Jocelyn’s Soil Booster and Wastenot Farms.

 Register Here

Seed Saving 101: Winnowing Demonstration at the Evergreen Garden Market (Saturday, September 16) 

What is Winnowing? Winnowing is one of the techniques used in seed saving. This ancient technique is used to separate the heavy seeds from the light seed coverings. It is a low-tech, easy to replicate technique that when learned can be used for a variety of seeds. What comes before winnowing? Threshing, hand-picking, and sieving. We will explore all these seed saving basics so you can implement them in your gardens. 

Gitigaan Garden Tours at the Saturday Farmers Market (September 16 & 23) 

Explore the role of urban agriculture as part of community and social connections with a tour through the Gitigaan (“Gitigaan” is Ojibwe for “garden”), an Indigenous teaching garden. Find out how shared gardens, green spaces and having a relationship with native plants can enhance the well-being of city dwellers and promote a sense of belonging. Please meet in front of the Gitigaan at 10am.  

Cultivating Green Thumbs at Weekend Nature Play (Saturdays in September) 

Gardening introduces children to the journey of food from soil to plate. Through hands-on activities, kids learn valuable life skills and develop a deep connection to nature. Whether it's a small backyard plot, a community garden, or a few potted plants on a balcony, introducing children to the joys of gardening can be one of the most rewarding gifts we can give them. Join us on Saturdays during September to learn about vermicomposting (worms), seed planting, plant life cycles and more!  

Save this map so you know where to find the Urban Agriculture Week events:

Map of urban ag