The latest addition to the Humber Arboretum will have you “beeting” down the door to check it out.
After months of hard work by students and staff alike, the Humber Food Learning Garden officially opened last week. The garden is a space for students and community members to learn about sustainable urban agriculture, local food security and how to grow and harvest their own fresh, healthy food in whatever space is available to them.
Caressa Genova and Giovanna Catenacci, both from the Landscape Technician program, are work study students in the Arboretum. Much of their time was spent getting the garden ready to go.
“It’s very exciting to see it finished,” said Genova, who is going into her second year.
“It’s amazing, because now everyone is able to enjoy something we spent months working on,” said Catenacci, who just graduated from the program.
To get the garden ready, the two worked with Arboretum staff and other students to prepare the garden beds, grew seeds in the greenhouse, planted seedlings and are now helping pick the vegetables that are ready to be enjoyed. Much of the produce is used by the culinary school, whose students also have the opportunity to learn what and when to harvest.
In addition to landscape and culinary students, those studying horticulture and Early Childhood Education can use the garden as they learn how to tend, harvest and teach in the space.
Children taking part in the Arboretum's Nature Day Camps or school programs will visit the garden, so they can learn about where their food comes and understand the joy of growing and eating fresh herbs and vegetables.
Public workshops, run in collaboration with community partners, will also take place in the garden. And, the community can enjoy the fresh, local produce in student-run restaurant The Humber Room.
“Through working at the Arboretum I’ve gained a lot more experience,” said Genova. “I’ve been able to do more of the things we talk about in class.”
Although it is only open during classes and workshops, the Humber Food Learning Garden also features interpretive signage for visitors. The garden can be found behind the residence buildings at North Campus.