Peace Farms

SUSTAINABLE FARMING & ART PROJECT


Leave a comment

Greenhouse Seedlings at Cavaleiro Farms

First, 2 trays of seeds in the green house, and some space has been acquired at Mcvean farms, it seems to be coming together. Let us eat healthy, live life and pass on what we learn (positive things). 144 plants to be born and sold onto plates and into homes with love and accounting for the work put into it by Peace Farms. Next…set up customer order scripts, pictures of food being produced, available. G2G!!!! more work to be done.

Cavaleirofarm is also looking to network, here is the link below. Peas

http://cavaleirofarm.wildapricot.org/


Leave a comment

Loving Processes

Without certainty of the future present actions may seem like gambling. Yet unemployment and high tuition fees presently do not nurture a fertile and diverse environment. Peace Farms then has become a necessity to secure employment and education to survive in this concrete jungle. Currently, uncertain about space to grow food in the city. OR finding funds to relocate..build space, invade, evade..PEAS.


Leave a comment

Due Diligence final

Collins Boahen /207542426 /Due Diligence Assignment/2014 December 3rd /Dr. Laura Taylor York University. MES1.  

 

A very special thanks to farmers and God.

THE ONLY HOUSE OUT THERE: THE BLACK CREEK COMMUNITY FARM. 

4929 Jane Street BLACK CREEK COMMUNITY FARM HOUSE. Front view 2013.

 

This site planning report will investigate the Black Creek Community Farm House through a pictographic and empirical lens. In 2012, I first entered this farm house not realizing what it would become today. The grass was wild and the house was mainly unused.  My due diligence will include the site’s ecological nature, settlement and planning history, contemporary environmental and planning context, and my guesses to what might grow up there next. This is a heritage building and a booming farm right next to the Pioneer Village and York University.

Planning History.

Many people have sought the black creek gold and I know this because this building has been in use for over 200 years. Past research conducted by the farmer groups at BCCF dates the house back to 1818[i]. The site itself was once a former dairy farm acquired by TRCA in 1952 and it used to belong to the Braeburn family (Braeburn House – 19th century). Due to its age the Braeburn house is one of Old Weston’s outstanding examples of architecture conservation. It was built in 1853 by John Grubb, a pioneer in the Weston area. The house was moved to Black Creek Pioneer Village in 1962 stone by stone when threatened by demolition. Braeburn House or the farmhouse is located in the northwest corner of the Black Creek Urban Farm. Under the TRCA the house was giving to Everdale Farms to head an agricultural program[ii].

The Black Creek Pioneer Village[iii] which was owned by the Stong family[iv] is in between heritage house farm house and York University. The Black Creek pioneer village website might still say that the Stong family were the original settlers but I think it might have been Aboriginals. The city of Toronto designates the farmhouse area as an Open Space Natural[v] and “The following uses are permitted in the ON zone: Ambulance Depot, Agricultural Use, Fire Hall, Park, Police Station, Public Utility, Transportation Use” [vi].

In relationship to York University which is on the Stong land property also the area is actively developing in terms of community, education, and transportation. According to the city the Pioneer Village[vii] and York University[viii] will be getting a Subway Station. Three subway stations will be located within or in close proximity as a result of the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension[ix].

 

Core Service Review and Efficiency Study Implementation – Status Update[x]

Black Creek Urban Farm 2014.

On September 26 and 27, 2011 City Council adopted a report called ‘Core Service Review – Final Report to Executive Committee’ from the City Manager, which has service and service level changes based on the detailed Core Service Review conducted by KPMG. City Council approved the following specific recommendation that impacts TRCA: 1. Parks, Forestry and Recreation – Authorize the General Manager to negotiate the transfer of the operation of Black Creek urban farm from the City of Toronto to the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) on such terms as may be agreed. 2. The transfer was successfully completed in 2012 with no additional costs to the City[xi]. I have lived in Toronto since 1998 and have seen many wonderful buildings and homes. In 2011 I walked into 4929 Jane Street and was transfixed by the history and farming project. Most homes in this part of the city have small gardens or a front yard to grow decorative flowers. Next to the homes and to townhouses are big apartments and housing for diverse groups of people. The Black Creek Community Farm grows food, educates students and houses students and workers.

Let us hurry on with the tour before it gets dark. South West of Jane and Steeles is the farmhouse, a heritage building consisting of four bedrooms a large living room, kitchen, a big balcony, 2 washrooms (one on each floor) and a large basement. The entire property is about 9 acres and over 200 years old according to sources it was lifted and relocated to 4929 Jane Street.

This mural was constructed by the Essencia Art Collective[xii] in 2013 to commemorate the opening of the urban farm project. It hangs on the fence in the front of the property and it is eye catching.

‘To see me is to wonder and ponder

A wall of color and alluring power

Hunger for food in the hood

Dare to enter it won’t be rude.’

 

ATT: FES @ Y U, BCCF INVIT3S YOU 2

Walk free don’t harden

I took 10 wide steps no pardon

Tides of waves my legs went to the shore

Knock Knock! Guess Who Is at the Black Creek Community Farm door

Contemporary Environmental And Planning Context.

On October 2, 2012, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the Honourable Ted McMeekin visited the Black Creek Community Farm in Toronto. Everdale Organic Farm and Learning Centre with African Food Basket, Food Share, Fresh City Farms, are joined in this project to use TRCA owned land to grow affordable organic food.

Working in partnership residents, food growers, and community agencies help make local food more accessible to the Jane and Finch community and provide more opportunities for community engagement through the growing and selling of food, and education and training[xiii]. The history is interconnected and that is why people sometimes confuse the farm with the Pioneer Village. In the past the Black Creek Pioneer village has been a place for hands on historical learning[xiv]. Now the farm is getting attention for its ability to produce organic food and sell it.

Map of BCCF project 2014

 

On site market – BCCF self-serve food station, 2014.

BCCF Logo 2013.

So what more can we expect? Below, I will describe the topography of the area and talk about the uses and future plans for this heritage site. There are 2 greenhouses already but no poultry on the farm yet[xv].

Overlooking the farmhouse is a duck, flying through the darkening clouds. If it rains the plants will be watered and the leaves will decompose. The climate affects the plants and helps in creating new food for the soil.

 

This picture shows the soil underneath wood chips. The geology is higher in clay, it is dense to work with and it is really good for making puddles due to clay’s ability to retain water.

In Canada we have 4 types of weathers and thus nature is constantly transforming us. But we have yet to put a winter jacket around a broccoli plant.

 

 

 

High technology influence on the farm house program with tractors, greenhouses, and propane tanks.

 

Inside the Greenhouse where plants are protected from the colder climate outside. November 2014.

 

A puddle like this can complicate tractor and human access to the food being grown[xvi].

In the future, the farm may consider filling the holes to avoid water collection. Because the thick puddles slow down transportation and makes it a workplace hazard.

 

 

 

Farmers transporting fall harvest from the south to the north end of the farm. Working with the land during heavy rains can be more tedious and dirty. The farm is 9 acres and the wash and packaging station is on the far north side of the plot. This farmer is transporting a loaded cart of food through a slippery and winding road to the wash station.

Tis the creek, that separates the Pioneer Village from the Urban Farm. The Black Creek is not used to water the vegetables due to its intricate hydrological connection to the ecosystem. The natural vegetation that you see is supported and part of the creek. In the spring and summer it flows south and down the rocks and in the winter it freezes up, as solid as the rocks. You can see the vegetation surrounding the creek and inside it. The fall weather causes the soil to drop in temperature and can usually be identified wth colder weather and abundance of leaves decomposting on the floor. It is more dificult to farm in this weather for both plants and farmers because the exposure to nature will be significant felt.

 

 

The earth is fertile and the wind is a force of change. Horse nut trees and maples leaves drop as they prepare for the winter season. There are foxes, deer, birds, and all sorts of bugs that creep around and underneath these leaves. The site is full of life and it is a very calm place to collect your thoughts.

 

 

Some plants can go through winter and those plants are called brassicas. The white and grey edges of this brassica are covered with frost.

Frozen turnips in winter climate 2013 without green house.

 

 

2 Propane tanks to heat two large greenhouses during the winter and fall seasons.

This is now a high tech farm house with its own Facebook page, 2 markets, propane burners that heats the greenhouses, outdoor fridge storage and a multi organizational staff addressing unemployment and food security in a low income community. It is truly a unique house.

The black creek community farm staff in 2013 posing on the new Kubota tractor[xvii].

The assortment of cultures is housed in this heritage house where we share space and history in the biggest urban farm project in Canada. To conclude, the farmhouse is important to the government and community. It adheres to the Open Space by laws of the city of Toronto and it helps the community by providing organic food, housing, safe green space and employment.

Backdoor of BCCF 2014 with a tall pine tree on the left and a giant weeping willow on the right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Endnote Bibliography

[i] http://oldtorontomaps.blogspot.ca/2013/01/1818-g-phillpotts-plan-of-york.html

 

[ii] http://www.trca.on.ca/trca-user-uploads/TRCA_BCPVFarmRFP_Jan10_2012_final.pdf

[iii] http://www.blackcreek.ca/

[iv] http://www.blackcreek.ca/v2/museum/history.dot

 

[v] http://www.toronto.ca/zoning/bylaw_amendments/zbl_newprovision_chapter90_20.htm

[vi] http://map.toronto.ca/maps/map.jsp?app=zbl_consult

[vii] https://www.ttc.ca/spadina/stations/steeles_west_station/index.jsp

 

[viii] https://www.ttc.ca/spadina/stations/york_university_station/index.jsp

 

[ix] North York Community Council Item 29.37, Adopted As Amended,

By City Of Toronto Council On November 30, December 1, 2, 4 And 7, 2009

Enacted By Council: December 4, 2009

[xi] http://www.toronto.ca/zoning/bylaw_amendments/zbl_newprovision_chapter90.htm

[xii] https://www.facebook.com/essenciaac, http://essenciartcollective.com/

[xiii] http://www.trca.on.ca/the-living-city/watersheds/humber-river/newsletter/archive/?id=147109

[xiv] http://www.gonewiththefamily.com/gone-with-the-family-adv/2011/11/black-creek-pioneer-village.html

[xv] http://ontariosown.ca/blog/an-urban-farm-grows-in-black-creek/

[xvi] http://www.thestar.com/news/2013/10/16/black_creek_community_farm.html

[xvii] http://everdale.org/blackcreek/