Celebrate art, ecology and education at Maloca Community Garden’s Harvest Gathering

In celebration of the work involved in sustaining a rich and inspiring space for teaching and learning about sustainable gardening practices, the York University community is invited to attend a special event at the Maloca Community Garden on Oct. 1.

The garden, run by the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) Maloca Community Garden Club, strives to create an environment for multicultural and intergenerational learning and sharing through agricultural practices. This year marks the garden’s 20th anniversary.

All students, faculty, staff, friends and adjacent communities are invited to the Harvest Gathering at the Maloca Community Garden to participate in garden-based workshops and conversations, and hear a presentation about the Finding Flowers project co-led by FES professors Lisa Myers and Sheila Colla.

Finding Flowers is an interdisciplinary research project that fosters the study of pollinator conservation and mobilizes spaces for the relationships between pollinators, medicine plants, Indigenous plant-food networks and extractivist industries.

Working alongside pre-existing gardens created by Mi’kmaq artist Mike MacDonald in 1995 and 2003, the Finding Flowers project aims to preserve, expand and build new Indigenous gardens at various locations across Canada.

Continuing its ecological, artistic and educational research on native plant-pollinator conservation, Indigenous plant-food networks, and radical forms of care among human and other-than-human species, the Finding Flowers project is planting a new garden, Mike MacDonald’s Butterfly & Medicine Garden, at Maloca throughout 2019 and 2020.

During the Maloca Harvest Gathering on Oct. 1, guests will be invited to participate in the following activities:

  • the Mike MacDonald’s Butterfly & Medicine Garden planting, seeds and herbs harvest and garden infusions with members of the Finding Flowers project;
  • a native plant dye workshop with Lisa Myers;
  • a storytelling gathering with past Maloca collaborators, including Silvia Vazquez Olguin (FES graduate);
  • a garden walk with Jacqueline Dwyer (FES graduate, Black Farmers Collective);
  • a dinner by Pow Wow Café and garden refreshments by the Finding Flowers project; and
  • a Finding Flowers presentation with the project’s principal investigators, Sheila Colla and Lisa Myers.

The free event, scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., offers an opportunity to learn about Maloca’s history and future, as well as the seasonal programming of the garden. RSVP through the Eventbrite page at eventbrite.com/e/maloca-harvest-gathering-tickets-68615016361.

The event is organized by the Finding Flowers project and supported by FES and the New Frontiers in Research Fund.

More about Finding Flowers

“Finding Flowers: A biocultural and interdisciplinary approach to pollinator conservation through ecology, art and pedagogy” is a research project that cultivates Mi’kmaq artist Mike MacDonald’s extensive study of the profound relationships between pollinators, medicine plants, Indigenous plant-food networks and extractivist industries. Finding Flowers mobilizes spaces for cross-pollination between environmental matters, Indigenous artistic practice and biocultural research on native plants and pollinators. This is done by: working alongside Indigenous gardens; curating exhibitions of Indigenous artists responding to elements and concepts from Mike MacDonald’s gardens; developing socially engaged arts, ecology, sustainability and citizen science programming; undertaking ecological experiments to better understand plant-pollinator interactions; and expanding interdisciplinary academic research on these topics.