There are now more ways to get involved with the Maloca Community Garden at York University as interested individuals will have the opportunity to rent one of four newly vacant garden plots. Gardeners who commit to regularly maintaining their plots can rent the space for a $50 membership fee.
The Maloca Community Garden is designed to be a space for all members of the university community to experience, from growing their own food to utilizing the space for special outdoor events and enjoying a great setting for sustainable pedagogy. Additionally, the garden supports individuals who lack access to land, are hoping to build skills and knowledge in gardening, to raise awareness of food security or simply develop community connections.
The garden has a traditional private plot garden for members, an urban farm and a community plot where anyone can come and take produce. Those interested in applying to rent one of the garden’s four newly-available plots can apply online on a first-come-first-served basis. There is the possibility of expanding more plots for rent depending on demand. The garden provides water, soil, compost and other essential tools and gear that gardeners require. While gardeners are expected to purchase their own seeds and seedlings, the regular fee will be used to purchase materials and tools necessary for maintaining the community garden.
“My experience in Maloca has brought me life-long friendships, with a focus on the development of myself as an individual,” explained garden member and York University nursing student Gabriel Brome. “This brought to mind the importance of growing one’s own food and knowing where it comes from in regard to the promotion of food security. I really saw how important the garden could be to the community at large and even the homeless population to promote food sustainability, health and well-being.”
“I encourage everyone to get involved in the development and blossoming future of Maloca and purchase plots to grow their own foods, fight homeless and reap the benefits of this experience in relation to your health and well-being,” Brome added.
The Maloca Community Garden at York University was established in 1999 for the purpose of promoting and fostering the environmental, educational and social benefits of community gardening while creating a rare meditative space for the co-operative growing according to the principles of organic gardening. Since then, Maloca has provided students and faculty, neighbours and friends of the garden with a unique opportunity to grow and harvest food, while building relationships and learning in a community that cares about nature.
Membership to the garden is open to students, staff, faculty and members of the public by contacting Maloca organizers. Those wishing to volunteer with the garden can sign up online. Anyone interested in providing an experiential education activity or course for students at Maloca should reach out by email.