Community Gardening and Sustainable Food in Ottawa

Community Gardening and Sustainable Food in Ottawa

(Theme 5 – Food, Theme 8 – Health)

Organization: Tom Marcantonio Individual

Timeline for Completion: Started 2009 Ongoing


Ottawa Trailblazer Tom Marcantonio is a champion of community gardening and sustainable food with a vision for “50 by 50,” a goal for Ottawa to grow 50 per cent of its own food by 2050.

“The Greenbelt in Ottawa is a huge asset. And if we can’t do it in Ottawa, if we can’t grow 50 per cent of our own food by 2050, then I don’t think anyone’s going to be able to do it,” he says.

How do we get there? Why not start with the kids?

Marcantonio, 65, has been visiting schools since 2009 to share his knowledge of sustainable, urban, community farming practices.

So far, 10 Ottawa high schools have had their own gardens installed with Marcantonio’s help, and an 11th garden at Sir Guy Carleton Secondary School is underway.

“The goal is really to operate many farms at large schools over the summer, hiring the students, for them to learn how to grow food, process it, sell it, cook it, preserve it, because I think that knowledge is being lost,” Marcantonio says.

“I think we’ve lost several generations of knowledge while we’ve gone the whole industrial agriculture route.”

“I’m going to spend the rest of my life trying to make urban food production a viable career,” he says.


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Project entered on: March 27, 2019 at 8:56 pm

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