This summer, with generous support from TD Bank Group, Not Far From The Tree is hosting a series of workshops and picks with our 35 partner agencies across Toronto. To kick of what will be a fantastic series, we hosted a Fruit Tree Tour with members of the Regent Park community. Lead by Not Far From The Tree’s Picking Program and Events Coordinator Rahul Mehta and Regent Park Community Food Centre’s Gardens Coordinator, Ashrafi Ahmed, we set out to explore the abundant fruit tree life in Regent Park.
The verdict? It’s vital, alive, and totally happening.
The tour kicked off at the Big Park with lots of enthusiasm. Folks arrived prepared with umbrellas, questions, and were ready to share a great deal of their own personal knowledge about local fruit and its uses.
Serviceberries were our first stop. Due to the recent rain, the berries were glistening with dew and at the perfect stage of ripeness: a dark reddish purple. We couldn’t help picking and eating some (ok, many) bunches!
We also spotted some sour cherries in the moment of ripening, pear flowers and almonds. Crisp gingko leaves and baby crab-apples promise a delicious late summer harvest!
Did you know there’s a kiwi fruit vine in Toronto? When we arrived at the CRC’s stunning community garden, we were able to get an exclusive close up of this rare sight in the city. Next to this vine are young pomegranate and guava trees, the latter from which we may see fruit one day – exciting stuff! Participants shared some information about the many uses of guava, including the health benefits of eating the entire fruit.
One of the many reasons that we love our partnership with Regent Park is that The Community Garden and Food Centre at the CRC shares many of our values at Not Far From The Tree: creating community through nurturing, harvesting, eating, and learning about the food growing in our city. When we returned to the CRC outdoor bake oven after our edifying exploration – and (let’s be honest) a final round of serviceberries – staff treated participants to a delicious array of fresh coconut buns. We lingered around to plan the next week’s serviceberry picking extravaganza! Stay tuned!
A huge thank you to TD Bank Group for generously supporting our partner agency programming series.