Sustainable food systems are an important part of being a UNESCO biosphere reserve. A key factor in sustainable food systems is knowledge sharing and building capacity for people to grow their own food. Since 2008, GBBR has led and partnered on food and garden programs with dozens of partners.
Gardening is a rewarding experience with many benefits. It is a powerful way for people of all ages to connect with nature, it can have significant environmental benefits, and can even be an economical option for fresh produce.
Growing Together is one way the GBBR aims to increase food sustainability in the region. By working together with many area organizations and plant nurseries, the program provides ‘ready-to’grow’ vegetable planters to families, seniors, people without garden space, and others.You Can Help! Donate to Growing Together
The Growing Together program encourages our community to think about growing more of its own food and supports people who want to start a garden in their backyard. Ideally, once engaged in growing food, people will keep gardening and share what they know!Learn About the Setup & Care of Garden Planters
Yes! The number of veggie planters available depends on donations and funding that is received from May to July.
Please email Laura Peddie to have a business invoice sent to you. Thank you for your donation!
Due to the physical distancing and other COVID-19 safety protocols currently in place, we cannot support volunteer assistance with this program at this time. If you would like to volunteer in the future, please email us and we will be in touch with volunteer opportunities when they arise. Thank you!
At this time, the planters are not available to the general public. We encourage everyone who may be interested in one to purchase directly from their nearest garden centre or plant nursery, or build your own using the guides on this page. Home gardeners are encouraged to plant a little extra this year to donate fresh produce to area food programs.
Each planter will have a variety of vegetables, starting with early crops that can be harvested and then allow larger summer plants to expand. Other vegetables include: lettuce, arugula, kale, green onion, cherry tomato, baby eggplant, slicing tomato or sweet pepper. Herbs such as basil, parsley and thyme provide fragrance, food seasoning, and attract pollinators with their flowers. (Participants do not choose what vegetables they receive, the plant nurseries select plants based on ideal combinations and seasonality).
Planters are approximately 25″ in diameter and 18” deep. Soil will be enhanced with slow-release fertilizer to give plants the nutrients they need to thrive.
GrowingTogether partners currently include: Harvest Share food bank, the Friendship Centre, Community Living Parry Sound, the Mary Street Centre and Community Kitchens, Wasauksing First Nation, Parry Sound Area Food Collaborative, North Bay-Parry Sound District Health Unit, Rotary Club of Parry Sound, Shawanaga First Nation Healing Centre, Parry Sound District Social Services Administration Board, volunteers in Britt, the Township of Georgian Bay’s Baxter Ward food bank in Honey Harbour and volunteers in Mactier.
Planters can be prepared by Little Garden Greenhouses, Windermere Garden Centre, Bala Garden Centre, and others.
The program partner agencies coordinate how participants pick-up their vegetable planter or have their volunteers safely deliver. Partner agencies order the number of vegetable planters that they then distribute to participants, through their networks. Many of these have worked together with us to apply for grants available from charity and government programs.
Gardening in the Biosphere: Seed to Soil
Calling all new and aspiring gardeners! To help you have the best experience possible with your fruit and veggie gardens in eastern Georgian Bay, GBBR staff have created a guide with information to take you from seed to soil!
Download the complete guide below or view individual sections for what you need to know now.Download Gardening in the Biosphere: Seed to Soil
Seed to Soil, Complete Guide
Building a Garden
Step 1. Planning for Plants
Step 2. Seeds & Planting
Step 3. Into the Ground
Step 4. Maintenance & Care
Kids Can Grow
Kids Can Grow Guide
Use this simple guide with children or students.
Growing Together Crossword
Double sided garden colouring sheet and crossword.
Green Thumb Certificate
A printable certification for young gardeners.
Environemental Footprint: Food
Designed for students, information for everyone!
Parry Sound Community Gardens
Come grow with us! There are 75 plots among seven gardens within the Town of Parry Sound, established as follows:
- 2009 Waubeek Street Community Garden
- 2011 Yvonne Williams Community Garden
- 2012 – 2013 Canadore College Garden
- 2014 Mission Park Community Garden
- 2015 Booth Street Park Community Garden
- 2017 Mary St Centre Garden
- 2018 Sound Hub Garden
Want to get involved? Are you interested in a garden plot?
Potential gardeners agree to donate 20% of produce to help people in need. Parry Sound Community Gardens provides produce donation to Harvest Share, Salvation Army Food Bank, Esprit Place, Parry Sound District Social Services Administration Board and the Parry Sound Friendship Centre.
Gardening with Native Plants
Are you looking for information on incorporating native plant species into your gardening or landscaping?
By selecting plants for your property that are native to eastern Georgian Bay, you’re helping to enhance your property and conserve important natural habitats. They are beautiful, low maintenance and provide food and shelter for a variety of wildlife.Find More Information on Native Plants
- The Old Famer’s Almanac
- OSC Seeds Blog & Grow Guides
- West Coast Seeds blog, newsletter, grow guides and more
- Ted Talks A Guerrilla Gardener In South Central LA and many other garden & growing talks
- Planet Natural Guide to gardening for kids, activities, project ideas, and more.
- Easy parent and child gardening activities, lesson plan on gardening, growing ideas and a resourceful blog.
- The Family Gardening Guide lists everything from seed starting to harvest, how to get your kids to love veggies to in-garden activities. Everything a family needs to get started.
Do you see something missing for this information or list of resources? Please email us with your suggestions!