You Grow Girl Seedling Growing Collective Year 2

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

Remember last year when I invited local site readers to come out and grow seedlings together in a local greenhouse? Well, it’s seed starting season and the greenhouse has kindly offered us some space again this year so I’m putting out the call.

There is shelf space for about 2 or 3 people to grow seedlings depending on how many plants each person would like to grow. It works out to enough space to grow transplants for a good-sized garden. Members can grow for themselves or donate to community groups if they’d like. There are also 2 excellent, newly built coldframes outside that will be available for use.

However, there are some considerations and caveats attached to using the space; I’ve listed them below.

  • The greenhouse is located in Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto’s West End.
  • Last year was the greenhouse’s first year in production and as predicted there were problems. Everyone is learning how to keep such a large, heated greenhouse functioning well in addition to making it all happen within a community. Thankfully a lot of the major problems have been addressed, and the greenhouse has been completely overhauled. Exciting! I think we’ll have a better go of it this year.
  • A $20 donation is requested to help offset the cost of soil and other greenhouse supplies. The soil last year was cheap, and lousy as a result. This year the soil is far better, but exponentially more expensive.
  • Members are asked to commit an hour per week to watering seedlings, monitoring plant health, and keeping the greenhouse clean and organized.
  • An additional 5 hours per year of volunteer labour to the greenhouse and/or park is required. That can come in the form of the Adopt-a-tree program, Helping with Spring Park Day (planting & clean up) and/or Spring Clean-Up Day (picking up trash in the park, etc).
Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

Here’s the inside. I took this last week when members were still just getting started for the year but will be filled with greenery in no time.

If you feel you can meet those commitments and would like to join, please get in touch with me via the contact form. Greenhouse members are currently conducting weekend grow-alongs to help beginners get their seeds started. Once we’ve got some members for our shelves, I’ll conduct some additional workshops to get us going.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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9 thoughts on “You Grow Girl Seedling Growing Collective Year 2

  1. What an excellent opportunity!
    I love the cold frames outside – now that I’ve seen this design, I just might be able to build my own!
    (ps – see that T.O. was to be getting +16 degree weather today – NICE! The coast is just recovering from a (typical) March cold snap)

  2. That’s a good deal for local folks! I just put up a small greenhouse here and started my seeds in it yesterday. I’ll have to see how they do. I think greenhouses have a steep learning curve so it helps to have a community.

  3. Oh envy to be part of such a cool community of eager gardeners!! I’ve lots of space where I am but I lack the eagerness of others!
    I can’t believe you’ve been online for 10 years Gayla!

  4. i miss my hours spent in the greenhouse last year! it looks great all cleaned up like that and with coldframes – nice. for those thinking of signing up but deterred by the hours required, they are really not that onerous and just fly by. and the people are very nice! you won’t regret being a part of such a good little community.

  5. SOOO, jealous. Have spent the past month dribbling seed starter all over the house and juggling my little seedlings from the top of warm spaces to the window with the most direct light.
    I’m currently eyeballing the abandoned house next door as potential cold-frame material…its not like anyone is actually using the storm-windows…just kidding..sort of.

  6. A geeky set of questions about your lovely cold frame. Is that cold frame based on a Rodale Solar frame or is it common for all your frames in Canada to be that tall? To ventilate, do the panels lift off or are they just propped open?

    The community greenhouse is a wonderful idea and I’m quite jealous. Hope all goes (grows) well this spring.

    thanks for such an inspiring post

    Alys, UK

  7. Alys: Regarding the cold frame. One of the other members of the greenhouse is responsible for building it and I don’t know what she based the model on.

    The panels lift up/prop open for ventilation. It is awfully tall — most cold frames here are about half the height. It was made reusing the old tables from inside the greenhouse so I suspect that had something to do with the size.

  8. Lee: Me neither! My online presence is very nearly a teenager.

    Jen: I am always looking beyond my small space to other potential locations and materials. HA!

  9. Wish there was something like this in Montreal (well, something that would have me as a member!). Sadly I think my seedlings are just for sport this year – I bought some heirlooms off of Etsy and they ended up coming a bit late, so I think I’ll be investing in proper plants in a few weeks.

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