Vegetable basket

Urban Farming Takes Root in Erin Mills

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Innovative “Backyard” offers unique mix of retail, agriculture, and education

MISSISSAUGA – Situated in the heart of Mississauga’s rapidly-growing Erin Mills neighbourhood, the northeast corner of Erin Mills Boulevard and Eglinton Avenue West has taken on an unlikely role as a community hub for green, organic living, with urban farming, farmers’ markets and more on offer.

Situated on the formerly vacant land surrounding Daniels Corporation’s sales centre for the nearby Daniels Erin Mills high-rise community, the Backyard Farm and Market at Erin Mills was completed in May of 2013, with the help of contributions from not just Daniels, but also a handful of other donors, supporters, and community volunteers.

Two summers later, the Backyard Farm and Market has blossomed into a truly bustling neighbourhood amenity, with members of the Erin Mills community invited to participate in two different ways:

Urban Farming

Constructed using an innovative hay bale system, the Backyard’s farming plots are available to the public for just $25, plus a commitment to put in two hours of community site work per month. The fee includes access to healthy soil, seeds, tools, and – most importantly – a network of volunteers and partners with more than 20 years of experience. Plots are still available for 2015 – you can find the guidelines and application here.

Farmers’ Markets

Between June 6 and October 3, the Backyard hosts a Farmers’ Market each Saturday, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, showcasing produce and goods that provide a healthy, organic alternative to the grocery store. While participating vendors come from as far as Hagersville, Campbellville and beyond, the market also features local favourites like the Brampton-based Organic Vibes (and their coveted callaloo).

Earth Market Mississauga: Sample, Shop, and Learn

On Saturday September 12th, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, the Backyard Farm and Market will host Earth Market Mississauga. Essentially an expanded version of the Backyard’s regular Farmer’s Market, Earth Market will feature even more vendors and exhibitors, while also offering live music, storytelling, and harvest cooking demonstrations.

During the event, Daniels will also be offering up their presentation centre for two drop-in workshops: “Eating for Energy,” and “Native Plants for Pollinators.” For more information on this free family event, including the event schedule, we encourage you to visit the official page.

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