Ryerson Urban Farm: Student-led rooftop farm creating opportunities to learn about growing food

Students from Ryerson University in Toronto have converted a green roof on campus into an urban rooftop farm.

Ryerson Urban Farm began as a student initiative with the mission to grow food on campus and create opportunities for people to learn about growing food.

The urban farm aims to build capacity for rooftop farming through production, education and research. It also operates productive growing spaces across the Ryerson University campus using spray-free, ecological methods

The students sell the produce at a farmer’s market, to CSA (community supported agriculture) customers, and they give some to the campus food room, which is a place where students can have access to free food.

Ryerson Urban Farm is designed in the market garden tradition, with over 50 crops and more than 100 cultivars, along with three rooftop bee hives.

In addition to growing food on the rooftop, Ryerson Urban Farm also have a variety of programmes and workshops available to help educate students, faculty, staff, and community members about how to grow food, including a 10-week market garden programme.

Exploring Alternatives met Arlene Throness, Ryerson Urban Farm Manager, in the below video. Arlene Throness gives an overview of the quarter-acre rooftop farm located, and tells the story of how the urban farm was integral in establishing Toronto’s green roof bylaw.

Ryerson Urban Farm

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about sustainable lifestyle and green living for publications, and offers content services to planet-friendly businesses. Find out more at Rosamedea.com 

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