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Food Gardens

Sustainable Food Systems

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, GBB 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

GrowingTogether is one way the GBB 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. Since 2020, over 500 planters have been distributed throughout the Biosphere region. 

GrowingTogether 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!

“The Georgian Bay Biosphere provided us with forty planters full of vegetables & herbs to get fresh food into the hands of those who need it right now. We love how the program supports local businesses & workers at area garden centers while doing it. We can’t wait to get them to their new homes.”

Clarissa Kennedy, Parry Sound Harvest Share

Growing Together: Video Guides

Spring Planting
Container Gardening
Mid Season Garden Upkeep
Compost 101

Seed to Soil Guide

Calling all new and aspiring gardeners! To help you have the best experience possible with your fruit and veggie gardens in eastern Georgian Bay, GBB 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.

Seed to Soil, Complete Guide
Building a Garden
Container Gardening
Composting 101
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.

Environmental Footprint: Food

Designed for students, information for everyone!

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

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.

Want to get involved? Are you interested in a garden plot?

  1. Complete a Garden Application Form
  2. List where you’d like to have a plot (size approximately 10′ x 10′)
  3. Submit to Delaina Arnold, Community Garden Coordinator at [email protected]
Mission Park Community Garden, Parry Sound

In 2021, the Biosphere and the Township of Georgian Bay together with volunteers from Baxter Ward Lions and funding support from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and Community Foundation of Canada, created the the Port Severn Community Garden to grow fruits and vegetables. Garden plots are free, first-come first-served to residents who apply through the Township and 20% of produce grown is encouraged as a donation to the Honey Harbour Food Bank.

The Port Severn Community Garden.

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.

Staff Picks for Additional Support

Do you see something missing for this information or list of resources? Please email us with your suggestions!

Support Your Biosphere

With your support, we can expand our impact in the Georgian Bay region through conservation and education.

We are a registered Canadian charity #87100 1335 RR0001