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.
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
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
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!
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?
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.
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
- 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!