City of Toronto Workers Destroy Free Community Food Garden Amid Growing Food Crisis

By Jacob Kearey-Moreland

Amid a growing food crisis, this morning workers from the City of Toronto were ordered by City of Toronto
Parks Director Richard Ubbens to remove all live plants and food from the People’s Peas Garden in Queens Park. They were ordered to take the plants and food to the dump and lay sod overtop of this most beautiful free community food garden, without warning, without a chance to remove the rare heirloom plant species or harvest the food.

The garden was planted by Occupy Gardens and allies on May 1st, in defense of local and global food security. While the garden has been growing undisturbed for nearly 5 months, with the help of hundreds in the community, the city deliberately decided to have it removed upon the eve of the Autumn Jam: A Harvest Party and celebration of sharing, community and free local food, which is happening tomorrow from 12-6pm at the garden in Queens Park (northwest section).

The reason? The people did not have permission to grow free food on public land. I come from a city and country where one does not need permission to do the right thing. We are experiencing a “glocal” food crisis, where more and more people are lining up at food banks for kraft dinner and peanut butter, waiting lists for community gardens are growing, food prices rising, and our leaders are nowhere to be seen. Rather they are hiding behind their desk ordering the workers to destroy whatever hope we have left.

We need help sharing this story far and wide. We will be having our Autumn Jam harvest party/vigil tomorrow as scheduled from 12noon-6pm in the northwest section of Queens Park.

As a side note – last Monday Sept 17th gardeners travelled to Ottawa on a Peas Keeping mission for national, global food security, where we planted a free heart-shaped food garden on Parliament Hill, at which point the RCMP stomped on the plants and threatened arresting people, we removed the plants and relayed the sod.

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