Centre for food has crowdfund for gardens

The orchard, part of the future gardens at the Centre for Food is already complete. Trees were donated by local landscaping companies.
The orchard, part of the future gardens at the Centre for Food is already complete. Trees were donated by local landscapers.

To finish the landscape plan at the Centre for Food (CFF), Durham College is having its first ever crowdfunding campaign. The money will be used to create gardens and planting beds for the students at the Centre for Food.

The gardens will be used not only as a teaching tool but the harvested produce will be used by culinary students and Bistro 67, the restaurant in the CFF.

“ The landscape plan is a very important part especially for the horticulture, agriculture, and culinary programs because it’s like an outdoor classroom,” said Sally Hillis, the annual development and alumni operations administrator.

The crowdfunding campaign is a website operated through the college to allow anyone to donate towards a project of their choosing. There are 15 different areas to donate to including items such as wildflowers, fruit bearing shrubs, and a pollinator garden.

“Fundraising is something you’re really passionate about. So if you’re passionate about flowers, or herbs, or the concept of cutting herbs from out front and using them in the kitchen then people will donate to that because it resonates with them,” said Darrin Caron, dean of the Whitby campus.

Since its start on August 19th the crowdfunding has had success with one of the projects so far. The culinary herb garden reached its goal of $500.

“We had a donor who made that donation so we’re pleased to have made that goal so quickly,” said Hillis.

Parts of the landscaping have already been completed or are on their way. Local landscapers such as Algoma Orchards, Uxbridge Nurseries, BK Baun Landscaping, and Dutchmaster Nurseries donated the orchard created on campus. The greenhouses, which will be used by horticulture students, are already built as well.

Usually crowdfunding has a set deadline but this project will continue on to next year. The gardens are dependent on the growing season and because this season is over donations are welcomed all the way to next year.

The gardens are going to be a part of the Field to Fork program at the Whitby campus.

“Field to Fork is the methodology for how we’re going to run the Centre for Food,” said Caron.

The idea of the program is to have students grow and harvest fruit, vegetables and herbs. Culinary students and the restaurant in the CFF will then use the produce. This completes the cycle of from field to fork.

“It’s quite exciting for us, we’re seeing culinary students choosing to come here because they like the idea of Field to Fork,” said Caron.