Black Creek Community Farm

Vegetables display at the Black Creek Community Farm, 2018.

Black Creek Community Farm (BCCF) is an 8-acre site and Toronto’s largest community farm. BCCF is a community-led project that develops local food leadership and community-based solutions in food justice and sustainable agriculture. Its certified organic market garden, food forest, and community food programs serve the needs of its local Jane-Finch residents.

I had the pleasure and privilege of supporting the Black Creek Community Farm for 7 years in various roles and capacities. These roles included farm manager for 3 seasons, plus farm staff and program coordinator for 4 seasons.

Amy transformed our market garden program and scaled up our vegetable production… designing culturally relevant crop plans and ensuring the foods grown at the farm were reflective of the diverse community that surrounds us.

She is able to oversee a work day with a complex set of tasks with a large group of people and get the work done while ensuring everyone has a positive and safe work experience. Amy is very skilled in multitasking, delegating, and managing complex deliverables at the same time.

Leticia Deawuo, Executive Director, Black Creek Community Farm

My Impact
  • Advised BCCF’s 2020-2025 strategic plan
  • Over 3 years, increased market garden profits by 400% + CSA membership by 200%
  • Increased local residents CSA membership to 62% through accessibility options
  • Improved BCCF’s crop plan by including culturally important crops for local residents: Asian greens, Ghanian eggplants, Jamaican callaloo, okra
  • Coordinated community events with other BCCF program leaders
  • Led training and educational programming for staff and volunteers
Growing More Than Just Food

Unlike a typical stand-alone market garden business, the BCCF market garden is only one component within a larger community food project. In addition to growing food, the market garden also needs to meet BCCF’s social justice mandate. The market garden site is an integral component of BCCF’s community programming: youth training, educational tours, and community festivals.

Farming With An Equity Lens

As BCCF’s farm manager, I needed to critically examine farm decisions through a food-justice and equity lens, along with typical technical considerations. It was important for me to ensure that the market garden produced high-quality and affordable food while supporting the community’s social needs.

1 Acre Market Garden Management

Each season, BCCF’s certified organic market garden grew 40+ crops and 100+ varieties for its weekly CSA box program (for 22 weeks and up to 125 members). My technical farming responsibilities were similar to other market gardeners: business and crop planning, supplies and equipment procurement, field prep, planting and harvesting, marketing, sales, customer service, record keeping, administration, and evaluation.

Some of the Crops Grown at BCCF:

Arugula / basil / beans / beets / bok choy / broccoli / brussels sprouts / cabbage / callaloo / carrots / chard / choy sum / cilantro / cucumber / dill / eggplants / flowers / garlic / jerusalem artichoke / kale / kohlrabi / leeks / lettuce / melons / mint / okra / onions / parsley / peas / peppers / potatoes / pumpkin / radishes / spinach / squash – summer, winter / tatsoi / tomatoes / turnips