Real Food Garden

Written By Geremy Capone

Have you ever stopped mid meal and wondered where those delicious carrots you’re eating came from? Or how far did this garlic have to travel before it reached my plate? Why does it matter? Shouldn’t your only concern be how to get the ingredients from the grocery store to inside your belly? Well for some that’s enough, but for others local and sustainable food sourcing is very important and I’m proud to say that our team at the ELLICSR Kitchen is very mindful of the ingredients we use when creating recipes. To share our passion of responsible food sourcing, we are excited to offer for a second year, the UHN Real Food Gardening program. This true plant to plate experience will provide patients and staff with an opportunity to learn about where food comes from, how it’s grown, harvested, and ultimately how it ends up on our plates.

Image of the Real Food Garden


Entirely volunteer-run, the UHN Real Food Gardening Program allows individuals the opportunity to grow and harvest vegetables from seed, with a lot of watering, digging, trimming and weeding in between.  The program is free and open for anyone to join from beginner gardeners to expert green thumbs, for those passionate about food to those who just like spending time outdoors. There is always something to learn and of course chores to do.

image of volunteers working in the Real Food Garden


Our plot of land is located at the Scadding Court Community Centre (SCCC) at the southeast corner of Bathurst and Dundas and directly across the street from the Toronto Western Hospital. The wonderful people at the SCCC have been extremely accommodating and gracious in taking us in to their community gardening family.

What do we do with all the food? Well since this program spans the entire journey from plant to plate, we use some of the food in our dynamic cooking program at the ELLICSR Health, Wellness, and Cancer Survivorship Centre. Some of the food will be donated to local food banks to give back to the community. And some will be enjoyed by our amazing gardening volunteers.

Image of food growing in the Real Food Garden


Sounds exciting doesn’t it? Well if you would like to participate, send me an email at geremy@ellicsrkitchen.ca. Or just watch the plants grow from a distance, I will be tweeting updates from the garden @ELLICSRkitchen and will probably hint to some of the upcoming recipes in our cooking demonstrations. And for some incredible recipes inspired by fresh ingredients like those grown in our garden, check out the ELLICSR Kitchen.

Yours in good eats,