In 2016 Many Feathers Co-op worked towards adding new projects and events that aligned with our three pillars of empowerment, sustainability, and community. As the year comes to a close here's a run down of what we got up to this year.
1. Many Feathers Market at Lisgar Go Station
Sponsors: Metrolinx, Maria Vucenovic (The Co-operators Insurance), YogaVision Yoga Studio, Big John's Country Market, and 4Cats Arts Studio (Meadowvale)
Since 2015 our markets have served as a Sunday activity for the Lisgar/Meadowvale community. With the help of volunteers and our passionate team we welcomed about 1,000 visitors each week to our market. We had the opportunity to welcome many great Ontario vendors, and give the community access to affordable, and healthy local foods. We showcased local musicians and artisans, and gave other non-profits a venue to interact with the community. This event will continue on in 2017!
2. Many Feathers Garden
Our newest project, the Many Feathers Garden, created a space for our volunteers to learn about food, and small-scale gardening by working on a 1,000 sq. ft. space generously provided by Sid’s Pond Landscaping. We supplemented our knowledge through talking to farmers, like our visit to Big John’s Country Market, and seeing how our food is grown. We produced enough to sell at the market, and to give to our volunteers; we also hosted two harvest dinners using ingredients we had grown. The result was a successful growing season, with some lessons for next year, and a small but dedicated team to develop bigger market gardens next year.
In the next year the garden will expand to support a food donation program to community kitchens of our choice, and have more drop in dates for group gardening for interested volunteers!
3. Community Events
We participated in the Bread and Honey Festival, and the Earth Market held by the City of Mississauga. At these events we talked to visitors about what we do, and spread the word about our markets and projects. We got great feedback, and newsletter sign ups to keep the community informed of happenings at Many Feathers.
4. 100 Trees Planted at Lisgar Fields
In the fall we held a tree-planting event to plant 100 trees in Lisgar Fields as a part of the One Million Trees initiative with the City of Mississauga. We had over 30 volunteers come out, and friends and families planted trees to make our community a little bit more greener! We look forward to another planting event in the new year.
5. 2016 AGM
The 2016 AGM was a time to review our growth, and to talk about where we wanted to go. We discussed new projects, and welcomed new team members who will work on developing programming for us. We also very warmly welcomed Deepa Tailor, of Tailor Law to the Board of Directors.
As a small and growing non-profit we have a long way to go to reach our goal of creating a network of urban agriculture in the GTA, and promoting and working towards food security within our communities. However we are looking forward to expanding our portfolio and bringing more events and community centred projects in 2017.
Thank you for all your support, and for growing with us!
Written by Maleeha Farooq
Photography by Maleeha Farooq