Monday, 21 July 2014

In Full Swing

The Garden Party on June 22 was a big success, with lots of members, sponsors, supporters and new friends in attendance. Thanks to the generosity of our local businesses and amazing Cornell residents, we also raised over $1000 to help the garden thrive. Watch for more events at the garden, as well as our booth at the CRA Picnic on August 10. If you are interested in hosting a community event in the garden, please get in touch.

The garden season is now well underway, with our fourth harvest date happening tomorrow. It's been amazing to see our little seeds and seedlings thrive! Our members have been dining on fresh, local and well-earned lettuce, kale, Swiss chard and a plethora of herbs, with more produce ripening every day. 

A reminder that the children's garden is open to everyone. We will be adding some signs soon to identify what's growing and how kids (and adults) can work in and learn from the garden.

Friday, 20 June 2014

More Great Prizes

Wow, we have some amazing, generous businesses and individuals around Cornell! Some more prizes that will be up for auction at our Garden Party this Sunday, from 2-5.

Signed jerseys: TFC jersey signed by Michael Bradley (captain of the US World Cup soccer team) and Leafs jersey signed Doug Gilmour (with certificates of authenticity)
Gift certificate from Cornell Cuts for Kids
Exterior window cleaning from Rileys' Window Cleaning
Gift certificate from Dance 2 Fit
Two riding lessons from Earthbound Stables 
50% off a birthday package from Gym o Gym
Olive That gift basket from Kimberly Clark

And a huge thank you again to our Gold Level Garden Sponsors, whose generosity will make it possible for us to relax at the garden sitting on nice benches instead of on the dirt :)

Markus Winkler, Sutton Group
Kara Daniels
Salima Kherani, Family Dentistry in Cornell
Dr. Migara Weerasinghe, Cornell Dental Centre

The benches have been ordered and will arrive in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

On the Auction Block

Some of the awesome donations we've received for the silent auction at our Grand Opening event this Sunday. More items will be added as they come in!

Gift certificate and basket from Turning Hedz Creations
Family photo session from Unstyled Life Photography
Tutu Holder from Handcrafted by Katherine
Barrettes from Lil Boo Clips
Hand stamped key chain and herb garden markers from Thanks A Loot Gifts
Chaise lounge chair from Sheri Gammon Dewling
Epicure Basket from Katherine Strain and Marie Scott
Outdoor play basket from Marie Scott
Gourmet dinner for two cooked in your home from Riley Oliver Catering
Sustainability Basket from City of Markham Sustainabilty Department
Gift certificate from Sol Pilates 
5 customized mugs from Splurge Events

Thank you so much to the local businesses and inviduals that have generously donated.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Garden Party! June 22

Please note: The "Grand Opening" has been renamed a "Garden Party". There will be an official grand opening hosted by the City at a later date.

A celebration of growth!

Sunday, June 22
2 - 5 p.m.

Join us for the grand opening of the Cornell Community Garden, a community-run food and flower garden supported by the City of Markham.
- Welcome speech
- Activities for children and families
- Silent auction with great prizes from local businesses
- 50-50 draw
- Free cake

Corner of Almira Ave and Murray Wilson Drive
Please walk if possible

We are also looking for donations from local businesses (or individuals) for the silent auction. Please contact us at if you would like to donate something. And buyers: we will be posting a list of donors and prizes in the next few days, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Say hello to our Community Garden!

Our committee members, garden members and other volunteers have been working incredibly hard for the past five days to get from a big dirt patch to a beautiful garden. Let's all give ourselves a big pat on the back (but not too hard: most of us are sunburnt)!

We are laying out the children's garden now. If anyone is interested in volunteering for this part of the project, please contact us ASAP.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Planting Day: Sunday, June 8

Construction is almost complete and now we need your help! Any and all volunteers are invited to join us at the garden this Sunday to plant. Committee members will be on site from 9-6 to supervise; we will have water for volunteers and activities for children. Please bring your own gardening tools if possible, as well as snacks and sunscreen. We encourage people to walk. Please let us know if you plan to bring kids so we can ensure there is enough supervision.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Full Steam

 Hurray, hurray, we're on our way! The excavator is out, the soil is delivered, the garden boxes are on site, ready to be placed. Build details for volunteers coming ASAP!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Full Stop

It is with our sincerest apologies and a truly epic level of frustration that we have to tell you the build date is being postponed. Again. The City's contractor has not been able to get the go ahead from Ontario One to start digging. So we wait. We're hoping for next weekend but to avoid having to send yet another update like this one, rescheduling our rescheduled date, we're going to wait until there are actually trucks on site to set up a new date. Whenever that is, we hope as many people as possible will be able to come out and get some plants in the ground and high five each other abundantly.

In the meantime, we'd like to extend a huge thanks to Ken Wellington, who is not a garden member but generously gave a big chunk of his time to build our raised garden beds. Don't they look awesome?

Friday, 16 May 2014

New New Build Dates

Due to circumstances and decision making entirely beyond our control, the size, orientation, layout and build dates for the garden are being moved again. The City has determined due to soil quality issues that the land needs to be excavated rather than tilled. The plus side is that we will have very nice new soil to work worth. The drawback is that the land size will be smaller (however we are working very hard to fit in all the beds we have promised members), will have a different fence style, and a more limited plan for the children's garden. The garden will also now face Almira. We will post more, including a revised design, as soon as we know anything. We are also going to be desperately seeking donations and sponsorship, as the increased cost of excavating has meant the City is unable to cover some of our other costs.

The excavation is planned for the week of May 26. We are tentatively planning for May 31/June 1 for building, and hopefully some planting, and then another planting date on June 8 if needed. Members and signed-up volunteers, you will be getting an email from Nicky with more details as soon as possible. Thank you sincerely for your patience.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

New Build Dates

Ah, Spring is finally upon us! But not soon enough. Even as we all trade in our Sorels for Crocs, Winter is thumbing its nose at us one last time: because of the unusually long, cold, snowy, horrible Winter, the City has had to push back all of its construction work, including tilling the garden site. As a result, we have changed our own garden build dates, as follows.

  • Construction: May 24 and 25, 10-2
  • Planting: May 31, 10-2

More details to come.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Up and Coming

Some important dates coming up!

April 10, 7 pm: Members orientation meeting at Cornell Library, Program room. This important meeting will provide detailed information about the garden guidelines, growing plan, scheduling, and harvesting.

April 26 and May 3, 10-2: Construction dates at the garden site. We need people (and wheelbarrows!) to help build beds, move soil, and start the first round of planting. Rain dates on April 27 and May 4.

A final note that membership is full for this year but we are maintaining a wait list. If you would like to be added, please email us at

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Garden Launch, February 27, 2014

Our launch event at the Cornell Library was a success! We have reached our membership target, with 26 households signed up at the time of this blog post. To anyone who couldn't make it but still wants to sign up, please get in touch as soon as possible. We will be starting a waiting list as well, if we run out of space.

A big welcome to all the families who signed up to be part of our pilot year. We are thrilled to have you all aboard. We are planning an orientation meeting for mid April to meet everyone in person and review details about when and how the garden will be planted, work schedules, and gardening tips. Information about the meeting will be sent to members by email as soon as we have the date and time confirmed.  

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The Main Event

The Cornell Community Garden is ready to grow!

Join us for an information and celebration open house

Thursday, February 27
7-9 p.m.
Cornell Library, behind the Main Desk

Find out
- Our plans for the 2014 pilot year and the future
- What it means to be a member in a communal garden: shared work, shared harvest
- How else you can support and enjoy the garden, as a volunteer, sponsor, community group or individual

Note that membership will be limited in number and selected from Cornell residents on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a $20 fee (payable by cash or cheque to Cornell Community Garden) and a season-long commitment to enroll.

We would like to thank the City of Markham and Markham Public Library for their ongoing support.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Cleared for Launch

Last week we cleared our final hurdle--a public consultation meeting hosted by Councillor Campbell--and received official approval for our garden space. We are busy working on finalizing the design (which will be posted soon), on soliciting sponsors to build the children's garden, and on planning our launch meeting, which will be the first opportunity for members to sign up. We should have a date for that very soon, but it will be an evening in late February or early March. In the meantime, we are always looking for more committee members, so get in touch if you want to be involved in the planning and management side of things in any way!