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Islamic Foundation of Toronto Community Garden

Guest blog by Sajeda Khan, Social Services Coordinator

The Faith & the Common Good community garden project is an amazing project. To begin, the excitement of sharing our sacred spaces was marvellous, especially for common ground.

The senior volunteers and gardeners were looking forward to spring and their favourite hobby is to plant plants, especially native plants and vegetables. 

We began with planting the native plants.

Monarda Fistulosa is a wild flower in the mint family, widespread and abundant. It is a native plant of North America. It’s also known as bee balm.

Echinacea Purpurea, commonly called purple coneflower, is a coarse, rough –hairy, herbaceous perennial that is native to most prairies.

Asclepias turnerosa, commonly called butterfly weed, is a tuberous rooted, Missouri native perennial which occurs in dry and rocky open woods, glades, prairies.

Verbena hastana is a flowering plant in the vernain family, Verbenaceae. It is an herb with opposite, simple leaves which have double –serrate margins.


Stage 1 as we planted them.


Current growth of the plants as they bloom with flamboyant colours.

Our community garden is maintained by our volunteers and summer students. Summer students and volunteers did a spring clean-up, planted the native plants, and vegetables including eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, regular and hot peppers, lettuce. The summer students were also involved with helping clean and prepare the garden for the incoming plants. Clearing the area of pinecones and helping prepare the soil, the summer students were of great help to the community garden.


Our Garden Today

The lettuce seems to grow healthy and is showing great results compared to other plants. Chillies have started growing and squash are currently flowering. About four tomatoes have grown on one plant and we are waiting for the others to bloom. This summer was hot and the growth for plants seemed to be slow, hopefully they may grow faster once the weather gets normal. Seeing the slow growth and the entire process of gardening gives us a sense of appreciation to our farmers who sell abundant fruit and vegetables for us in the markets.        

Our volunteer gardener has great knowledge about native plants as he works in a nursery and he has promised to do a workshop on native plants alone, so our seniors can decorate their own gardens with these plants to attract bugs, bees and nature into their lives.


The lettuce will be shared with our seniors group, as we tend to start our seniors group program from July 28th.

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