This is a series of photos taken by Angela Gong at Fresh City Farms’ Downsview Park location. The photos highlight various components of the urban farming experience, as well as the changes that occurred with physical distancing measures and pandemic-related closures. Click here to read more about Angela’s experience farming with her family. 

April 22, 2017. A bean seedling in the Fresh City Farms greenhouse at Downsview Park. Member Farmers have access to greenhouse space for the first few months of the growing season to cultivate seedlings and prepare for outdoor transplant.  When the pandemic started, Member Farmers at Fresh City Farms were still allowed to use the greenhouse, with limitations on the number of people working inside at the same time.

July 16, 2017. Several flowers blooming on a sunflower stalk. In the background, the busy Keele and Sheppard intersection bustles. We often hear cars honking and people chatting as the soundtrack for our farming experience.

May 16, 2018. Sunset at Downsview Park after an evening of farming. Crops are sheltered from pests by a row cover, which is anchored in place using bricks and pipes brought from home.

August 28, 2019. Our 2019 garlic and potato yields. Of the 550 bulbs harvested that year, the largest bulbs were further separated into 750 cloves to be planted during Thanksgiving weekend. The remaining bulbs were stored for use throughout the year, or given to family and friends for planting and consumption. Our family shares many of our extra yields with other farmers, friends, and neighbours, in order to share our farming experience

April 18, 2020. In the early days of pandemic-related closures, farming provided much-needed time outside for my family. Uninterrupted land access was critical in mitigating some negative physical and mental health effects of the pandemic, demosntrating why community gardens should stay open during times such as these.

June 14, 2020. A row of thriving swiss chard plants. While many plants, planted at the start of pandemic-related closures Urban growers who could not access land in the first few months of restrictions missed a critical time for planting seedlings, thus delaying the time to harvest and reducing their crop diversity for this season.

June 14, 2020. A view of Fresh City Farms with the Keele and Sheppard intersection in the horizon. The large open space at the farm makes it easy for Member Farmers to adhere to physical distancing measures during the pandemic.

June 28, 2020. In regular years, Fresh City Farms hosts weekly U-Picks where the public can come to the farm to pick and buy their own produce. While the U-Picks are not running this summer, Fresh City has installed a fridge next to the field, stocked with produce for self-serve, so the public can still visit the farm to grab some fresh vegetables.