“She made me feel like there is really a place for a young, black woman in agriculture in the greater Toronto area,” said Aliyah Fraser during a session last fall.
By Megan Robinson
Mar 19, 2021
Sundance Harvest is located in a greenhouse in Downsview Park in the North York neighbourhood. She sells her seasonal produce, but at just 23-years-old, Sundance’s favourite part of her farm is mentoring the next generation of urban farmers.
If communities had the space and tools to provide for themselves, eating fresh food, grown in their own neighbourhood, could be a possibility and Sundance is trying to make that a reality through free programming she offers.
“I teach people to reconnect with the Earth,” she said.
Through a free 12-week mentorship program, Growing in the Margins, Sundance opens her greenhouse up to marginalized people in Toronto.
“The demographics of the program are youth who historically and currently right now face systemic barriers in the food system. So Black, Indigenous, persons of colour, youth with disabilities, both hearing and physical disabilities and also youth who are queer, trans, two-spirit and non-binary,” she said.
Since Sundance took over the greenhouse in 2018, she has been sharing the knowledge she’s gained as a mostly self-taught farmer. She also believes in paying herself and any seasonal workers a fair living wage.
“I had really decided not to go to the food bank model at Sundance Harvest because I think that the band-aid is not addressing a larger issue of systemic oppression.”
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