How A Self-Taught Toronto Farmer Is Tackling Inequality And Food Insecurity

Cheyenne Sundance, a 23-year-old self-taught Toronto farmer, is tackling inequalities within the agriculture industry and addressing food insecurity among racialized people through her project, Growing in the Margins.

Started in 2019, the free 12-week program caters to youth between 18 to 25 who are low-income and self-identify as Black, Indigenous or a person of colour (BIPOC), LGBTQ+ and/or a person living with a disability. The course is open both to drop-ins and in-depth mentorships and takes place at Sundance Harvest Farm in Downsview Park. The program offers youth with the education and land to start their own farms.

"I was very food insecure growing up and I had a hard time dealing with that, and when I got older, I was interested in local food and organic farming, but I found I was often not reflected in those worlds,” Sundance said in article by “People didn’t look like me who were the farmers, and when I was growing up I never thought I could be because that wasn’t offered as an opportunity to me.”

Growing in the Margins offers classes like Tomatoes 101, Worm Composting and Fertilizers and Microgreens, among others. But it also teaches other subjects in order to run a successful farm, like business planning, crop planning and marketing.

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