A FoodShare Toronto and CAMH partnership, the Sunshine Garden is a plot of tranquility and reprieve in the middle of the city. The Sunshine Garden, Canada’s first ever market garden on hospital grounds, operates as a recreational gardening program for clients. Each year, over 30 CAMH in-patients and out-patients enjoy the therapeutic returns of nurturing the garden, while getting to know their neighbours and breathing in fresh air.
During the spring and summer, clients grow great things in the garden. They compost waste, cook, preserve and sell the harvest at the Garden Market. During the winter and fall, clients work in the greenhouse, raise seedlings and learn via workshops.
Sometimes land can be more than a garden, it can be a medicine and a salve. When residents of Parkdale visit the the Sunshine Market Garden, when they buy patty-pan squash and when they speak with the gardeners that nurture the land, mental illness is destigmatized. Perceptions are changed and good health is cultivated.