Today's maker is Black Creek Community Farm. We caught up with its Director, Leticia Deawuo, to get more insight on how the organization has been doing since the pandemic started.
A little background: BCCF 's focus is to increase access to healthy food in the Jane-Finch community of Toronto through programming and food distribution projects. It was founded by Everdale Environmental Learning Centre, FoodShare, and African Food Basket and has operated as a start-up focused on improving food security, reducing social isolation, and improving employment and education outcomes since its inception in 2012.
One of the primary goals of BCCF is to grow food for the people who live and work in the Jane-Finch area. Pre-Covid, the farm was providing educational programs for children from kindergarten to high school and was aslo selling the vegetables they grow on-site, with a price structure designed to allow lower income families to afford the offerings.
Black Creek Community Farm also puts in place urban harvest programs where surplus harvest is collected from homes, backyards and community gardens and then shared with food banks in the community. The goal of these initiatives is to not only provide access to good food, but also to help impart food knowledge (like food preservation techniques) and encourage a passing on of that knowledge to others in the community.
Not surprisinlgy, many of these intitiatives are currently on hold due to the pandemic which is making it difficult for the farm to continue its everyday operations without operating at a loss. BCCF has been able to run some of their initiatives, like workshops, virtually, but not to the degree it was before.
BCCF has launched their Plant a Seed campaign which aims at recovering revenue loss and is encouraging those who are able to donate to do so. With that goal in mind, BCCF's staff have created their own hot sauce to help raise funds. We have added the Harvest Heat Habanero hot sauce to our market and will be donating100% of the proceeds to the farm, so you can shop for it here.
Tasting notes: The hot sauce is made with habanero peppers, squash, garlic and cayenne peppers grown at their farm. It definitely has a kick but it's rounded out by bright and citrusy notes. Originally from Ghana, Leticia Deawuo loves to drizzle the hot sauce over jollof, a Ghanaian spiced rice, alongside salad.
Want to help further? Consider donating to BCCF and taking part in their initatives. The Jane/Finch community they service faces multiple systemic barriers from housing to employment to health challenges. Systemic racism disproportionately affects Black, Indigenous, immigrant and racialized communities and this has worsened due to the current pandemic. To date, BCCT has delivered almost 5000 food emergency boxes to over 2,500 households in the community. The boxes are a way for the community to take care of one another but donations are needed to sustain the farm and keep their gates open in these exceptional times.
Photography courtesy of Black Creek Community Farm