In 1998, single mother Lynn Kaplan, bought her home in Central Toronto from a traditonal Italian family. The backyard was already growing vegetables, the two cold storage rooms in the basement were ready for home canned food, cheeses and sausages. At the time Lynn owned and operated Whimz, a hands on animal education company. Her plan was to stay in the city for a few years and then move out onto a working farm. But after selling Whimz and falling in love with her "easy to walk everywhere" neighbourhood, Lynn decided to begin "farming" on her city homestead. She hatched and raised chickens, ducks and button quail (enjoying all the urban farm fresh eggs). She learned to can tomatoe sauce in the traditional Italian manner, plus began canning everything from nectarines to pickled carrots & mushrooms. She planted an urban orchard: apple, plum and cherry. Added in raspberries and goji berries and then, turned her entire front garden into a thriving vegetable patch. She even grew vegetables indoors over the cold Canadian winters. During this time, Lynn went back to school at York University to study to work as a Divorce Doula & Coach (www.lynnkaplan.ca) and raised her two children with nature all around them. She had established Dogwood Urban Farm.
In the winter of 2015, Lynn developed a passion for growing and designing indoor succulent gardens. Her background in Fine Arts from the California College of Art, Oakland, California gave her the base to begin this creative endeavour. Lynn recovers interesting containers from neighbourhood second hand stores and yard sales, using them as planters for her Indoor Succulent Gardens. Lynn has a policy of using only used containers.
Lynn's love for nature and animals has recently inspired her to begin producing self sustaining Aquaponic Vases filled with pathos plants, bamboo and betta fish, all in upcycled containers. She has also developed a way of pressing vegetables to keep their vibrant colours and then framing them in upcycled frames. Each framed piece contains a record of the farm where the vegetables were grown, the Farmers Market where they were purchased and the season of the year- a new way of preserving the crop.
Lynn continues to work as a Divorce Doula & Coach, while selling her collection of wares in local stores. These days she is fortunate to have her teenage son helping her with this thriving business, while her young adult daughter encourages her with many compliments and support. Lynn plans on continuing to live on her little patch of land in the middle of the Toronto as an Urban Farmer.
Welcome to Dogwood Urban Farm.