In 1998, single mother Lynn Kaplan, bought her home in Central Toronto from a traditional 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 tomato 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.
Lynn's love for getting into wild untouched areas was fulfilled as a city dweller by exploring all the natural outdoor spaces that Toronto has to offer; the ravines, lake areas, river ways, conservation areas and parks. With either children or dogs in tow, her knowledge of the trees, plants, birds, bugs and wildlife grew. Along with learning the history of the areas back to what were once Indigenous pathways to the rich farming history of Toronto. While watching flowers and trees bloom, her understanding of the great benefits of Nature Therapy (eco-therapy) and Outdoor Education also bloomed.
PUT TOGETHER A GROUP OF EXPERTS :
Tamar - art therapist
Micha Chetrit- Outdoor Education Expert
Lynn continues to work as a Divorce Doula & Coach, 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.