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What is Gallay Farmbox?

A project to help city-dwellers grow food where they live. Gallay salvages wood intended for landfill, rebuilds it into Farmboxes, then residents use the boxes to grow food to harvest for themselves or share with neighbours.

What is the long-term goal of Farmbox?

Inspire people to grow plants, share homegrown food, fight inflation, while transforming under-considered spaces into a novel model of sustainable city-living. Turn Toronto into the largest free potaTO farm in the world!


Who is Gallay?

Gallay is an artist whose work centres on compassion for all creatures at the intersection of sincerity and silliness.

Do you offer a pronunciation key?

Bike Valet, Like Ballet, Mike Gallay.

How would I contact Gallay?

q u e s t i o n s @ g a l l a y . c o m


How do I order a Farmbox?

Click Order A Box! to submit a request.

How much does a Farmbox cost?

They are FREE! The standard Farmbox is absolutely free if you are placing it in public view (ie. front yard, shared laneway, condo yard). The purpose of the project is multi-faceted, but part is to encourage people to grow food where they live so we want first to equip locations visible to the public.

Why is there a cost for backyard or balcony Farmboxes?

Much as we'd like to build free Farmboxes for every setting, the project encourages people to grow in underused public spaces—why not food plants instead of grass or hedges or hardscape? Many have reached out regarding private-space Farmboxes, so we now offer them for a low cost. Proceeds go into the free Farmboxes so it aids in our own sustainability.

How long will it take to get my Farmbox?

Demand is high so there are no promised timelines for delivery. Dozens to hundreds are distributed every week. If you put in an order and are on the list, we'll get to you (get in touch if you think we may have missed fulfilling your order).

Where can I display my Farmbox(es)?

For the free Farmboxes, any publicly-viewable space! Front yards, laneways, shared condo yards, apartment building frontages, traffic medians—all great. For custom backyard or balcony Farmboxes, put 'em wherever you wanna grow.


How to repair or replace a broken or stolen box?

Sorry to hear about that. Let's face it, these Farmboxes are made from upcycled wood and over time are going to break down. We are trying to give the wood an extended life, not an eternal one. If your box has been damaged by age or water or whatever, shoot us a line at or using the query form on the Farmbox page and we will try to repair it or get you a new one. If your box has been stolen we will replace it, though we cannot guarantee timing.

How to protect from theft?

Best best is to keep the Farmbox filled with soil and plants. When the boxes are in use, vandalism and theft rarely occur. When the Farmboxes feel neglected, sometimes they grow legs.

Is there a warranty for the condition of my Farmbox(es)?

In short, no. We try to repair a damaged box or replace a stolen one, but there is no guarantee nor warranty, regardless whether your Farmboxes were free or paid. We just aren't set up to guarantee the lifespan of repurposed wood subject to elements and realities of city life. Farmboxes are meant to be ephemeral—to encourage and foster sustainability.

Is there a warranty if I paid for my Farmbox?

No. We do our best to make sure each Farmbox is solidly constructed, and certainly let us know if the box fails from normal use in the first season, but we can't guarantee the lifespan of upcycled wood.

What is the ¢ sign—often written as GALLAY¢—I see on some of the boxes?

We use the ¢ (cent symbol) as a short hand for "dot com" or ".com". It kinda looks like a d smooshed with a c, and since inflation is high, the symbol doesn't get used much so time to upcycle it!


Is it safe to consume food plants grown in the Farmboxes?

We think so. No publicly-grown food can be guaranteed 100% safe, so always take care to wash all plant materials you remove from any Farmbox (as you should with all produce). Much like anything grown outside, plants are subject to elements and animals which could contaminate the food, so we can't give a health guarantee. If you feel uncomfortable about the condition of any fruit or vegetable, legume or herb, do not consume it. As well, if you are growing root vegetables (ones grown below the soil such as potato, beet, carrot or radish) you can eliminate almost any risk by peeling the vegetable prior to cooking or consumption.

What are you doing to prevent toxins from pressure-treated lumber potentially leaching into the soil?

Classic Farmboxes are built with open-bottoms, so gravity does the vast majority of the work, as anything which might leach off the wood will naturally trickle down into the soil below and not move a great distance from the walls. You can read an informative and annotated explanation of safety considerations at this link. We avoid the use of very old wood, using salvaged wood of the new ACQ standard (which contains no arsenic, the standard concern with pressure-treated lumber). Even with an older wood or paint, the risk of any contamination is very low but certainly do your own research. You may start by reading these related discussions from Oregon State University and Iowa State University. We offer to wrap your Farmbox(es) in a plastic sheeting, thereby creating a leak-proof barrier between the roots of your plants and the container wood, and it has the added benefit of prolonging the life of your Farmbox as there isn't the eroding pressures of wet soil up against the wood walls. (Certainly, feel free to add your own protective plastic sheeting or impermeable membranes as desired.) We also recommend you grow your food plants in the middle of the Farmbox, as opposed to right up against the edges of the wood, though that would be true regardless of box construction.


What should I expect when my boxes arrive?

We deliver the Farmbox(es) to you (or to the agreed-upon location). We will let you know in advance which day we are delivering, and will make every attempt to contact you on the day (which is why we ask for a phone number in case we need it during delivery). If we can't reach you, and there is a safe location to stash the Farmbox, we will do so. Pickups from our workshop are also available a couple times per season.

Who supplies soil and plants?

At the birth of the project, we offered soil and seeds and starter plants upon installation. Unfortunately, Farmbox has expanded so much we can no longer afford to install the boxes with soil and plants. If you are concerned due to a physical or financial limitation, let us know and if we can help supply soil or plants, we will. We want to get you growing.


How is the Farmbox watered or maintained?

Once the Farmboxes are deployed into the world it's incumbent upon you to take care of them. Frequently people in the community help out, but mostly it takes you popping over with a container of tap water every day or two to keep all those delicious food plants thriving. We recommend starting out with herbs or potato—something simple and hearty—so you don't feel overwhelmed with maintenance demands and still get a great result!

Who harvests?

You do! Enjoy your bounty. In an ideal circumstance, members of the community will also harvest, as we have many thriving Farmboxes serving as community herb gardens, pepper pots, bean dispensaries, and so much more.


How do I let people know what is growing in the Farmbox?

We are eventually going to offer a collection of signs with various fruits, veggies, legumes and herbs which may be growing in the box. Feel free to make your own in the meantime. We will also be producing little signs suggesting neighbours harvest from your box...but not take the entire plant. (Also, feel free to make a sign to name your Farmbox!)


How do I give a gift of soil/seeds/money/wood/my time?

Please message directly to q u e s t i o n s @ g a l l a y . c o m and all will be revealed.

How to buy a book? Or merch? What's the store??

The Gallay Store will be launching with various books, audiobooks and bespoke merch. Profits go directly towards the sustainability of the project.

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