PBTO | Planter Box Toronto


You may have noticed a planter box pop up in front of a house or on a street corner in your neighbourhood. PBTO is a project to connect the people of Toronto to their food and community, and I would love your help—I need your help.


The idea is simple. PBTO (Planter Box Toronto, Plant Based Toronto...Potato By Toronto) is a collection of community farm boxes I build and scatter around Toronto so locals may grow plants in countless underused spaces of our city. Primary motivations:

• FOOD | Inspire city-dwellers to grow their own plants and food.

• ENVIRONMENT | Renew our public space, over-concretized and grassed, and blanket it with food plants.

• REUSE | Upcycle waste wood to create planter boxes for nurturing plant life in the city.

• BEAUTIFY | Transform ignored spaces with handsome wood planters containing flowers, herbs, fruits and veggies.

• COMMUNITY | Invite neighbours to get involved in cultivating our outdoor spaces and strengthen communities.

• HERBIVORE | Promote the benefits and ease of plant-based living.

• THE PotaTO INITIATIVE | It's an open secret. I want to turn all of Toronto into a potato patch. First by the hundreds. Eventually millions of organic potato plants offering their bounty of nutrition and winter-storable deliciousness to millions of people.


The ethos of this has long been TAKE A PLANT, LEAVE A PLANT, EAT A PLANT. So please do! If you see basil or strawberries or a shishito pepper you'd like to eat, enjoy! If you want to contribute a plant, do! The power of having food plants right on our streets will only be unlocked if you get involved, and that means more than caring for the plants, but enjoying their bounty too!


I urgently need people to help monitor the plants to pluck weeds, keep them watered, sing gently to them, and generally maintain. It doesn't have to be a huge operation. Popping over with a container of tap water to spread around is a marvelous way to foster plant life and make the city come alive with food and splendour.


All boxes are made from upcycled fence boards! I scour the GTA, asking people taking down their fences to donate the waste wood to PBTO, rather than send it to the dump or burn the boards. I am always looking for fence boards (nothing chemically-treated), 2x2s, wood screws, young food plants, and soil. I will happily trade you haunting or romantic stories about potatoes. Or simply gratitude. Get in touch using the form below if you have anything useful, or want clarification on what I need.


Watch this space for an augmented care section. As there are so many types of sun conditions, rainfall amounts, types of plants, and stages from seed development to harvest, it will take a mountain of information to cover everything. Submit questions using the form below, or search out the many great videos online from agriculture pros on plant care.


Would you like to take over one of the boxes? It’s easy and it's free. You'll just need a little time and water. Send me a message using the form below with your name and contact. You'll be in charge of watering and tending to your community box, and eventually harvesting and enjoying. Plus, you may get your name on the box!


If this project attracts enough people, I will unveil a more detailed order form with build options. For now, use the contact form below to get in touch if you would like me to build you your own box, or if you'd like to sponsor a current box...or more than one. I need the help!


If someone could benefit from a nearby box, or may want to help grow plants, let them know. So many of us have no access to outdoor space to grow our own plants, so I hope you feel welcome to do so with these PBTO community farm boxes.

© 2020 Mike Gallay

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