AGB Community Garden fall planting and harvest

Miinikaan Outdoor Workshops and Community Garden skill-share event


Lemonbalm in the AGB Community Garden, Ceramic garden marker by Heather Kuzyk

Summer is over. I’m sorry.

BUT at the Art Gallery of Burlington (AGB), we are looking forward to the cooler days of autumn and harvesting the bounty of botanicals from our Community Garden. This year, AGB built a garden by its Lakeshore entrance to safely provide programming opportunities outdoors for connecting and learning together. A dedicated team of volunteers, guilds, docents, and staff tended to the herb and flower beds to grow organic material for crafting, nourishing, and healing.

Plant matter harvested from the plots serve as natural art materials and medicinals for a series of free, in-person workshops and demos hosted by landscape design team Miinikaan, the Burlington Handweavers and Spinners Guild, herbalist Meru Parmar, and educator Rosalinda Charlton in the Community Garden.

We begin a new growth cycle with Miinikaan (‘the SEED’ in Ojibwe). Members of the collective host planting workshops focused on Indigenous agroecology teachings so that we may cultivate relationships between people and plants by learning about the foods, medicines, and habitats alive in our space.


Chef Johl Whiteduck with strawberry leaf at Bickford Park

Strawberry medicine teachings
Jim Adams, aka Many Hats
Wednesday, September 29 @ 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Jim shares stories about the strawberry and how we came to know of the plant and its medicinal properties. His teachings encompass how strawberry is likened to the heart, to debwewin; and how the strawberry propagates with runners which are like the veins in our own bodies. They are like the connection to each other, to community, to the earth, to life. The strawberry has significance in healing, and in Jim’s personal stories and his family. Participants are invited to help transplant wild strawberry seedlings into the gallery’s raised bed gardens. Register online.

The Four Sacred Medicines
Chef Johl Whiteduck
Wednesday, October 6 @ 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Chef Johl Whiteduck introduces teachings about the Sacred medicines: Asemaa (tobacco), Giizhik (cedar), Wiingashk, (Sweetgrass) and Mshkodewashk (Sage). These plants are some of our oldest ancestors, and teachers of the Anishinawbe. Johl’s 16+ year journey of Indigenous Food Sovereignty has led him to seeds, plants, and medicines, and the reclaiming and relearning of Indigenous knowledge about planting ceremonies. Even the smallest of urban garden spaces can grow plant medicines and demonstrate Indigenous agroecology practices. Through Miinikaan Innovation and Design, Johl has co-designed Indigenous teaching gardens that invite curiosity and cultivate the relationships between people and our plant ancestors. As Johl presents the teachings, we will plant sacred medicines into raised garden beds at the AGB. Register online.

Fall Harvest Fair & Skill-share
Saturday, October 9 @ 12 – 3pm
Rain or Shine – no pre-registration required

Gather in the garden to explore and learn about how common plants can create non-toxic materials for textiles, art and craft production, and medicinal applications.

Using marigolds from the garden, the Burlington Handweavers and Spinners Guild will illustrate how plant-based dyes can create a variety of vibrant colours. This flora and fibre demonstration reviews the basics of natural dyeing; including identifying which local plants are great for natural dyes and how to identify them, how to formulate dyes, and which natural fibres and tools you need to begin creating at home.

Meru Parmar demonstrates how plant medicines and functional foods can be gentle remedies for common conditions. Learn how creating salves, poultices, tea/infusions, and tinctures with plants and roots can aid in alleviating ailments such as seasonal allergies, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, insomnia, and osteoarthritis. Take away samples of Meru’s “all purpose” healing salve for cuts, scrapes, and common skin conditions.

Rosalinda Charlton’s chlorophyll painting activity is fun for the family to learn about natural plant-based paints and inks together. Discuss the rules of foraging, and how to extract pigments from natural materials as you paint and experiment with colour.

Come for the activities, stay for the tea.
The team has grown plants recommended by herbalist-healers Amina Suhrwardy, Jamie Ross, and Isola Tong, for tisane recipes designed to fortify, strengthen, relax, and relieve. Join us for a free drink.

ON VIEW at the AGB


Harlan House, Chris Broadhurst Night Landscape Vase, 1991. Thrown porcelain, glaze. Donated by Joan Bennett, 1998. Designed by Paul Cavanaugh.

How to Read a Vessel
September 10, 2021 – January 9, 2022
Curators: Tara Bursey, Suzanne Carte, Ness Lee, Su-Ying Lee, and Christine Saly-Chapman

Jugs & Cans: A Reaping
September 10, 2021 – January 9, 2022
Artist: Ivy Knight

Slow Cloth
September 10, 2021 – January 9, 2022
Artists: Burlington Handweavers and Spinners Guild

Eccentric Coincidence
July 2021 – July 2022
Artists: Z’otz* Collective

The AGB Community Garden is supported by the Government of Canada’s Healthy Communities Initiative. The AGB is generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Trillium Foundation, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Art Gallery of Burlington is proud to acknowledge that the land where it is located is part of the ancient Dish With One Spoon Treaty and also the Brant Tract Purchase, Treaty No. 3 3/4 of 1795, and it is grateful to the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and the Six Nations of the Grand River for sharing this territory. The Art Gallery of Burlington is located at 1333 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, Ontario.

1333 Lakeshore Road Burlington, ON L7S 1A9