The Backyard Caring Program is the gardening and homesteading project branch of The Guelph Tool Library. Focusing on accessible skill sharing and educational programming based around urban food production, gardening tools, backyard chickens, houseplants and cooking with homegrown harvests. We also strive to support the local community with soil testing workshops, urban food production, greening initiatives, and community garden projects.

Starting in the fall of 2018, BYC has been committed to providing the community with free or affordable (pay-what-you-can) workshops first hosted in the old Guelph Tool Library location of Tytler Public School and with our local partner organizations.

In collaboration with The Guelph Seed Library, Backyard Caring has hosted a number of workshops on plant breeding and seed saving. In 2019 we hosted an interactive seed saving workshop at The Zero Waste Festival and had an absolute blast. We look forward to conducting similar workshops in the future.

2020 handed everyone a wild card and was a transformative year for the Guelph Tool Library and subsequently the Backyard Caring Program. We had to get creative with our workshops and in-person activities. In April 2020, Backyard Caring jumped online and started doing livestream garden tours and how-to’s on Instagram. Recordings of these live streams are available for viewing on the Backyard Caring and Guelph Tool Library Instagram IGTV. In June we hosted a Zoom Workshop building DIY rain-barrels. Patrons purchased a rain barrel kit and met up together on Zoom for an instructional lesson on the build and troubleshooting with coordinators. Overall the year taught us to stay hopeful and get creative with our programming and we hope to carry that with us moving forward. We are very excited to eventually host workshops in the new Guelph Tool Library location at the Old Quebec Street Shoppes downtown Guelph. In 2021 we hope to continue the free livestreams and try some new Zoom workshops until we can once again gather around gardening education.

Upcoming Events

All of our workshops are posted on our social media or events calendar at the Guelph Tool Library. In January 2021 the Live Streams will recommence at a new time of 3pm EST on instagram @backyardcaring and will be available for viewing on IGTV and Facebook prior to recording. 

January 20th

Indoor Composting

How to start composting at home and inside! Save your kitchen scraps and make the most of your food waste using various indoor and small scale composting methods.

January 27th

Micro-Greens & Lettuce

This online workshop is all about microgreens and how to grow them, and starting your own salad greens indoors during the cold months for a supply all winter long!

February 3rd

Choosing Grow Lights

We will be talking all about choosing and making your own indoor grow-lights for plants and seedlings. Whether you’re looking to grow greens indoors, start seedlings or give your houseplants supplemental light this will be the livestream for you!

February 10th

Off-Season Garden Planning

This comprehensive workshop will feature tips and tricks for planning your dream food garden before spring is knocking at the door. Learn how to design raised beds, vertical garden structures and plant spacing.

Contact us for more!

Meredith Sweeney
@backyardcaring on Instagram
Backyard Caring Program on Facebook