The SOIL Project – Growing food at hospitals and long term care facilities

Project Summary

Project SOIL (Shared Opportunities on Institutional Lands) is a feasibility study that explores the potential of on-site food production for public institutions through arrangements with local producers, particularly where access to farmland is limited and expensive.

The project builds on emerging production models that can flexibly adapt to institutional resources (including SPIn or Small Plot Intensive Farming), as well as land tenure models that could contribute to community food production. 


This project involved results of visioning sessions undertaken in 2016 with five institutions, to further gauge the potential of on-site food growing projects and gain insights to expand this approach. Each case summary includes details on initial interest, identification of possible barriers and responses, development of information on models, building connections with local producers, and sharing resources. Co-benefits identified include community engagement on local food production, health and wellbeing, job creation and training opportunities, patient rehabilitation programs and generation of funds needed to foster these types of programs.

The full summary report can be found here.


  • Project SOIL is funded by the New Directions Research Program, Ontario Ministry ofAgriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Project Staff
Linda Varangu - Project Lead
Dan Ritchie - Project Support

For further information contact:

Linda Varangu -