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Transition Guelph's tool library coming soon

Open house slated for July 16.
20160623 tools ro
If you have any of these you don't need, Transition Guelph's Tool Library could use them.

Transition Guelph’s Urban Food Working Group is close to opening its new tool library.

The organization began planning for the tool sharing component of its programs back in April. At that time, the group was looking for a location to store the tools. It has found one in the historic Trafalgar Building at 123 Woolwich Street downtown.

Susan Carey, chair of the group, said a number of tool donations have come in and the lending will most likely start in the summer.

The focus of the library is food production tools of all kinds, not just the digging in the soil type, but the working in the kitchen variety as well – from shovels and hoes, to dehydrators and pressure canners. The library will have tools that grow food, and tools that process food.

Carey said she recently asked mayor Cam Guthrie to support the effort. The mayor sent a request out to the community for further tool donations to go into the inventory, she said.

“We are getting ready for the final push,” she said. “We have a location. We have shelves up and inventory in place. And we’re setting up a database.”

While there is not hard opening date yet, a prelaunch open house is happening during Urban Farm Tour Guelph on July 16.

“We’re going to have an online database, similar to one that Toronto has,” Carey said. “And so people will be able to go there and search for the tool they need. They can look at the various offerings and actually book it.”

There will be office hours for the library, but that detail has yet to be finalized, she added.   

“We were motivated initially by all the tools you need for backyard food production,” she added. “But when you think about it, that sometimes means you need a saw because you’re building a chicken coop or a garden shed. So, we’ve pretty much been accepting whatever gets donated.”

A number of garden hand tools have been donated, including wheelbarrows and rototillers. There are picking poles for fruit trees and some pruning equipment as well.

The Urban Food Working Group runs a number of programs, including the Appleseed Collective, which gathers unused fruit from local trees and distributes them to those who can use it. It also has its Guelph Community Orchard, which tends to fruit trees and berry bushes in two locations on city land.

Earlier this year, the group started the Urban Sugaring Project, which makes maple syrup from local trees. It's Guelph Forages program assists residents to find edible native plants.

If you have tools to donate send an email to [email protected].


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Rob O'Flanagan

About the Author: Rob O'Flanagan

Rob O’Flanagan has been a newspaper reporter, photojournalist and columnist for over twenty years. He has won numerous Ontario Newspaper Awards and a National Newspaper Award.
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