About us


Growing Up Organic is a garden based educational program for children and youth, delivered by COG OSO in the City of Ottawa.

GUO partners with schools to support the establishment of school garden programs as the basis for experiential education at all grade levels. We provide educators with the essential tools to start these initiatives with confidence and ongoing support. Our garden-based workshops, delivered on-site at school gardens and made available online, provide teachers with building blocks and a model for integrating hands-on food literacy into their pedagogy.

GUO is focused on empowerment, 

through our strategic focus on education, we hope to foster a generation of children and youth with

greater food literacy, life-long healthy eating habits, increased food skills and an understanding of local and global environmental issues.

We are also part of the Ottawa School Food Network which consists of non-profit agencies and community initiatives working to increase Good Food within schools city-wide.



Canadian Organic Growers envisions a regenerative and resilient food and farming system across Canada. COG provides education, advocacy and leadership to help build an agricultural system that empowers farmers and consumers, enhances human health, builds community and mitigates climate change while increasing Canadian food sovereignty.


Over the last 30 years COG Ottawa, and now COG Ottawa – St. Lawrence – Outaouais (or COG OSO for short), has been delivering programs and services for farmers, gardeners, educators, and people who care about healthy food and healthy environments. As a regional chapter of a registered national charity, COG OSO focuses its work on providing primarily educational services.


Chloé Laberge

Growing Up Organic Program Manager

Chloé Laberge is a forest & bog enthusiast as well as a folk gardener committed to growing, eating and saving bio-diverse heritage seeds. She has worked in the organic food sector for years, and is passionate about radical environmentally friendly education! She joined the Growing Up Organic team as an organic gardening workshop facilitator in 2019, and became Program Manager in 2020.

Favourite tree : cedar
Favourite vegetable : carrot
Favourite wild flower: pearly everlasting
Favourite bird : chickadee
Favourite fruit: russet apple
Favourite Mushroom: Reishi

Émilie Lemieux

Growing Up Organic Program Manager

Émilie has over 7 years experience working in community development and food security in Montreal and Ottawa. Her focus has been on food security initiatives and a desire to experience working on a small-scale organic farm is what brought her to the La Pêche area a few years ago where she worked for a season. Currently, Émilie is Program Manager for Growing Up Organic (GUO) and has been since 2017. She is passionate about alternative education and enjoys exploring new topics related to outdoor experiential learning.  

Favourite Tree: Sugar Maple
Favourite Vegetable: Butternut Squash
Favourite Wild Flower: GoldenRod
Favourite Bird: Owls
Favourite fruit: Wild raspberries
Favourite bug: Dragonfly

Our advisory board

Our advisory board brings together a group of teacher leaders and community workers from the Ottawa area who care deeply about food literacy and want to ensure a place for this alternative type of teaching/learning for future generations.

David Farlay

Alissa Campbell

Stephen Skoutajan

Dominique Patnaik

Rachel Murphy

Michelle Richardson

Tom Marcantonio