Tuesday, July 7, 2009

and food for life!

London is not the only city to offer charming surprise gardens nestled up to busy corners. In fact, Vancouverites increasingly stroll past Community Gardens producing lettuce, carrots, squash, peas, and tomatoes in a delightful variety of configurations, interspersed cheerfully with colourful flowers. The City Farmer website provides a listing.
Here is a newcomer on the Vancouver scene, a Community Garden at the corners of Davie and Burrard -- while there may be concerns about the degree to which the soil has been remediated from its previous use, I am happy every time I walk past this. If nothing else, such scenes trigger our imaginations to make room for growing our food right where we live -- something that wasn't such a challenge only decades ago.
As well, although I haven't any shot of the gardeners, watching their obvious enjoyment as they wield shovels, rakes, trowels, and watering tins reminds us all of the valuable connection we need to nurture with the earth and also suggests that meaningful work can be play!

Do you have Community Gardens where you live? Or are you growing a few veggies in your own backyard? I'm sorry to admit that other than a small raspberry patch, I haven't done this for quite a few years, but it's on my list of goals. Maybe next year . . .
Meanwhile, I have my twin eight-year old nieces with me this week (trying to encourage my sister to actually rest the way a doctor's bed rest order means!), and we're off to visit our island's community gardens as soon as we have a bowl of the yummy granola we made last night. Good times!


  1. There are some community gardens around here and some variations on CSAs and cooperative farms. I think it is great. My current gardening of the edible variety is confined to raspberries, asparagus, sorrel, and rhubarb, although I used to have a full veggie garden. Maybe someday I will resume.

  2. I think what you describe are known as allotments over here. They are everywhere, very popular in this flat riddled metropolis.
    I have enough of a garden to grow all my own food but sadly I am just toooo lazy to get stuck in. Pick your own would be my limit, sadly any strawberries will have washed away in the storms.
    What a difference a day makes.

  3. On Saturday I ate two tomatoes straight from the vine. That taste of aliveness is something that you just can't buy.

    Hey, post that granola recipe. Please?

  4. Gosh, I'd love to have a vegetable garden. I haven't done anything in the garden since before I had the guys, and thank goodness I put in perennials! I'd love to get back to it. Our city has several neighborhoods that garden, including some in reclaimed ruins in the old centers. It's probably too late in the season, but those girls would probably love to help garden. I know Irene does.

  5. I am sure you know that you can put them to work gathering seaweed at the very least..granola sounds yummy....

  6. Mardel: I envy you the asparagus!
    Alison: We've just experienced a big weather change as well . . . and altho' I know the rain is much needed, I'm missing that sunshine.
    LBR: Tomatoes from the vine are my favourite -- and I love the smell of tomatoe -- fruit, leaves, and all! And I'll try to get 'roung to the granola recipe -- it's a good one, I must say.
    Dana: Yes, 8-year olds can still be convinced to find so many household tasks fun -- gardening especially.
    Kath: They tried to collect some seaweed for me yesterday, but the weather hasn't been very co-operative.

  7. There were community gardens near where I lived in the inner city of Melbourne, but where I am now in suburbia, we have such big gardens there is no need.

    Looks yum!

  8. We have them, but the waiting list is so long to get a plot that I think I'll be pushing up cucumbers before eating them. Harvest mint from the back lane but have nothing edible in my garden (except the roses, devoured by aphids); some of my neighbors grow nothing that can't be eaten. I love guerrilla gardens!

  9. Imogen: We have a Community Garden on our island despite the fact that every home has a large yard -- I think the project was inspired by the fact that so many people have space, but not enough sunlight or good soil. As well, many of my neighbours love the more social approach to gardening and it's become a great community builder -- produce is put out for sharing every Sunday a.m.
    Duchesse: The trouble with the vegetable gardening, for me, is that it requires almost daily attention for an intense period and as long as we're travelling in May/June, it's just not going to happen here. Like you, I love to admire guerrilla and even domestic veggie gardens elsewhere, and I dream about having my own again eventually. (btw, do you make mint tea?)


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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