Guerrilla Gardening by the Skytrain

Hidasta beanAfter waiting for residency for more than a year, wondering how much longer I would be an illegitimate person was starting to wear on me. But, as they say, when the planets are in line everything falls into place. The full rose moon of June 7th, 2009 was such a day. I finally got my Canadian residency so that night I planted 13 Hidasta Shield Figure Pole beans (from The Cottage Gardener) to give my thanks to Vancouver, BC for welcoming and accepting us.

The previous year I had spent a lot of time walking the nearby streets admiring everyone’s fantastic gardens. I finally found the perfect spot on one of the Greenways of Vancouver. No one was using it, it got good sun and was just by a sky-train and rail-road tracks so it seemed a perfect spot. There is a lot more space available in this area, although much of it is under the tracks and wouldn’t get any rain.

It was the crack of dawn June 21st, summer solstice of 2009, Sunday morning and the perfect time to plant my first garden in Canadian soil. I had planted tons of tomato plants in spring and they were needing more space, little Mikko had planted a pumpkin seed at the Stone Soup festival in May and had forgotten it when he went home, and of course the beans I had planted two weeks earlier on June 7th were eager to get into the ground.

When I finally got to the greenway I was really lucky to find that the spot behind the Renfrew Skytrain station was not being used by anyone. I was soon digging near the fence and the bean bandits were in the ground, the tomato pirates and pumpkin prankster were planted along the fence as well. The ground was really stony and sandy. Probably if I had known more about the whole affair I would have tested the soil in this area before planting. Since reading the book The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming by Masanobu Fukuoka it seems I should have planted clover (which he calls green manure) to improve soil fertility and perhaps planted diakons the first year of the gardening.

I was very relieved to see the plants still there the next time I returned. In fact, the grass had even been carefully mowed all around the garden. I put a bit of worm poo around the roots to help give them some nutrients, but if anyone has any extra compost or fertilizer please feel free to add it. Also for anyone who is passing by and can share some water with the thirsty plants on a hot day, please feel free to give them a drink.

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Ruth Martinez

    That’s so awesome hellaD!! So cool that you found that place, and now that you know about the soil you can know better for next year =) They look like they’re at least growing though! And so cool that people are letting them be… that’s my favorite part. I like how you said that about planting them as thanks to Canada for accepting you, very sweet concept =).

    1. hellaD

      Yeah, I just have to get people helping me to water them now! It hasn’t been raining much this year. I thought it was meant to constantly rain in Vancouver!

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