The Failing Food System

Nowadays the whole food system - from production to processing and distribution - is mainly controlled by transnational corporations. Since 2007 these companies such as Monsanto, DuPont, Bayer, Cargill, Sinochem, Nestlé (to name just a few) have seen increases in their profits.


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.



Thoughts on Guerrilla Gardening

Reclaimed GreenspaceThere are as many ways to guerrilla garden as there are stars in the sky, and that is the best thing about it. The best way to do it is your way and to just get started. Many people love to make seed bombs and drop them as a group, other people love sneaking privately about the city — planting plots. Some people like to be highly organized — others random and without a thought. The main thing that holds it all together is that we are people reclaiming the land around us, reaching out and getting involved, hanging around and making sure that it grows, and grows and is a pleasure for all who pass by.

I have recently started reading the book The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka and his natural farming methods have astonished me and made me rethink what little I thought I knew about growing plants. I was already familiar with Rudolf Steiner’s methods of biodynamic farming, yet even so this book has been a real mind-opener.

Although I have been planting things in random places for a few years I haven’t had a chance to really take over a piece of land in an urban setting until this year. I spent much of last year walking the streets around my area checking out pieces of land. I didn’t want it to be too far from where we live in case it didn’t rain much and I had to haul water every day. I didn’t want it next to a main road to avoid the pollution from car exhaust, and I wanted it to get plenty of sun and rain. I finally found a good spot on the Greenway under the skytrain and next to the train tracks not too far from our apartment.