Recycled Balcony Garden 09

We haven't gotten that much rain this year and the hot dry weather brought out the spider mites. This is the balcony garden before they ravaged my beans. But you can see how well the potatoes, tomatoes, rose, purslane, chilis and even the rainbow chard are doing.

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Late Spring Cherry Carpets

Vancouver BC has amazing cherry blossoms all over the city in Spring, many of these alleys of candy floss have old trees that branch right over the road, creating clouds of pink fluff, tender carpets out of the asphalt roads and perfume the air with sweet happiness.

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Sprouting Balcony Garden 09

Previous :: Next Once we got some garden beds built and put the beans in they took off. Added a couple of bamboo poles. This end of the balcony gets the best sunlight and if the beans grow vigorously perhaps they will make a curtain for our bedroom window. The coriander, radish, squash, poppy and beans sprouted happily. Part III…

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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.

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Sugar and Intuition as Monsanto Strikes Again

Roger's Sugar Refinery

Consumption of refined sugar is the most pleasant means of gradual suicide.

On Easter Monday (April 13, 2009) we finally stepped out of the house and went on an excursion. The cherry blossoms are out in Vancouver and Spring is finally in the air. We hadn’t been out in months. We decided to head down to False Creek and check out how the building of the Olympic Village was going.

Along the walk I kept getting Midnight Oil’s song Blue Sky Mine popping into my head. To be honest I am not sure if this happened before or after I took the photos of the old Canadian Sugar Refinery Building, but it probably doesn’t really matter. I found it interesting that this song kept nagging at me as it has been a very long time since I have heard music in my head like this.

Vancouver’s sugar refinery was established in 1890, by B. T. Rogers and was the beginning of Rogers Sugar. It was:

Ideally located to receive shipments of raw cane sugar from Pacific regions and to access Canada’s rapidly developing western markets.source

The refinery was Vancouver’s first major industry not based on logging or fishing. The Vancouver refinery is an efficient, productive facility to this day, and $1 million is invested annually in this plant. source

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Urban Flowers 01: Vancouver BC

The gardeners of Vancouver BC create stunning gardens full of color. Gardens in this city have become a synthesis of the many cultures that have come together and now live side by side, sharing seeds and garden tips. These are a selection of some of my favorite flowers.

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Planting Balcony Garden 09

Next It was a long cold winter this year and many plants were killed by the ton of snow Vancouver got. Luckily we have a spare room that does quite well as a greenhouse in the spring. I ordered some of my favorite plants from my favorite seed companies, in fact I even became a member of the Hudson Seed…

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Early Spring Cherry Blossoms

Vancouver BC has amazing cherry blossoms all over the city in Spring, many of these alleys of candy floss have old trees that branch right over the road, creating clouds of pink fluff, tender carpets out of the asphalt roads and perfume the air with sweet happiness.

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Food Justice For All

Published in Far West Almanac, 2009. A Food Justice Forum in Vancouver, BC was geared to generate a variety of solutions to the issues of getting nourishing food to the lowest income groups in the downtown area, while still paying the farmers a living wage. This is an issue that cities around the world have been working to overcome. Belo…

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