City Farming — New York Mag Article

In a recent New York Magazine feature entitled “My Empire of Dirt“, writer Manny Howard takes on the arduous task of growing a farm, complete with flora and fauna in his Brooklyn backyard to explore just what is involved in trying to feed himself locally for one month. The results are a humorous and slightly

City Razes Garden

I walked outside the other day, into the street garden with scissors in hand to clip some flowers intended for the host of a party I was attending. As I bent over to snip a few Black-eyed Susan stems I discovered that the flowers were completely gone. All that remained were the ragged ends of

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Food That Hardly Travels at All

A friend pointed me to this opinion piece in the New York Times that looks at the Eat Local concept as a way to mark environmental impact in food production. The article describes a New Zealand study that challenges the assumption that distance traveled automatically means higher fossil fuel consumption. The study doesn’t undermine the

Domino Interview

“I don’t promote myself as an authority. I’m a person who really, really loves to garden. I know a thing or two but there is a ton I don’t know and will probably never know. I make mistakes. I experiment like crazy. I don’t have all of the answers, I don’t believe in that “right”

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Veggie Gardening: The Next Big Thing

Quite simply, the Next Big Thing is going to be veggies. Lots and lots of veggies. Heirloom tomatoes, offbeat salad greens and stuff like that. All organically grown, of course. By us. – from Toronto Star “Urban Gardeners Are Growing Local” (July 7, 2007.) Many of us have known it all along by I am

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Cold Snap Gums Up the Works

As I type this, one third of my rooftop garden sits on the floor in my living room. A second third of the garden is cluttering up the hallway around our front door. “Come on in friendly visitor! But first brave this minefield of plants, soil, and containers.” The final third remains outside. They were

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Risk of Frost

Can you believe this? RISK OF FROST. It is June 5!! We are well past the safe date in this region! And as an aside, ahem, can you believe my awesomely instructive and informative graphic? Fades, arrows, highlights, and drop shadows. I had to reach deep into my USA Today brand pool of design tricks

Be Nice to Nettles Week

I first discovered stinging nettle one day while book shopping on Harbord Street, a popular used book area of Toronto. One of the stores had a selection of herbs sitting out front. Anyone who knows me knows I am a sucker for herbs and am impulsive about touching them. You should see me at the

Starting a Successful Community Garden

I’ve been receiving requests for information on starting a community garden since posting about my experience working with the H.O.P.E Community Garden Group here in Toronto. Starting a community garden is an awesome experience but it is also quite an undertaking. Starting a garden is as much about the physical labor involved in building the

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Scotts versus TerraCycle

TerraCycle Inc — a company started by a college student that sells liquid worm poo fertilizer in recycled pop bottles — is being sued by Scotts makers of Miracle-Gro claiming that the product package designs are too similar and confuse customers “…because some TerraCycle plant foods have a green and yellow label with a circle

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Making a Community Garden

Parkdale, the neighborhood where I have made my home for most of my adult life houses approximately 75% of its residents in apartments with 38% residing in high-rise towers without access to outdoor space. This neighbourhood is incredibly diverse with people hailing from literally all over the world. It’s an excellent example why Toronto is

Prince Charles, Slow Food, and Sustainable Agriculture

A friend of mine recommended this New York Times piece about Prince Charles and his involvement in the Slow Food Movement. Be sure to listen to his speech on small-scale and sustainable agriculture given at the Terra Madre conference in Turin, Italy (2004). “The one resource the developing world has in abundance is people so

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