On Sunday I travelled to Hamilton, Ontario to attend a number of events. The first was a book signing at a fantastic independant art supply store called “Mixed Media.” I was really impressed with the store which offered so much more than art supplies including zines, crafty works by local artists, and a wide breadth of book titles some of which were not at all related to art making. They’ve also been growing food in the backyard — the You Grow Girl book really does fit in with everything they’ve got going on there and I was very proud and flattered to have been welcomed into their community.


I had the opportunity at the event to talk with a lot of people who are really enthusiastic about growing food and adding greenery to Hamilton. We exchanged thoughts about how class and gardening intersects, how gardening communally can transcend age and cultural barriers to form community, urban agriculture, and how cool it would be if more schools were offering gardening space to their students on campus. Everyone was really smart, enthusiastic, and motivated to make these changes happen in their community. Hamilton has really got it going on! I want to thank Mixed Media and Sapphire Singh of Green Venture for inviting me to their city and showing me such a great time.

    Here I am with the owner of the Most Used Book, Ever. I am not exaggerating when I say that seeing this book was my proudest moment thusfar. That book has been around the block!

Next up was a trip across town to The Royal Botanical Gardens were I was the keynote speaker at their annual Health and Wellness Show. I gave two short presentations on growing food organically. Twenty minutes is not a lot of time to get into the real meat and potatoes kind of information but I hope attendees left feeling inspired to get out there and give it a go.


It’s funny that I have never visited the Royal Botanical Gardens given that I grew up in the Niagara Region and live so close. I’ve meant to go several times but something always comes up. Winter isn’t the best time to attend but I did get a chance to spend a few minutes soaking up the fresh jasmine scented air in the greenhouse. Oh how I long to live closer to a greenhouse. I always forget how great they are until I’m standing inside surrounded by huge plants and tropical trees breathing in that oxygen-loaded air.

Flowering Jade
    Here I am standing next to the largest flowering jade I have ever seen! In case you’re wondering, the flowers do not have a smell.

See here for more photos from the RBG greenhouse and the trip.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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