Well actually this “l’il fella” only took second prize in its category in the Garden Club of Toronto’s horticultural competition at Canada Blooms, but it stole top prize in my heart. What I like is how it was just sitting there so unassuming. Sure there were lots of spring smells and pretty flowers but it’s just so encouraging to see that the stereotypically prim and proper garden-club set have a baudy sense of humor. I’m almost considering getting myself a ridiculously big hat (I want one regardless) and a membership.
Did I mention that the common name of Cephalocereus senillis is ‘Old Man Cactus’? Enough said.
Here I am signing books after my talk on growing food in the city. I cropped out the volunteer fast asleep on a chair behind me. Also not shown, an unnamed garden-world famous certain someone totally bogarting the book signing table.
…And apparently it’s me! Thanks to Sarah who pointed me to this article in today’s National Post newspaper promoting next week’s Canada Blooms line-up including one of my two talks on growing food in the city.
Friday, March 9, 2007.
12:30pm. Room 714
Topic: Urban Potager: Growing Food in Small or Difficult Spaces
Saturday, March 10, 2007.
2:30pm. Room 714
Topic: Pretty Delicious: Beautiful Food Gardens
Swing by the Toronto Botanical Gardens booth (on the 700 level) directly after both presentations where I’ll be signing books and hanging out.
While grunge was over more than a decade ago, I just might start rocking that title a little. You know, for the selling out and such. As Sarah says, if it can work for “New York’s bad-boy chef” Anthony Bourdain (whom I just happen to LOVE) then… although maybe I’ll have to start actually cultivating a grunge demeanor. I’ve got the potty mouth (however the worst I have ever uttered in a presentation was “crapload”) and have never given up layering over thermal shirts given that I live in the cold north. I will definitely need to change the title to something a little more, ummmm, hardcore like say, “Bad Ass Gardening” or “Get to the Growing Motherfuckers.”
I’ll be in Portland, Oregon next week to speak at the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show on the topic of growing an edible garden in just about any environment. Of course I also want to check out some local gardens, thrift stores, and make that trip to Powell’s (both of them). I hit three thrift stores last year where I bought some fabric, an old box camera, the best watering can ever for 50 cents, and “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” (also 50 cents). I get antsy when I travel to the States because the thrift stores in Toronto are horrible! Your recommendations for PDX goodness are much appreciated! We’re knee deep in snow and freezing temperatures here so any places you can recommend that are big on greenery, spring blooms, and fresh smelling air is critical for preserving my sanity. I can’t wait!
When: Sat. Feb. 24 (at 3:30pm) & Sun. Feb 25 (at 11:00 am).
There will also be book signings at the Powell’s kiosk directly after the presentations. Don’t be shy! I look forward to talking to ya’ll so please say hi.
Growing Incredible Edibles Anywhere and Everywhere: Your patio, balcony, or fire-escape is a potential garden of exciting flavors and beautiful colors waiting to happen. Learn the ins and outs of growing herbs, veggies, and flowers organically in challenging urban environments.
I’m going to be interviewed live on “The Artist’s Lifestyle” talking about You Grow Girl, gardening, and the art.
When: Tuesday, Jan 30. 5:30-6:00pm
What: 93.3 FM CFMU
To listen online: Go to the website and click on “webcast” [left sidebar].
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.
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.