“What that kind of attitude and approach is saying over and over again is that gardening is not for you; you don’t belong here.”
I met up with Teresa Cheng a few weeks ago for lunch at my favourite long-time local eatery, Cafe Bernate for an in-person interview to talk about urban gardening, growing food, and sustainability. We popped back to my place after the interview to take some quick snaps and of course I sent her off with some extra tomato and anise-hyssop seedlings I had kicking around. I have a tendency to unload plants or herbs onto visitors. I may be a terrible sales person but I know how to “sell” a plant.
The result of that conversation can be found on the Taste T.O site, Talking the Green Revolution with Gayla Trail.
Click the image to see full-size.
This is a panoramic of the roof garden taken just this week. There are a lot more plants out there then I was able to get into a composite. Unfortunately with the gazebo top on I could not shoot the photos from above, perched high up on a ladder like I did for the before image. As far as Project The Best and Most Ass Kicking the Roof Garden Has Ever Been, EVER 2008 is concerned I think things are well underway. One of my challenges for this year was to Eliminate All Messes. I’m not quite there yet but I have managed to reign it in by strategically placed furniture that acts as holding pens for the junk. I only just managed to get most of the transplant chaos alleviated so more attention to aesthetics will be coming up shortly.
I recently did an interview with REV Magazine that is now up on their site. I love what they wrote in the introduction about how I complain about the weather. Because I do, don’t I? Quite a lot actually. But I want you to know that I withheld this week and didn’t tell you about THE HAIL. In an act of progress that shows that I am rolling with the punches and conceding to less need for control I did not bring up the tiny balls of ice that plummeted to the ground threatening my basil in the last days of the month of June! And then the next day was hot and sweaty — a proper summer.
Okay, to confess I did complain about it in the forums.
I was recently profiled in Ascent Magazine’s sustainability issue. This article is the result of one of the best interviews/conversations I have ever had the pleasure of taking part in. I kind of wish we could read the interview although I’d imagine it would be a hard one to follow given how much I hemmed and hawed over language.
Ascent is a yoga magazine that is published by an ashram, so it naturally has a strong bend towards the religious side of yoga. I have haphazardly “practiced” hatha yoga on and off since I found a book for a quarter in a used bookstore cheap bin back in 1991 but I am not a religious person and have always kept that side of yoga at a distance. So I have to admit that when I was first approached by the magazine I was a wee bit timid about where things might go and how my thoughts might be framed. We did talk about “spirituality” as it relates to the garden but the writer, Roseanne Harvey, understood my need to choose my words carefully. The interview was more eye opening than I’d like to admit because I was able to see where our perspectives cross over but are separated only by semantics. Many gardeners experience a sense of awe and connectivity in the garden however where a religious person might call it god, I prefer to call it wonder. Most likely a very similar experience, just a different way of framing it. I’m not saying that my beliefs have changed, merely that I am a little more open to where others are coming from when they talk about religious experience in relation to the garden.
While I’m talking about the magazine I want to mention an interesting article about environmental activist Derrick Jensen called “The Complexities of Hope.” What drew me to the article wasn’t as much about his perspective on where we are headed environmentally (although that is interesting too) but in how closely the ideas in the article connected to thoughts that have been swimming around in my head for the last few years. In my recounting of the most recent garden incident I spoke a lot about hope and being able to feel everything no matter what. So I was interested to read about Jensen and the way he willingly breaks a cultural taboo by expressing the hopelessness and despair he feels while also turning that around and rethinking our cultural definition for hope as “a wish without agency” into something we can be actively engaged in achieving.
“There’s this idea that if you really recognize how bad things are you have to go around being miserable all the time. But the truth is I’m really happy, and I am full of rage and sorrow and joy and happiness and contentment and discontent. I’m full of all those things. It’s okay to feel more than one thing at the same time.”
The CBC News at Six sent over videographer Michael Dick this morning to shoot a segment on the rising trend in growing food gardens on roof tops for what I believe is tonight’s news. I guess I should have asked.
It was still cold and windy on the roof by noon but the sun has finally emerged and the temperatures have risen enough that I can work out there without a jacket.
Davin’s chalkboard drawing did the trick.
I’m going to be on the Metro Morning show tomorrow morning at 6:30 am talking about urban gardening. The decision to do this was made under what can only be described as influenced by a fleeting moment of temporary insanity. I am very much NOT a morning person preferring to sleep in past 5 am thank-you-very-much.
Anyways I only have to stay awake and be marginally articulate for about 10 minutes so if you’re one of those crazy morning people you can catch me between 6:30 and 6:40 am. I can not guarantee what will come out of my mouth at that hour. I can not guarantee that there will not be 10 minutes of total radio silence.
When: Friday, April 18, 2008 6:30 am.
Where: CBC Radio Metro Morning 99.1 FM in Southern Ontario.
UPDATE: Unfortunately the person who booked me did not put me in the book so-to-speak and I went there only to be sent home. And now I will attempt to go back to sleep.