My Story

Have a look, if you will. It's possible you simply can't avoid it, if you live anywhere within proximity to the lawn-carnage I've insisted upon our little community. Given the disaster of wood chips and sprigs of green and wonder, you might imagine I've lost my mind. I hope I have.

I've hired the Permaculture expertise of Living Landscapes to design our front lawn. They were additionally charged with the task of making certain I didn't wander too far off the path, as it were. There are a lot of paths in permaculture.

This is a self-sustaining eco-system that includes the injection of mushroom spores, adding "insult to injury" in the exchange of unwanted natural by-products with those wanted by neighbouring plant life. Seriously???

Each of these edibles a powerhouse of clean-burning energy to nourish happy-healthy chemistry, in our brains. All of them soon to be battened down by a Serviceberry hedge. This hedge is not meant to keep a soul out, but to instead draw near pollinators and people alike, should any care to happen by for a snack.

I'm not certain if it was being deaf as a toddler, being labelled a "gifted learner" in an age before ADHD had been invented, or having a unicycle-riding Anglican Minister as a father, but somehow, this quirky little garden is who I am.

This is my way of trying to understand how we can become so complacent about the food we eat in our own backyards- but draw arms against our neighbours, in theirs.

I haven't a clue what I'm doing. But have I ever?

Grow food. That makes some sense.

I suppose I did have a very progressive mother who grew sprouts in our Yukon years to be sure our "greens" were possible all seasons. She also made yogurt to balance the body's digestion, which not once made its trade for those dreamy looking Joe Louis cakes.

But, grow FOOD on my front lawn??

I quit school in grade 5 telling the Principal, "I am simply too stupid to be in your school. No point wasting any more of my time, or yours." What was it I thought I had to be doing that was any more important than school? I couldn't tell you, but the facts remain.

Just thinkin'. Maybe we should grow food... everywhere????

Somehow all that awkwardness and eccentricity made its way through those bucked teeth and hand-me-down years, and I managed to blossom into the terribly awkward and eccentric person I am today. Yay! But I am especially me, in my garden. Even though it's nothing but hope and those darned sprigs, I can imagine it alive, impossibly beautiful, and necessary. And I am proud.

Please consider your own backyard, your front yard, your balcony, or maybe your neighbour's balcony- but let's grow some food.

Start in a pot or a patch or drown the whole of your lot in compost and cardboard and sell your lawnmower. You want to talk carbon footprint? How much closer can you get?

Grow extra for friends and neighbours and shelters and shut-ins. Buy old Mason jars from garage sales and learn to preserve and make Christmas a homemade occasion.

Take edible plants to sick friends and plant fruit trees in memory of those you've loved and lost.

Plant pumpkins on top of toboggan runs and watch them spill down the hillside when you stop by for a visit, and a little drink.

GROW FOOD.

There simply isn't much more decadent in this lifetime than a cherry tomato plucked and popped into your mouth, so hot you can barely stand it, but for the pleasure it ignites in your senses.

I didn't have a hope of staying put in those stiff desks with fake lighting when the sun was shining right outside my classroom window. Let's bring children to these gardens and fulfill exercise and education, all in a sunny afternoon.

This message is intended to help feed our children, nourish our bodies and souls, and bring our bees home.