Know the warning signs of farming
It has happened, one minute I’m the girl who has never had a garden and next thing you know I am three blog posts deep into gardening mania.
Last week I gave you some tips for the garden. This post is for those who don’t have a garden but want to either have a hand in a harvest, or still eat well. Like a reformed smoker, I am gonna go all preachy on you and rave on about the benefits of organic food. You have probably seen this little fridge magnet:
This chart shows you the benefits of organic growing – I’m convinced.
This is a link to a list of community gardens all over Canada. This is the way to grow your own organic produce for far less money that it costs to buy it in the supermarket. After calling a few of the places in my locale, I learnt that there are allotments available to rent all over my fair city (Victoria) as well as community gardens where everyone literally mucks in together. Over at The University of Victoria, not only can the students apply to rent an allotment plot but there are also communal spaces for people to have hand in harvesting, not just for their own bellies, but also for people in need. Andrea Zittlau, UVIC’s gardening coordinator says, ‘We do always have a number of common spaces where people who don’t necessarily have their own plots are welcome to help out and harvest, such as permaculture plots, berry crops, herbs, and “Giving Gardens” (for food bank donations). We have weekly workparties to take care of those. A number of the allotment plots are also rented out to different campus groups and classes, so those are taken care of in a more communal way as well: the Women’s Centre, Students of Colour Collective, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, UVic Sustainability Project, the campus daycare, Indigenous Governance and an Ethnoecology class.” I don’t know about you, but that warms the cockles of my heart.
If you have no desire at all to garden, in most cities there are organic farming distributors who will deliver straight from the farmer’s door to yours. Here in Victoria, we have Local Food Box, Share Organics and Island Eats to name just a few and many of the community centres also offer a similar service. I know my local community centre, Oaklands, does.
Remember last week we talked about wine? Well let’s talk some more. Howsabout when you go out for a tasty glass of red and some local eats, you support your local farmers and those taking time to feed you a full cycle menu. In Victoria, places like Nourish at Glendale Gardens and Sooke Harbour House are growing their own ingredients, and have huge beautiful gardens to prove it. The HaT, the new incarnation of The Mountain View Inn on the Malahat are also aiming for something similar, starting with herbs and growing from there. Many more local restaurants are committed to using local ingredients and if I could list them all here I would.
We likely all know the benefits of organic food but we also know how expensive it can be, one of the reasons I’m growing my own. If you don’t have the space, think about contacting a community garden or asking a neighbour if you can help with theirs. Or who knows, maybe your workplace has the space, I know Larsen Music here in Victoria has shared veggie plots, which is such a great idea.
I’d love to hear about any at-work garden plots that staff share. If you have such a thing at your place of work, let’s see some pictures so we can all swoon!