What: Knit or crochet up beautiful, warm winter gear for The Redwood Shelter for Abused Women. While I know many of you are from all over the globe we’ve decided to continue to support a Toronto-based organization again because 1. They are doing fantastic work and 2. I am in Toronto and a Toronto-based organization means I can collect and distribute the items from here.
You are more than welcome to make warm woolens for a shelter or organization of your choosing in your own area. If crafting isn’t your thing I would also suggest supporting KIVA a microfinancing project that is about providing small business loans to people in impoverished and developing countries.
Knit, Crochet, or Sew (New items made by you):
- Long Scarves – They have need of thick, warm scarves that can wrap around twice for bundling up.
- WomenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Mittens – They receive plenty of mittens for children but need for larger, adult-sized mittens.
- Baby Blankets – For bundling babies inside strollers. It’s can get cold here in Toronto. This is an awfully tall order for hand-knitting. Sewn blankets or simple square block quilts are a great alternative here.
- Larger Items – If you were planning to make a couple of scarves, make one large item instead. They have a need for shawls and ponchos too.
How: A simple ribbed scarf is probably the best place to start for a beginner. Ribbing is simply going back and forth between the knit and purl stitches (i.e. knit 2 stitches, purl 2 stitches, and so on). It is a stretchy pattern that makes a nice, thick material. This tutorial will lead you through the process. You can also try free pattern websites like Knitty. If you have any particularly excellent resources to recommend please comment below.
Check out what we sent in 2006.
Details: Please mail your items by Dec 10, 2007. Email me at gaylaatyougrowgirldotcom for the address.
We went out on Saturday night to explore the art and art events taking place across Toronto as a part of Nuit Blanche. While we left the house by choice, I will add that should we have preferred to stay in and nap, watch a movie, or simply try to have a conversation these options would have been out since a full band stage was erected directly across the street. If the sound check was any indication, life at home would not have been pleasant. We live in a high-traffic zone for loud, seasonal events including the zoom zoom of the Indy and the sonic boom of the Air Show. It’s things like this that make city living at once both surprisingly awesome and horrific depending on which way you’re looking at it. On the one hand we can watch beautiful fireworks from our bedroom window! But have you ever lived with dancing jets flying overhead every few minutes?
But I’m not writing about this on a garden site to complain about loud noises or tell you about good art, bad art, crowds of people, taking night time Polaroids, the gluttony of eating Vietnamese food at midnight and then bad Chinese at 1:30, the headache I had the next day, or how I have concluded through the pain of experience that I am too old to stay out until 4am… Instead I want to tell you about some of my favourite parts of Nuit Blanche and how they had nothing to do with art at all but were, of course, about plants. One of the highlights of our jaunt around town was a visit to 401 Richmond where I finally got the opportunity to go onto the roof and experience the magnificent rooftop garden. Countless people have been telling me for years that I have got to go and check out the rooftop garden. I don’t know what’s been stopping me but now that I’ve seen it at night I am thoroughly convinced that I have got to go see it during the day. I probably only saw half of the roof. The side I saw was lined with lots of really large planter boxes, each one containing trees and bushes. Pergolas were constructed for shade in some areas with lush, over-filled baskets of greenery dripping down from above. What an inspiration! Now that I’ve got proof that Dogwood will survive in a large planter box there is nothing stopping me from growing one in my own large box.
Here I am sitting beside a large, variegated Dogwood with a Fuchsia hanging above my head. I am sorry that the flash makes me look wide-eyed and crazy. Do not be afraid.
It was really dark (the flash on my camera could pick up more detail than I could with my eyes) but this undecked portion of the roof seems to have been covered with some kind of grass.
Later in the evening, while walking north to China Town we happened upon the Living Wall built just inside the foyer of the Centre for Social Innovation at 215 Spadina Ave. Apparently the building also houses a rooftop container garden and a green roof.
This city has got so much going on as far as green roofs and gardens, I have got to get out more!
I received the following update on the Scotts Miracle-Gro versus TerraCycle lawsuit from Scotts over a week ago but was a little freaked that the Scotts PR team would be so eager to get the facts of the settlement out into the world as soon as the verdict came through. Regardless, I figure I may as well mention the outcome given I wrote about the initial lawsuit. The following is a copy of the letter in their own words:
“With your previous interest and coverage of The Scotts Company and TerraCycle litigation, I wanted to bring to your attention todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s settlement announcement, which is detailed in the following news release.
TerraCycle has agreed that it no longer will make advertising claims of product superiority to Miracle-Gro products to ensure accuracy in its advertising. More specifically, TerraCycle has agreed that it will not claim that its products are better than, or more effective than, or as good as Miracle-Gro products. In addition, TerraCycle may not claim that any independent tests or university studies were conducted to support any such claims.
TerraCycle has also agreed to change its packaging so it will not use a green and yellow color combination, for which Miracle-Gro owns a trademark registration. This change will be made to avoid any possible confusion with Miracle-GroÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s trade dress.
The court order and the settlement agreement will be posted on TerraCycleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s www.suedbyscotts.com Web page. TerraCycle also agreed to phase out this site after three months.”
The email sent to me also included this statement from Scotts spokesperson, Jim King:
“Scotts is pleased to resolve this case and believes that the settlement serves the public’s interest in ensuring the accuracy of advertising claims, as well as protection of the valuable Miracle-Gro brand.“
Phew. [Wiping tears of relief from eyes] Thankfully the public’s interest has been served. Oh how I do enjoy the delightful spinning.
The website has indeed been updated including the details of the 29-page settlement agreement. Why not brew yourself up a cup of relaxing chamomile tea and settle under the covers tonight with a copy of that little ditty for an evening of good reading? You do not have to thank me.
There’s a new magazine in town, and I mean that quite literally. Edible Toronto is the Toronto edition of a group of locally-relevant edible cities world-wide. There’s an edible Brooklyn, an edible Seattle, and there’s even an edible Hawaiian Islands. Supported by Edible Communities, a member-driven organization, the locally-centred magazines aim to create relationships around good, local food between consumers, local growers, and chefs. Many of the articles are about farmers, farms, growers, markets, community events and restaurants but there are also recipes and gardening articles.
The title of the Toronto edition is a little misleading since it is actually meant to serve the surrounding Golden Horseshoe area. I love the purple broccoli cover photo by FoodShare’s Laura Berman. Their “Where to Get It” page has not been updated as of yet but I can tell you that I picked my copy up in the lobby of The Gladstone Hotel but I have also been told that they’re available at the Dufferin Grove Farmer’s Market (I think they were gone by the time I checked last week).
And did I mention it’s free!
In a recent New York Magazine feature entitled “My Empire of Dirt“, writer Manny Howard takes on the arduous task of growing a farm, complete with flora and fauna in his Brooklyn backyard to explore just what is involved in trying to feed himself locally for one month. The results are a humorous and slightly demoralizing mixed bag of mishaps, small rewards, freakish weather, and rabbit and chicken cannibalism which certainly makes for an interesting and sometimes horrifying read.
“Eating local is expensive and time-consuming, which is why this consumerist movement will not easily trickle down into mass society. It requires a willful abstinence from convenience and plenty, a core promise of the modern world. Our bountiful era is predicated on the division of labor: We donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t sew our own clothes, we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t build our own housesÃ¢â‚¬â€and we certainly donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t farmÃ¢â‚¬â€because weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re too busy doing whatever it is we do for everyone else.”
The ensuing drama and general naivetÃƒÂ© of the author would have left me rolling my eyes skeptically (it seems like every paper and magazine has a writer on board trying out these kinds of food-related ‘experiments’ lately) if he had not captured my heart just a little with his stubborn determination. In the end, the intensity of the experience left both he and his family with a hard won lesson in the value of good food and resolve to buy responsibly.
“It wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t just a matter of buying regionally, or seasonally, or organicallyÃ¢â‚¬â€the important thing was to consume responsibly.”
I somehow doubt he will keep The Farm up at its current pace but I wonder if he will continue with the garden.