- from Newsweek “For a Greener Garden” (April 9, 2007.)
Interviewed for an article on the topic of Green Gardening and ecologically sound growing tips.
We’re sitting just on the cusp of cherry blossom season here in Toronto. They generally make their stunning appearance in late April/early May. The following poem was included in my local Farmer’s Market newsletter and I couldn’t resist posting it here as a beacon of hope for those of us who have been stuck with a never-ending winter. Spring is on the way! It is assured.
As the years stream by
My own life passes from me
Still I am renewed when I see the blossoms
My heart’s sorrows disappear
- Fujiwara no Yoshifusa
Cherry blossom season is an important time of year in Japan, with the flower’s short blooming time symbolizing the fleeting nature of life. I can’t mention cherry blossoms, known as Sakura without mentioning my friend and a friend to many You Grow Girl forum members, Sakura who left too soon, much like her namesake.
I often dream of hens clucking around in a small garden pecking at bugs and laying fresh, organic eggs but alas that is not going to happen living in the cold, white north with no backyard or shelter against raccoons and minus will-it-never-end winters. And seriously, that was an actual question. Will winter never end? I see photos online of people working outside in tank tops and flip flops. Dangling their springy, warm weather like an evil, tortuous carrot. We’re still wearing layers and big jackets over here people! Local weather reports keep reminding me that it is unseasonably cold. Yeah, that’s the kind of thing I like to hear. That and the words “possible flurries.” But I digress (a lot). I found the book “Keep Chickens!” by Barbara Kilarski at Pistils Nursery in Portland, Oregon and while I can not provide a full review it looked like a very thorough introduction and resource to urban chicken-keeping.
The ultra modern, ultra stylish, and ultra expensive Eglu is not helping to curb the fantasy one bit. It’s like an imac for chickens!
Over the long weekend we happened upon an open garage door while walking through a Toronto alley. Two large bird coops lined the side walls. So strong is my chicken-keeping itch that it took me half a minute to clue in that those were not chickens cooing back at me but fancy pigeons. After five years, I think I’ve finally solved the mystery of turkey pigeon!
Urban Chicken Keeping Resources
Once again I am trying to catch up on the garden visits I have made over the last three months. La Plaza Cultural is a community garden in New York City’s Alphabet City neighborhood (9th and Avenue C) that I have visited twice but only from the outside. But what a fantastic outside it is. The garden spans a large corner block and the fence along both sides is covered along the top with beautiful junk flowers artfully fashioned from tin cans, detergent bottles, beer caps, and just about any indestructable junk imaginable. Like other gardens in the area it was built up from the rubble and debris of abandoned tenements and trash and nurtured into a community space that has thrived since the late 70s.
This is the entrance on 9th Ave. The text on the wall reads, “The Struggle Continues” in spanish and english.
Someone in the area has been making and installing homemade birdhouses utilizing more junk materials. I found a few scattered around the neighbourhood. Surprising little discoveries like these are one of the aspects of city-living that I cherish most.
Someone altered the text on this sign. It’s too bad that there are class issues arising around the garden although I would bet most of those problems are tied to the swiftly changing face of the neighborhood rather than the garden itself.
Take Time to Blog the Roses
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By Kate King