I have recently arrived in your fair city to give a presentation on food growing as a part of this year’s Art in Bloom exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum.
I can’t wait to head over to the gallery later today to check it out. The architecture is crazy! The newest wing looks like a spaceship or a giant bird and even has wings that open up during the day.
I’m especially looking forward to meeting up before my talk with a group of gardenbloggers that I have chatted with online, but have never met in person. The Internet is a great communication tool, but meeting people in person is always better.
I’m at Disney World right now, where I will be giving talks on growing delicious and gorgeous food in small spaces until Thursday afternoon as a part of the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.
Yes, you read that correctly. You are not hallucinating. Or perhaps you are? Or perhaps I am. Maybe those bottles of water our liaison gave us when he picked us up at the airport were filled with *Magical* Disney Water and everyone here is participating in a giant group hallucination. Our minds are moving around a giant 50 square mile theme park but our bodies are asleep inside womb-like pods in one enormous room. If that’s the case, it’s all very well constructed because those painful blisters on my toes are terribly convincing.
Regardless, it is a very warm, sunny, and plant-filled hallucination so I accept.
I am told that it continues to be cold and grey back at home in Toronto so I am soaking up as much sunshine, warmth, and colour as I can in the days that remain. Here are a few sights from the first day:
I’ve spotted several tillandsia on this trip — they infest many of the trees — I’m showing you the first because it’s always the most exciting.
This is pink trumpet tree (Tabebuia impetiginosa). Several other people informed me via Twitter that there is a yellow version, too. For desperate, colour deprived Northerners, flowering trees are a religious experience right about now. Davin and I flocked around this one on one of my breaks between presentations like it was one of Epcot’s biggest attractions or a Disney child star roaming the parks. Squeee!!! Eventually a little girl asked her parents what was so special about the tree. They were as confused as she was.
This isn’t the sort of thing I normally post, or would make public so early in the process, but I need some help so here it goes…
I am working with a team to create a new television program (I am the host) and we need to shoot some footage. Unfortunately, it is winter here in Toronto, which means it is very cold and there is a lot of snow. To make matters worse, I moved late last fall and my new garden is nearly non-existant at this point… a blank slate minus the pear tree and a bunch of garlic and flowering bulbs we put in before the snow came and the ground froze. Our yard is not even remotely flat so we need to wait for the thaw before we can attempt to level it out enough to build raised beds, cold frames, and the like. As a result we have absolutely nothing of interest (at least in the garden) to shoot and we need to start in the first week of April. Oh and to top it off I will be on the road book promoting through much of the month of March so we’re stuck there, too.
The show is about urban food production, but not exclusively gardening or growing, although it will certainly feature growing.
Here’s what we’re looking for:
- Someone WITHIN urban Toronto (as in, I have to be able to bike there from my home or it doesn’t count. I think we might be able to extend it out as far as Scarborough/Etobicoke/Mississauga because I *could* in theory bike there if it were not the winter and I was in better shape! Ha!) who is growing or producing some of their food over the winter.
- You are passionate about the subject. Passion is good.
- You are willing to appear on camera and what you are doing must be “camera ready.” This doesn’t mean perfect, shiny, or glossy…. just that there is enough of interest to capture. We want the audience to be wowed and transformed about what is possible in the city or their own homes.
- We’d really like to feature urban chickens but of course it is winter (off-season) and illegal in Toronto, so you must be aware of the possibility that being on camera with chickens could result in negative consequences. We wish this was not the case but it is still the situation here in Toronto right now.
We are interested in other modes of food production, too, including but not limited to:
- Maple syrup production (possibly too late by April)
- Mushroom growing
- Ice fishing
- Growing indoors (large scale/commercial production or feeding your family), but must be organic
- Cold frame, seasonal extending, etc if you happen to have something going by some form right now.
- You name it!
Please feel free to comment here or if you’d like to be private, just email me through the contact form. I will see it and get back to you.
Thanks for your help!
It’s that time of year, again. Seedy Saturday and Sunday events have begun across Canada in anticipation of the gardening season.
In case you missed it, the Toronto event (this Sunday!) is earlier this year, and they’ve broken it up into three locations across the Greater Toronto Area in an attempt to manage crowds. Check out the flyer for details.
I am in no way, shape, or form prepared for it this year, but I will, as always, have a table at this Sunday’s event at Hart House on the University of Toronto campus. See you there!
Yesterday, my friend Celia visited the House of Hope in Dominica. She and her husband Paul took photos of the visit and shot a video to give us a closer look.
House of Hope from Paul Crask on Vimeo.
The following photos are of the organic food garden that is in progress on the property. They are currently growing pumpkin, sweet potato, bananas (or plantain), and coconuts.
Click here for more pictures of the visit.
Information on how to donate to the House of Hope directly can be found here.
Thanks to Celia and Paul for all of their help making the connection in Dominica.
And thanks to all of you for your support!