I’m going to be interviewed live on “The Artist’s Lifestyle” talking about You Grow Girl, gardening, and the art.
When: Tuesday, Jan 30. 5:30-6:00pm
What: 93.3 FM CFMU
To listen online: Go to the website and click on “webcast” [left sidebar].
- From: May Day Magazine (Jan 2007)
By Sapphire Singh
On Sunday I travelled to Hamilton, Ontario to attend a number of events. The first was a book signing at a fantastic independant art supply store called “Mixed Media.” I was really impressed with the store which offered so much more than art supplies including zines, crafty works by local artists, and a wide breadth of book titles some of which were not at all related to art making. They’ve also been growing food in the backyard — the You Grow Girl book really does fit in with everything they’ve got going on there and I was very proud and flattered to have been welcomed into their community.
I had the opportunity at the event to talk with a lot of people who are really enthusiastic about growing food and adding greenery to Hamilton. We exchanged thoughts about how class and gardening intersects, how gardening communally can transcend age and cultural barriers to form community, urban agriculture, and how cool it would be if more schools were offering gardening space to their students on campus. Everyone was really smart, enthusiastic, and motivated to make these changes happen in their community. Hamilton has really got it going on! I want to thank Mixed Media and Sapphire Singh of Green Venture for inviting me to their city and showing me such a great time.
Here I am with the owner of the Most Used Book, Ever. I am not exaggerating when I say that seeing this book was my proudest moment thusfar. That book has been around the block!
Next up was a trip across town to The Royal Botanical Gardens were I was the keynote speaker at their annual Health and Wellness Show. I gave two short presentations on growing food organically. Twenty minutes is not a lot of time to get into the real meat and potatoes kind of information but I hope attendees left feeling inspired to get out there and give it a go.
It’s funny that I have never visited the Royal Botanical Gardens given that I grew up in the Niagara Region and live so close. I’ve meant to go several times but something always comes up. Winter isn’t the best time to attend but I did get a chance to spend a few minutes soaking up the fresh jasmine scented air in the greenhouse. Oh how I long to live closer to a greenhouse. I always forget how great they are until I’m standing inside surrounded by huge plants and tropical trees breathing in that oxygen-loaded air.
Here I am standing next to the largest flowering jade I have ever seen! In case you’re wondering, the flowers do not have a smell.
See here for more photos from the RBG greenhouse and the trip.
I’ll be traveling to Hamilton, Ontario this Sunday to do a book signing and give two presentations at the Royal Botanical Gardens. Giving gardening presentations and workshops has become a regular part of my spring schedule yet it is something I rarely seem to talk about here. What’s worse is that I have been noticing a growing disconnect between the things I add to the site and the things I talk about at these events. Looking back I think it’s got to be the fact that I am so exhausted by the end of spring that I just kind of move on and lose the excitment to share. Last spring I wrote, designed (with photos) and gave eight completely lectures within a months time! My New Year’s resolution is to start integrating all of these different aspects into this site.
One of my favourite things about speaking to groups is showing photos of the gardens I find in the craziest places. My attitude is that if these people can pull it off, anyone can! I have taken to starting off many presentations with the following photo since I think it’s about the most successful worst garden I have ever encountered.
I first found this little tomato patch a few summers back while wandering through the alleys of Toronto. Toronto has an exceptionally great alley system that is an interesting (but sometimes indirect) system for walking or biking from point A to B if you’d rather stay off the beaten path. People are less concerned about the back of their house so there is a lot of hidden gems and bits of history that has been left in place.
But I digress. Every summer a group of artists borrow the garages of a local system of alleys to put on an art show called “Alley Jaunt.” I found this little cobbled-together raised bed sitting behind a garage while out exploring these temporary garage galleries. A year later I came across the same garden while on another Alley Jaunt. This time the gardener responsible was there tending to and harvesting an impressive patch of pole beans — his own version of crop rotation! Unfortunately the elderly gent spoke Portueguese and I do not so communication was impossible. I tried to let him know how impressed and inspired I was by his garden as best I could and then went on my way.
I’m going to be doing a couple of events on Sunday, January 14. 2007 in Hamilton, Ontario. If you’re in the area do come out to one or both of these events and say hi!
You Grow Girl Book signing at Mixed Media
174 James St. N. (at Cannon) 905-529-2323
11:30am – 12:30
[Note: Store hours on the website do not include Sundays however the store will be opened especially for this event! So no sweat. You will not arrive at a closed store in the middle of winter like that time I went to grade school on a holiday.]
Those who attend will also receive a two-for-one coupon to attend the Royal Botanical GardenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s annual Health and Wellness fair [see below].
And then later that same day:
Royal Botanical Gardens
a part of the Health & Wellness Show’s Green Gardening Expo
Presentation: Learn how to grow food organically in small or difficult spaces. Includes practical and thrifty growing tips and inspiring ideas for growing unusual and gorgeous veggies and herbs.
Two times: 1-1:30pm and 3-3:30pm.
Directions to the RGB by car, train, or bus.
I will also be bringing books, calendars, shirts and a few miscelleneous items and will have a table at the RGB event. If there is anything specific you would like (especially t-shirt sizes) please let me know ahead of time so I can pack it. I can only carry a small amount of merch which means sizes and quantities will be very limited.
Here’s a photo of a house I took in Hamilton on the hottest day I can remember in a long while.