Green in the City

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Although I can’t boast owning a green thumb, I do love plants. I love eating them, I love looking at them, I love being in their midst— in a forest or a greenhouse or sitting in front of them as a great big salad.

When I moved to Vancouver one of the many things that struck me as wonderful about the city was the plethora of urban gardens I found in both residential neighbourhoods as well as jammed right into the downtown core.

Urban gardens are great for a number of social and economic as well as ecological benefits: including upping air quality, supporting biological diversity, and decreasing the region’s carbon footprint by requiring less incoming and outgoing food and waste.

Years ago (around the same time as my arrival in Rain City), I had friends in downtown Toronto concoct ingenious rooftop gardens with multi-level builds that you can now find tutorials for making yourself all over the internet.

Truly, wherever and however you live in a city today, you can find a way to grow your own food.

Watch the inspiring news cast about this 70-year old woman who claims that the nutrition she receives from her vegetable garden is her “fountain of youth.”

The movie Grown in Detroit takes this Food Revolution to a whole new level, and speaks volumes about the capacity for community good that exists when one combines their social and environmental compassions. The film documents an alternative high school for pregnant teens in Detroit that retains an Urban Farming course where students use a vacant city lot to learn how to grow and nurture plants in an urban environment—not only teaching the girls valuable life skills, but also providing enough produce to feed 100% of the student population.

Increasingly in number of ways, North American citizens -habitually engaged in a culture of blind, frequent feeding- have been taking the business of what’s going into their stomachs into their own hands.

Now that you know, what will you grow?

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