When thinking of historical houses, we usually imagine well-preserved old mansions where important people lived. But throughout our inner-city neighbourhoods are homes with histories that haven’t been uncovered yet.
Come spring, witty signs with sayings such as “Gardeners share all the gossip” or “Did you know that Iris and Violet are in the same bed with Sweet William?” fill backyard gardens and front lawns.
This year, the Bloomin’ Garden Show is offering a garden sign workshop for people to create their own sign. At $20 per sign, participants can make as many signs as they wish.
“They are fun. They are personalized. And if you made it yourself, you are proud of it,” said Laurie Tod, who will be holding two workshops on May 13. “It’s something you can look at and know it’s made with love,” added Tod.
What goes into a meal that feeds 80 people with leftovers to spare? Parkdale-Cromdale’s community garden volunteers from last year’s pilot project can tell you: construction skills, a big pile of dirt, lots of seeds, and a little tender loving care.
Last summer, Parkdale-Cromdale’s Grower’s Dozen Community Garden tested their chops with four 3-by-7 foot raised-bed boxes that yielded enough food for a harvest meal for over 80 people, all grown from donated seeds and plants.
Dionne Jennings has always had a love of plants and herbs. She started studying herbalism on Vancouver Island 19 years ago and completed apprenticeships five years ago on the Saanich Peninsula and in Red Deer.
“I think my first real exposure to herbalism was a small yellow piece of paper with a dandelion illustration on it saying Herb Classes at a local health food store. When I stepped into a small house perched on the corner of a nature sanctuary, I was hooked,” said Jennings.
Every year on the third Sunday in March you’ll find the Edmonton Seedy Sunday event. This year’s event began with sunshine and blue skies, and the break in the cold weather drew a large crowd of people.
At 11 am the line for the event was already snaking out the door. Before things became too hectic, I spoke with Kelly from Seeds of Diversity, a seed exchange organization. Growers can sell heirloom seeds, and for a slightly higher price, non-growers can purchase seeds as well, with membership.
Gérard Forget looks across the ice rink at his garden plot. One can imagine his mind is underneath the snow, working into the dirt with springtime dreams of peas, corn, and beans.
Forget coordinates the Alberta Avenue Community Garden-Jardin Communautaire Alberta Avenue. At this time of the year, he plans the garden and finds gardeners who want to share their passion with their neighbours.
Farming in Colombia so near the equator sheds a whole new meaning on the cliché, “early to bed, early to rise.” The sun sets around 5:40 and rises 12 hours later, give or take a few minutes. I cannot recall the last time I was asleep by 7:30 p.m., let alone night after night. I’m here working as a volunteer.
In January 2002, Patricia Dunnigan bought a house rich in history and now lives in the 1914 house with her husband, Aydan Dunnigan-Vickruck.
Throughout the years, past owners have done a lot of work on the house.
“The interior was quite beautiful, someone had done a lot of renovation in 1995,” Dunnigan said. “I can sit anywhere in the house and I can see a different view, a different angle,” she continued.
Christmas shoppers hunting for ethically-sourced gifts have plenty of choice at Just One World, held Nov. 12-13.
Previously known as Just Christmas, organizers changed the name to more accurately reflect the ethical and global market. The location has also changed. Alberta Avenue Community League hosted the event for the past 10 years, but now the Ital-Canadian Seniors Association is hosting the volunteer-run market.
While the warmth of summer unfolds, I invariably find myself repeating my French father’s wartime food scavenging habits. Family karma asserts itself, and I find myself eagerly eyeing the raspberry and rhubarb plants edging the laneways while imagining tasty concoctions.
Our summer is so short that it seems shameful not to enjoy the season to the utmost. A summer stroll takes on more dimensions when you stop to pick food and mentally savour the fresh taste of your harvest. Knowing I’m getting much-needed exercise makes me feel virtuous. This virtuous feeling is further enhanced when I think of the copious quantities of vitamin C contained in both rhubarb and raspberries.