It occurred to me that this retro CBC special from 1987 on organic farming could just about have been broadcast yesterday. Methods of organic farming, including building up the soil using compost and covercropping, remain essentially the same, and so does the message: keep it simple and local.
If you’re a gardener or farmer, checking out seed catalogs can make it feel like the spring is coming just a little sooner. Hundreds of Canadian are spending a Saturday this February, March, or April attending one of dozens of “seedy Saturday” events across the country loosely affiliated by their interest in organic gardening know-how, heritage seeds, and seed saving. Checking out this site is a good start (though not comprehensive) for finding out about events in your area. For a review of Toronto’s overly successful Seedy Saturday event this past weekend, see this Toronto Food&Drink review by Sheryl Kirby.
An article from the Guardian from last Thursday by Jane Perrone suggested that more people are getting into gardening in order to beat the credit crunch, enjoy the outdoors, or to reduce their carbon footprint. The article features the community of Todmorden, West Yorkshire, that has decided to become veggie self-sufficient by 2018. The community is setting up what is sometimes called edible landscaping in order to make use of every bit of soil.
If you’re not comfortable with guerilla gardening, which is about as naughty as gardeners get (otherwise known as’illicit cultivation‘), other options for urban ag this spring could include joining a community garden, finding an allotment garden, or pulling up a few patio stones if you’re lucky enough to have them.