Plant five rows of Peas:
Planning and Positiveness.

Include three rows of Squash:
Squash Negativity,
Squash Dieting,
and Squash Deprivation.

Add five rows of Lettuce:

Let us be Positive,
Let us take Responsibility,
Let us be in Control,
Let us reward our Accomplishments,
Let us be Empowered.

No garden is complete without Turnips:
Turn up with a positive Attitude,
Turn up with a Smile,
Turn up with New Ideas,
Turn up with Real Determination,
Turn up with Success.

May your garden flourish!



A Film

I made a film. It’s been a while.

“Working at a Movie and FX Summer Camp inspired me to make a short film in my yard. The idea for this has been buzzing in my brain since I first listened to the song. I filmed the project in about 10 minutes on a point and shoot digital camera and spent about two hours editing it in iMovie. It is called “The Plot” because it documents the “plot” of land around my home.

The song is To Build a Home by The Cinematic Orchestra. I do not own this music.”

The Grand BC Adventure Part IV

Before we left Glade I made Steve and Randy take me to their backyard to see their massive compost operation and their backyard garden setup.

Steve compared making compost to baking a cake. His strategy is to put a layer of hay, a layer of grass clipping or leaves or yard waste and a layer of food waste (if I recall correctly). The hay helps to create heat which helps the food waste to break down. He also recommended peeing on your compost. Pee has nitrogen which speeds decomposition and helps to create heat. They keep a thermometer in the compost to see if it is getting hot enough.

They have several bins going and once the compost is done they move it around into a bin for compost which is ready to go into the garden. They also showed me some of their growing techniques.

These tomato plants grow upwards on the strings which guide them.

I love Steve and Randy, they are beautiful people living a beautiful life.

On the drive back a lightening storm started. It was so amazing to be surrounded by the awesome power of nature. We passed two mountain deer (slightly different than the “city deer” in Grand Forks hehe).

Happy Plants and Sad Plants

a happy plant : )

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a container gardening workshop at SFU Burnaby hosted by the SFU Local Food Project. It was by donation and I walked away with a few lovely plants (tomato, mustard [which is very tasty] and something else that I can’t identify). It was a bit of an adventure getting there (I was in the wrong building oopse! You know you are a Surrey Student when… haha, but that explained why I room I was looking for didn’t exist).

It was hosted by Matthew Kemshaw of the Environmental Youth Alliance. He was very knowledgeable and answered many of my silly beginner questions (ie: what is a good starter plant that I would be likely to not kill?).

One thing that surprised me is that gardening can have the potential to be non-vegan. He had one soil enhancing product made from fish remains from a factory fish farm. Gross! The good news is you can avoid this product by using your own properly made compost. Much more fun.One thing that I found confusing was all the talk of “happy plants” and “sad plants”. As someone with little gardening background it can be confusing to tell the difference between the two. In my limited study of permarculture I have also had this issue. It can be difficult to partake in observation if you don’t know what to look for. I asked some people for their advice and made this list of thing that contribute to plant-itude (that’s plant + attitude).

a sad plant : (

  • Colour: Happy plants look alive and bright with their leaves and growth
  • Posture: Slouchy, droopy plants are often unhappy
  • Decay: Are the leaves being nibbled at by bugs or are they full and lush?
  • Odor: Bad, rotting smells can be signs of an unhappy plant

Insects: Do you see bugs attacking your plant?Some other resources that were recommended include and the books Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway and Growing vegetables west of the cascades : the complete guide to organic gardening by Steve Solomon.