Starting a Garden to Grow Your Own Food

On this topic, I have to confess that I am a better food-user than I am a food-grower, but I have high aspirations, and completely love growing my own food.

My largest passion in life is connecting people with real food, and growing your own food is a great way to build this relationship. And so, in my early years of my career, I am learning the ins and outs of gardening so I can share my experiences and knowledge to benefit my community.

Growing your own food can be a therapeutic, humbling and nourishing experience and is of course chock-full of lessons to be learned throughout the season.

I have attempted growing food on our balcony garden since I moved to Vancouver, with little success. Much of this was most definitely due to my infrequent watering style, blocked sunshine from the balcony above, and huge ambitions for our small space.

Still… I started every growing season with optimism of a great harvest.

To change it up a bit, last year I decided to only grow flowers and herbs on my balcony, and joined the Farmers on 57th CSA to replace the veg I would have ‘tried to grow’ myself. Both worked well for us, but sometimes we struggled to use up all the bounty from the CSA between the two of us.

This year, a brand new community garden, Riverfront Park Community Garden was spearheaded by the Fraserlands Community Gardening Group. I immediately signed up, but I was put on the wait list- #1 on the wait list I might add.

I knew I had a small chance to get a plot, but nothing is certain so I spent my days hoping that one gardener would give up their plot.

Lucky me, I finally got a plot!

I planned the space out, where everything will go, and headed to the store to get plants and seeds to plant A.S.A.P.

Lo and behold, someone else decided to plant in my plot over the few days between planning and planting.

Urgh…  to say the least.

No gardening experience is without stress, which is something that you need to accept before starting. Did I mention gardening is full of learning lessons?

After that was magnificently handled by the leaders of the garden space, I was free to plant, knowing that some random plants would be popping up throughout the plot.

I have been out there, watering every day or two…surprising myself and my husband I’m sure with my consistency… enjoying the fresh air and watching my plants grow.

June Community Garden Plot

Distinguishing what is a weed, or the rogue-gardener’s seeds from my own stuff is pretty challenging. I’m not really 100% certain what I have growing in there right now, but here’s hoping for the best and lots of fun this summer!

I’ll be posting more as the garden grows and I start harvesting, but until then, I’ll be watering and waiting!

Here’s what I’m growing this summer:

  • 3 kinds of tomatoes (Early Girl, Yellow Stuffer & Black Sea Man)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Kale (Portuguese!)
  • Piri Piri peppers
  • Rainbow carrots
  • Swiss chard
  • Musclun mix
  • Buttercrunch lettuce
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumbers
  • Spaghetti squash

All in a 4 x 11 garden…

Good luck to my fellow gardeners and thank you Fraserlands Community Gardening Group for all your hard work  organizing the garden!



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