As the days lengthen and warm up, we revel in all the new growth, some of us start planting flowers and veggies, and we all look forward to the strawberries, the chard and kale, the fresh parsley and basil that we can grow, even in very small spaces, such as balcony gardens!

It’s also the time of Farmers Markets, linking urban dwellers with the earth, the bounty of surrounding fields.  In Vancouver the growing season is a bit short, but when it blooms, oh man, what riches can come from directly from local fields to our tables.  And the markets are a real community event, celebratory!  I love those markets, fresh produce, taking in the scenes of kids playing, face painting, buskers making music… samples of local cheese, bread, fruit… Last sunny Sunday we cycled out to Trout Lake: the journey and the destination were delicious!

Just recently I came across a website with a video about earth’s riches even closer  to home: Urban Farming and Farmers.  Right here in the city, oodles of dedicated people are using empty lots, back yards, alleys, balconies, for gardens —  creating community, and helping us move toward food security — living their passion and having a great time while they’re at it!  I was honoured to hear them speak about what motivates them and I hope you’ll have a look and be inspired too.

Here’s an article about these Urban Farmers, a funky video that really gives you the happening’ flavour of the city scene!  And here’s a video of our balcony garden, on May 30.  The planters work really well!  We’ve already been harvesting greens and herbs.

How does your garden grow?

Cultivating our garden can be a metaphor for life, and a fruitful (pun intended!) one, at that.  And there’s an essay in BECOMING called Gardens and Gifts — where we explore what we’ve planted, reaped, what we mean by ‘weeds’ and how they can be integrated, to actually benefit the whole.  Have a look, and tell me what you think :-).

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, and growth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Your feedback is most welcome.



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