Grow – The Movie, Coming to Calgary

Straight from the Grow Website:

It’s not just ‘Old MacDonald’ on the farm anymore. All across the U.S. there is a growing movement of educated young people who are leaving the cities to take up an agrarian life. Armed with college degrees, some are unable to find jobs in the current economic slump. Fed up with corporate America and its influence on a broken food system, they aim to solve some of the current system’s inequities by growing clean, fair food. Mostly landless, they borrow, rent or manage farmland in order to fulfill their dreams of doing something meaningful with their lives. Read more →

How to get started in Composting – Build a Compost Bin!

You’re probably here because you want to know how to compost but for those of you not sold on the reason to compost lets ask a few questions.

  1. Do you care about the environment?
  2. Do you want your garden to thrive?
  3. Do you want to stay away from pesticides and herbicides?
  4. Do you want to decrease the amount of household waste your house creates?

Composting is the answer to all of the above. Read more →

Collecting and Saving Vegetable Seeds – Tips and Lessons learned in Seed Saving

In my never ending quest to be more gentle to the earth I’m looking for new things to do. And if I am going to change careers into permaculture and garden design I am going to find ways to make money. Enter vegetable seed saving. My wife has even joined in this year. Now this is really the first year that we’ve started saving seeds. And I’ll follow up in the spring and let you know how they all worked out. I wanted to do a test run before we ever start selling seeds. They have to work.

Obviously the logic behind this is saving money and resources. I probably spend somewhere around $50 on seeds in the spring. I don’t think we’ll ever get away from not buying any though. In our neighborhood we have something called Seedy Saturday in the spring where locals sell their seeds and other early spring wares. It’s wonderful and so crazy all in the same. And if you think about getting $3 for 20 seeds that really cost you nothing to collect, it’s a great deal. People are getting local produce seeds at a reasonable price and I am making a bit of a living. So not only do we save money, but we can make money at this if seed saving is done right too. Read more →

Where are the ethics? Swallowed up by corporate greed!

I went to an Eco-Living Fair this weekend and was quite excited about it. I knew there would be the worm composters, solar experts, bike enthusiasts, plumbing specialists selling their low flow everything and on demand hot water. But this year they had some cool workshops that my family signed up for. The first was how to build bat houses. Did you know that a little brown bat can eat up to 1000 mosquitos in one hour?  And that these little guys can live up to 40 years? Well, as you’ve probably guessed, they are in decline and the best thing you can do for them is provide them a home. We learned how to make a simple bat house. We made two in the class and were given a third by a condo dweller, who wasn’t allowed to put it up. Read more →

How to Build raised garden beds

I was asked to teach some volunteers how to build some raised garden beds for the SHARP Foundation, a non-profit that provides support and housing for people with Aids and HIV. I jumped at the opportunity and pointed the team of about 20 people in a direction of completion. The raised garden beds were very easy to make. We made use of nice cedar as well to prevent rotting without having to use paint or finish. The volunteers came from the University of Calgary and sure made the work easy. Read more →