Community Gardening

DSC_8319I’d like to make this post about you, my readers, my community. I write a lot about what I’m growing, what I’m planting, preparing beds for, harvesting, eating, and preserving. Perhaps I’ve inspired a few of you to grow something yourself, perhaps many of you were doing so long before I was even born. Do you have a pot of kale on your front porch? Or maybe you have acres under full cultivation? Or a fruit tree you planted, and have watched grow over many years?

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Pretty and edible: variegated Spanish Thyme.

Our planet is in a fix, we can mostly agree on that. And humans…well…we’ve been a big problem, and we’re just getting bigger! The more people, the more climate change, the more chemicals in our foods and our water sources…the more likely we are to hit massive food shortages and/or death by cancer or other chemical-related illness. So what’s the best way to reduce your impact? We’ve all been bombarded with the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra, and that certainly is a good start. I, however, strongly believe that one of the best ways in which we can help our planet, our communities, and ourselves is to grow things. To grow as much as we can, for ourselves, for wildlife, for the land, for the air, and for the water. To become less reliant on the huge mono-crop farming corporations who try to sell us chemical-filled “perfect” looking “food” with no flavour, no texture, and no gain to the world. My own goal in growing things is as much biodiversity as possible, hence a permaculture approach: a win for myself, the pollinators, and yes, grudgingly, the birds, mongoose, etc as well. Additionally, I strive to do this without removing anything from the soil, but rather adding to it, helping it along on it’s natural cycles to create ever deeper, better soil – without the addition of chemicals or manufactured ingredients.

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Tomatillo flowers.
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Sweet peppers.

Now I get it, many of you don’t have time to plant and maintain a huge garden, or you don’t have space – but if you haven’t already, do yourself a favour and start somewhere. A little pot of kale, arugula, or radishes. Some pretty and edible marigolds. A few pepper bushes, or a basket of herbs. Trust me, you’ll soon wonder how you ever lived without that fresh touch in your meals.

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Peanuts: an easy ground-cover crop.
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Papaya seedlings.

So this is what I’m asking: will you please, over the course of this week, each submit one or more image to Nidulari of an edible plant that you’re growing, with a brief description of what it is, where you are, and why you are growing it. Images can be submitted by email to (merryn.macdonald@gmail.com), or to our Nidulari Facebook page. Next week, the images will be compiled into a community-based blog post, to highlight all the people who are making an effort, be it large or small, to reduce their footprint on our planet by taking control of their own food supplies, and to open a conversation on how to get more people involved in growing things. Thank you in advance for your participation, and for sharing this post with all your friends!

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Passionfruit vine.

While I’m at it – don’t forget that here at Nidulari we’re happy to take on any compostables that you don’t have space to deal with, including kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, manure, garden waste, sawdust, shredded paper, and cardboard. If you do have space available, check out our last post on composting with chickens! If you work at or own a restaurant that would like to participate in composting, shoot me an email and we’ll work out a schedule.

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Buckwheat and corn.
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Sorrel seedling.

Have a great week, and don’t forget that we’ll be closed next week as I’ll be off-island!

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