Urban gardening: Ottawa gardeners are findings ways to bring… – CTV News Ottawa


Cole Etherington was not always a green thumb. In fact, he said his first year of gardening was plain horrible: his crops didn’t grow, the soil wasn’t right and everything that could go wrong, did.

“It just absolutely sucked, ” stated Etherington.

But that failure only pushed him to evaluate where he went wrong and how he can improve. The following year when the snow melted, Etherington began again at his home 45 minutes south of Ottawa.

He said the particular game-changer has been when he started using his chickens’ manure as fertilizer. Since then, his budding garden has produced fresh vegetables including squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and the stunning array of herbs.

Etherington has always been interested in ways associated with reducing his carbon footprint and increasing plant diversity through farming.

“Even just one tomato plant in a pot of flowers on your balcony is part of the fight against climate change, ” he mentioned.

As food prices continue to climb, more people are also turning their love for gardening into a way to save money.

Shabana Buwalda, who lives in a townhouse in Ottawa, is one of them.

Her city backyard will be not the biggest plot of land to start growing food, but her family now has several garden beds,

Now, going in to their sixth season, the family associated with four offers preserved natural herbs and a whole winter’s supply of tomatoes. They develop much of their own produce including carrots, beans, kale and beets, plus preserve whatever they can.

“I would encourage people to start really small, just to get curious, ” she said. “And with each passing season, you’ll begin to realize how little we need to rely on grocery stores. inch

Deborah Smeltzer had to downsize and adapt her gardening hobby after she moved out of the girl house two years ago.

“Years ago, I had a huge garden. Every space within my yard was some kind of garden, and so I built a lot of knowledge through doing that will — and then life changed, ” the girl said.

Since moving into an one-bedroom apartment, Smeltzer has been experimenting with ways to grow food in a minimized space. In the particular warmer months she started growing produce on her balcony, but an ongoing feud with pigeons has forced her indoors.

She has now built a plywood shelf overtop of the heater by her windows to make room for an ever-growing collection of avocado and lemon trees.

For Etherington, urban gardening has led to a growing sense of community.

He provides now began a small business putting together starter kits for people who are interested in gardening, with an emphasis on making the particular gardening mattresses small enough to fit comfortably in an apartment indoors.

When this individual first started out he was hesitant about telling the world that he is the trans farmer, fearing backlash from a community that he didn’t think he or she fit into. But he has received messages associated with support from others who also did not think they’d see anyone like themselves in agriculture.

“I thought it was important to be that person, and getting messages through people saying they appreciate it just means the globe to me, ” said Etherington.

Each of their kits comes with a bed made of reclaimed hardwood and lined with upcycled chicken feed. They furthermore have seedlings ready in order to be grown, a set of instructions and manure from “the world’s happiest chickens. inch

“Growing food correct at your house, it doesn’t get more local than that, ” he said.

“My hope is to empower people to embrace gardening simply by giving them food access, food security, but also showing that will they can help make a difference. ”

This report by The Canadian Press was 1st published Jan. 21, 2023

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