6 1/2" x 9 1/4"
Adventures in Urban Food Growing
City Farmer celebrates the new ways that urban dwellers are getting closer to their food. Not only are backyard vegetable plots popping up in places long reserved for lawns, but some renegades are even planting their front yards with food. People in apartments are filling their balconies with pots of tomatoes, beans, and basil, while others are gazing skyward and “greening” their rooftops with food plants. Still others are colonizing public spaces, staking out territory in parks for community gardens and orchards, or convincing school boards to turn asphalt school grounds into “growing” grounds.
Popular author and gardening guru Lorraine Johnson shares her passion and enthusiasm for this cultural shift by telling humorous stories about her own experiences as a gardener, from creating the world’s lowest-maintenance rooftop tomato farm to raising three chickens in her downtown Toronto backyard. She also introduces us to her niece and nephew, who visit her from their home in Michigan, and first discover such fresh-food delights as “peas in a pod” in the company of their eccentric Canadian aunt.
Woven through the book are the stories of guerrilla urban farmers in various cities of North America who are tapping city trees for syrup, gleaning fruit from parks, foraging for greens in abandoned lots, planting heritage vegetables on the boulevard, and otherwise placing food production at the centre of the urban community. Additional stories describe the history of urban food production in North America, revealing the roots of our current hunger for more connection with our food, and the visionaries who have directed that hunger into action. Throughout the book, sidebars offer practical tips for how to compost, how to convert a lawn into a vegetable bed, and what edible plants are easy to grow with children, among other topics.
“Johnson offers some fresh insights into working with nature and ends with an alphabet of actions that we can take to help conserve, heal, and restore the earth.” —Canadian Living on Tending the Earth
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