The Abundant City challenge begins

Carrots in the urban vegetable garden

Can our small Vancouver backyard produce enough veggies for five people to eat, all year long? Some would say it’s impossible, but I’m going to try anyway. And I’m creating Abundant City to document the process.

I’ve dreamed of gardening for as long as I can remember. In my mid-twenties, I coerced my roommates into digging a huge old stump out of a corner of our yard so that we could build a raised bed. Those first attempts yielded uneven results, but I was hooked: although I wasn’t producing a lot of food at the time, gardening calmed my anxious soul, connected me to my body and the earth, and gave me a sense of tangible accomplishment unlike any other.

Since then, I’ve obtained a Permaculture Design Certificate and have gained a lot of experience with growing food, experience that I now share with others as a blogger and teacher. I’ve had community garden plots, pots on my deck, and, now a full backyard. The yard in question is actually at my parent’s house, across town from where my husband and I live, a 40-minute bike ride away. In a dense and expensive city like Vancouver, sharing yard space is a necessity.

The 2014 season was good to us. We built several new raised beds, filled them with rich soil, and have been eating steadily from the garden since May. But gardens are living, changing things. Will my 2015 harvest be as abundant as it was last year? Will I be able to maintain soil fertility? Will the five of us — me, my husband, sister and parents — be able to eat from the garden all year? No matter how much expertise I gain, I will always be a student of the plants and soil.

How this blog works
Each week, I will share what we’re doing in the garden — what we’re harvesting and planting, problems we’re experiencing and successes we’re celebrating. I will also offer season-specific ideas, tips and guides about food gardening techniques that work for me, as well as thoughts about how food gardening fits into a larger picture of personal, environmental and societal well-being.


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