(in alphabetical order):
I am originally from Craigmore, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and lived there into my early 20s. I lived in Halifax for a few years and in 2009 a job opportunity with the provincial government brought me to Charlottetown, not to mention the golf, lower cost of living, and slower pace.
I’m not out to change the world, I just like to know where my food comes from. The sense of accomplishment when I pluck a ripe, juicy tomato off of a plant in my backyard or pulling a giant carrot out of the ground and making a soup or stew with it that same day, is very gratifying.
Last year was my first year vegetable gardening in my backyard. I had quite a bit of success, but a couple of failures. I like to think I inherited my paternal grandmother’s green thumb and my maternal grandmother’s love of urban living and that I can combine the two and have many years of successful gardening.
My first memories of gardening were helping plant and harvest my grandfather’s garden when I was a child. It wasn’t until I finished university and took some time to go WWOOF’ing in Costa Rica on a permaculture farm that I started to understand the benefits of growing your own food. Since that time, I’ve lived in Australia, where I taught and created curriculum for school learning gardens, as well as spent time in Asia, marvelling at the incredible use of land and resources.
With my MBA program at UPEI almost behind me, I’m hoping to take my casual gardening hobby to the next level and grow a productive vegetable garden, experimenting with containers, vertical gardens and other creative garden designs. I’m always excited to share ideas and gain knowledge from other inspired farmers around the island and beyond.
I moved back home to PEI in the spring of 2007 and found work helping my grandfather with his gardening business. This experience provided me with the confidence to start building gardens for myself.
I have recently bought my own home and have been creating flower beds to minimize the amount of grass in my yard. Last summer, I plunked in a garden plot and ‘threw’ a few seeds in the ground. Surprisingly enough, a few veggies popped up – these were enjoyed by myself and my family over the later summer months.
Spending time in the garden with my grandparents and parents have left me with fond childhood (and adult!) memories. I hope to someday share my love for gardening with my own family.
Linda Morrison Durant
I think the seeds for my interest in urban farming were first planted (okay – bad pun) when I read an article about the history of lawns and the impact this obsessive conformity has had on our society. Paradigm-shift. I’m a city girl (born in Montreal), so food was something you got at the grocery store, and folks with large bountiful gardens were, to me, akin to a guild of quasi-magicians whose feats I could never hope to emulate. Then I started finding articles on how to turn even a small lawn into a source of abundant food.
Two years ago, I took the first tentative steps toward ending the tyranny of the lawn by building a 4′ x 8′ raised bed in a sunny patch of the backyard. Mel Bartholomew’s “Square Foot Gardening” literally at hand, propped open on the deck, I marked off my squares, and planted some seeds and seedling plants I’d started indoors. And despite mixed success, I was hooked.
I arrived in Prince Edward Island in 1993, following completion of a BSc(Agr) at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, and since that time have held key leadership roles in research, policy, administration, planning, education and communications. I have worked closely with public and private institutions and have been influential in the establishment of several strategic partnerships.
My focus has been agriculture and environment and most recently social innovation. My one great passion is my three children,who are very busy, creative and curious 14, 13 and 11 year old children; I am committed to their continued growth and learning.
I am a continuous learner myself, in the process of completing an MBA and am very excited to be able to use my knowledge and communications skills to bring this group together to share and learn.
I’m Heidi Riley, and I have lived in York for 16 years. I care a lot about what I eat, and I try to eat well. I bake my own bread from scratch. I buy as much as I can from local growers at the Charlottetown Farmers Market. I love gardening and I love growing my own food. I am presently taking the Master Gardener’s program at Nova Scotia Agriculture College on-line.
My house is on three –quarters of an acre. I have a big garden where I grow carrots, tomatoes, beans, peas, sunflowers, and lettuce. And I try something new every year, with varying success. I planted four high-bush blueberry bushes last year, and I have a big raspberry patch. I’m on a mission to get rid of even more lawn this year, and replace it with native plantings. I am also a pretty serious composter. I’m very proud to eat food I grew myself. The lettuce may have a few holes, but I know I don’t have to worry about pesticides on my food – unless it has drifted from my neighbours’ lawns or the potato fields behind our house.
Members with No Bios: