Stone Soup Postcards

I enjoyed some lovely conversations with growers and eaters at the Stone Soup Festival on the Britannia Centre grounds near Commercial Drive in East Vancouver yesterday. Garden Gnomad emphasizes dialogue without much structure. There are of course themes emerging:

– emergence!: people are starting gardens (of course, it is spring). Many people tell me that they are gardening for the first time; or they are planning to start gardening; or they know of someone who is gardening in a unique or experimental way and they want to tell me about it. Urban gardening seems like an emergent activity that is of interest to many (maybe MOST!) urban dwellers.

– People are facing gardening to solve what they see as unacceptable food issues: poor quality, high priced, poor selection. They worry about the pollution created by food distribution to urban areas… and many other issues concerning food security.

– As new gardeners, people’s knowledge about growing food and making gardens is uneven. People are eager to share information but their answers are contradictory. This is kind of fun because it makes people talk to each other more, and argue and think and go back on line to find answers or go to places like ‘City Farmer’ to ask people with more experience.

– The machine in the garden is awkward but still a curiosity. Those who are savy sees it as an awkward, though free, tool that could be replaced by a pocket sized iphone. Those who know little about computers appreciate hearing that they could put together this machinery for free by putting in some hours at Free Geek. They like hearing about open source software and seeing how easy  to manage solar power has become.

– I hear a lot about other mobile interfaces with gardening. Of course, this is the city and everything in the city is on the move. Here is a report of a rooftop community garden that required a bicycle: YWCA’s rooftop garden

I have loaded a pile of postcards that have resulted from my first garden visits and the two public appearances of Garden Gnomad at the Mount Pleasant Community Centre’s Earth Day and Britannia Centre’s Stone Soup Festival in the Garden Gnomad Postcard Album.


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