Thursday
Feb132014

Elizabeth Stewart - Urban Edibles

Elizabeth spoke at our February 24, 2014 meeting. She left us this interesting seed list to accompany her wonderful talk - click here to view the list and download it it you want to.

Growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan, Elizabeth Stewart considered ‘gardening’ a hateful word, since it meant hours of dusty, backbreaking hoeing, weeding and harvesting the vegetable garden in the blazing sun. To her surprise, many years later in Toronto, she found herself living in a funky, rented Queen Street West studio in a renovated factory building—with a garden! More specifically, with a series of 80 feet of shady terraced beds rising steeply skyward from a basement walkout.

Over the next several years, she graduated from petunias to polyanthus and from an avowed non-gardener to an addict, with more books on gardening than the Toronto Reference Library (almost), several magazine subscriptions and eventually—frustratingly—not a single square centimetre of earth left unplanted. 

Since relocating to a tiny bungalow in the same neighbourhood, she has transformed her back yard into what she calls a ‘working farm’. The successor to that back-breaking Saskatchewan vegetable garden is a beautiful and bountiful urban mini-farm, which has been featured in Canadian Gardening magazine. She’s also become an active member of Toronto Master Gardeners, where she serves as Communications Coordinator and is a frequent speaker. Elizabeth will enlighten us about this transformation to urban edibles.

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