Planting Edmonton on the Urban Agriculture Map

Travis Kennedy of Lactuca urban farm, cold frames extend urban farmer's growing season in Edmonton (Photo - TMoyles)

As May approaches, Edmonton’s community of gardeners, green thumbs and food enthusiasts aren’t the only ones planting and planning for the season: the city itself is getting one step closer to amending a bylaw that would make it easier for urban agriculture to take root and thrive. It could result …

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Notes on ‘Writing What I Fear I Cannot Bear to Know’

Over the weekend, I participated in a writer’s workshop in Edmonton called ‘Researching Social Justice & Writing What I Fear I Cannot Bear to Know”. The workshop was organized by the good folks at the Centre for Global Citizenship (University of Alberta) and facilitated by two academic and creative powerhouses, …

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Eating My Way North to South in India – Part II

Spicy sauces are cooled by yogurt and coconut chutney in Tamil cooking (Photo - TMoyles)

In continuation of my culinary tales from ‘north to south’ in India… A Meal for the Desert Kings and Queens in Rajasthan It was a two-hour drive to the south from Delhi to reach Rajasthan, the land of kingdoms and camels and stretches of golden deserts. Along the way, we …

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Eating My Way North to South in India – Part I

Tibetan dumplings, or 'momos' in northern India.

A whirlwind visit to India in late October was more than enough to tease and please the senses and stomach. Let’s just say I came for the research with woman farmers and found myself absolutely head over heels in love with India’s food culture. Forty-two meals in fourteen days: from …

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Culture Shock & Stovetop Pumpkin Pie

My Ugandan attempt at Canadian Thanksgiving! (TMoyles)

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m homesick. I’ve got a serious case of longing for Canada these days. I’m coming on two years (albeit for a brief hiatus in early 2013) in Uganda and good ole ‘culture shock’ has finally snuck up on me. These days, I am longing for the …

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Let’s Talk About Canadian Immigration

Canadian doctors for refugee care protest

“They said his tourist visa was rejected because he’s not established enough,” the MP’s secretary voice says meekly over the phone. “Established?” I huffed. “But he’s a student…we have a letter from his university. We even have a letter from a future employer in Uganda.” “Well, that’s what they said,” …

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On Becoming a Bird Watcher

Be like the (yellow vented) bulbul - stop, observe and listen...

When I was a child, it wasn’t at all an uncommon experience to come home from school and find a wounded owl in the basement. The other kids in our neighbourhood in Lower West Peace were pretty sure my parents were running a zoo out of our small home. In …

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The Art of Yarn Bombing

(Kay Niedermeyer)

By Kay Niedermeyer Yarn bombing, or “knit graffiti” is a thing I’ve always appreciated but never created or participated in myself until very recently. My inexperience with yarn bombing would probably surprise people who know me both as a rabble-raiser, and also a gal whose hands have been pretty much …

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The Chicken Feather

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It all began with the slashed crops. They lay dead in my tracks, barricading the pathway through the garden. The thick maize stalks were severed at their base. No way a cutworm could’ve sawed its way through the hardy stalks. No jagged evidence of goat teeth, either. I knelt to …

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Un poco de todo agriculture

Diversity is key: evident in the garden and the harvest.

A little bit of everything equals diversity. Diversity, say agroecologists worldwide, is key to resilience. And resilience, as we all know, is what’s required to cope with and adapt to changing weather patterns. Large-scale agriculture, mechanized agriculture, industrial agriculture, modern agriculture, Monsanto inspired agriculture; however you wanna call it, I’m talking …

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Compost Philosophy

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Everyone, of course, wants to eat from the garden — but not everyone is prepared to bend under the hot sun and (re)build the soil that gives birth to human sustenance. I write loosely, referring to love and community and food systems and social equality, in the same breath, the …

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Community Organization – Love, Chaos & Some Kind of Change

2007 - Team in Esteli, Nicaragua

If there is one thing that I’ve learned it’s this: it feels good to be a part of something bigger than my own individual goals in life. Milestones that I’m supposed to celebrate: individual accomplishments like graduating from high school, university, and entering the world of long and annoying job …

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Behind the Canadian Flag – Mining in Central America

Mother and daughter farmers with their children and grandchildren in Comitancillo, Guatemala.

Seven years ago, I broke the stitches that secured the Canadian flag to my bright blue backpack. It was a symbolic act. It was a traveller’s coming of age moment when I realized that I was no longer proud of my country’s political reputation abroad. When I was 19, I …

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Vertical Growing – DIY Pallet Garden Project

Step 2

Inspired by last week’s kitchen garden project with the school kids in Rubira, I’ve been motivated to continue experimenting with vertical growing projects in our garden in Kabale, so we see what works and pass along the technologies to youth, too. I’ve always been a fan of using waste materials …

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Kids in the Garden – Cultivating Creativity in Rubira

The kids and Atayo making raised beds for vegetable production.

The garden is a good place to observe, learn and experiment. It’s also a great space for inspiring creativity in people of all ages, though particularly for children and youth. In the Fall of 2013, I facilitated my first composting workshop with my wonderful friend, Christina, who was teaching grade …

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