I heard a robin calling this morning which I took as a sign of spring, even though the biting cold wind feels more like winter. The potatoes my dad grew last year, and that are still left over, are alive in the cupboard, sprouting from their eyes, so anxious to grow and full of life that I feel strange peeling and chopping them. I’m packing up some seeds from cardoons I grew last summer in the hope that other gardeners at the Seedy Saturday will want to grow them too. They produce stunning thistle flowers and you eat the stem, if you are prepared to do the preparation work. I’m writing this post as a reminder to myself to start sprouting the seedlings because before we know it, the rain will come, the soil will thaw and smell alive again and all the gardeners I have been interviewing will be heading out to the garden to grow the plants that are so important to them.
This growing season I’m spending time with gardeners in the greater Toronto area for my PhD research project. I’m studying how growing food in the city influences the way people understand health and well-being. I also want to understand how what happens in the world around us influences how we grow food. The goal of my research is to better understand how we relate to nature in the city.
Already I’ve learned so much from the research participants who’ve allowed me to speak with them and visit their gardens.
If you’d like to learn more, you can visit the website for my study here.