Recently a good friend and co-worker said to me “Grow where you are planted”. I was curious of where this expression came from and with a quick internet search this is what I found:
“The quote can be found in Scripture, but not the exact words … it’s also expressed as “bloom where you’re planted” [as] a person should take advantage of the opportunities they have in their life and be grateful for the present situation”.
This sentiment made a lot of sense to me. It also got me thinking. How could someone get a garden started at home without getting into the car and heading off to a garden centre or hardware store to get seedlings, seed packets or other supplies?
CBC’s The Current was also talking about growing your own garden as an option too. This reminded me about a show that aired between 1975-2015 called Victory Garden. It was based on the concept of the “Victory Gardens” that were originally popularized during the First World War and again later in the Second World War in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe. This basically was “a vegetable garden, especially a home garden, planted to increase food production during the war”. You now can stream the show popularized by PBS.
Want to watch something Canadian? Check out these gardening-related television shows.
Hankering for something a little more local? Visit to the Waterloo Horticultural Society website or follow them on Facebook.
Going back to the Victory Garden concept, I thought a little bit more about an alternative way of planting. The concept of saving seeds from food you already have. You know the seeds in the stuff in your fridge or fruit cellar that you would normally toss. With a little digging, no pun intended, I found a wealth of information that the beginner seed saver should keep in mind.
You must know what to grow
- Start with open-pollinated seeds
- Annual, bi-annual, perennial
- Learn about species
Plan for seed saving
- Start with easy crops
- Grow enough plants
- Put a little space between varieties
Collect your bounty
- Know when your seeds are mature
- Know how to harvest your seeds
- Storing seeds
Some of the top “super-easy” seeds to save are:
- Peas and beans
If you want more information on seed saving or prefer the more traditional route you can order seeds online or by phone without leaving the comfort of your home check these resources out
- OSC Seeds
- Mackenzie Seeds
- Stoke Seeds
- Rainbow Seeds
- Incredible Seeds
- Halifax Seed
- Shifting Roots
- Toronto Seed Library
- Off the Grid News
- Mother Earth News
- We Seed Change
- Salt Spring Seeds
- West Coast Seeds
For innovative ways to create a garden without leaving your home look around your house and reuse or repurpose items. Check your attic, closets, cupboards, basement and garden shed. You never know what could be useful! Here are a few ideas to get started:
- Use food tins, plastic bottles, egg cartons to start your seedlings
- Frame your garden bed with old wooden boards, bricks, or blocks of wood
- Make your own greenhouse with old windows, hula hoops cut in half or plastic 2 litre soda bottles
- Create your own composter or compost if you don’t already
- Compost your grass clippings, leaves and shredded paper
- Use old compact discs or aluminum pie plates on strings to keep the birds at bay
In addition to all these ideas, WPL also has some super electronic resources in the Digital Library to help you in the garden:
- Take a look at Download Library for gardening books and videos
- There are some great podcasts on CBC Curio, BBC and National Geographic
- Take an online course at Gale Courses
- Access thousands of international gardening magazines at PressReader
- Want to download your own copy of a magazine? Go no further, take a look at RBdigital
With the May long weekend approaching you have the opportunity to research, harvest your own seeds and prepare your plot and remember, “Grow where you are planted”. Happy gardening!
— Teresa N-P