The Grow Your Own Movement Sweeping Across Cities

The coronavirus outbreak has been challenging for us all, but in a way, it’s also been inspiring. People who have never grown their own food are keen to try it, and more experienced gardeners are looking to take growing to the next level. 

Green Cities

As seed sales around the world skyrocket, big cities are even getting into the grow your own movement by promoting self-sufficiency.

Montreal, the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis in Canada, is one of them. 

As part of the city’s vision for urban agriculture, a hectare of land at the Botanical Gardens is being devoted to growing fruits and vegetables for local food banks.

Montreal Botanical Garden

The designated plot of land can grow enough to feed 100 people for an entire year! 

Beyond that, agricultural workshops will teach people basic gardening skills to increase productivity. 

It’s all about long-term food security. Montreal’s executive committee is also granting $45,000 to an urban agriculture organization, which will distribute gardening supplies, seeds, and seedlings to residents in ten neighborhoods.

Online education tools will also help people get started.

Community Gardens Reopening

Community Gardens

In Montreal and elsewhere around the world, community gardens and allotments are opening to the public again.

Beyond being a fantastic way to spend a summer day, they’re also a place where people can grow food for their families and neighbors. 

But to ensure everyone’s safety, the gardens reopen with more rules than a public swimming pool.

Community gardens with social distancing regulations

Regulations vary from garden to garden, but in most places, the following applies:

  • Maintain a 2-meter distance from other gardeners at all times.
  • Hand washing and hand sanitizer stations must be set up.
  • Gardeners must always wear gloves and bring their own tools.
  •  Shares spaces must be sanitized regularly.
  • Entry is granted by appointment only to ensure the gardens don’t become too crowded.
  • No new gardeners are allowed to register this year.

It’s not what we’re used to, but then again, nothing is these days. 

What is promising is that we all might emerge from this crisis a little greener — and that’s a color that looks good on us all. 

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Catherine Sherriffs

Editor at Garden Culture Magazine

Catherine is a Canadian award-winning journalist who worked as a reporter and news anchor in Montreal’s radio and television scene for 10 years. A graduate of Concordia University, she left the hustle and bustle of the business after starting a family. Now, she’s the editor and a writer for Garden Culture Magazine while also enjoying being a mom to her three young kids. Her interests include great food, gardening, fitness, animals, and anything outdoors.