I attended the Urban Agriculture Expo this weekend and meant to post quite quickly afterward. But in blogging, as with the rest of living, it is Better to be Late Than Never. So I would like to introduce you to two booths, having websites, that were pointed out to me by Jean-Phillippe, a fellow farmer whom I took the Ecole d’été agriurbaine course with in 2010.
|The creator of PlantCatching,
One of them is PlantCatching – www.plantcatching.com. I spoke with its creator (pictured at left) at the expo. Basically, the website is something like what BookCrossing does: You announce the location of a plant, seed, or bulb (or gardening materials such as soil, compost, and containers) that you are happy to share or give away, so that others who are looking for plants (ahem. This means YOU, when you want to add to your garden!) can find it. Then, print the tag the website automatically generates – or write a note including the website URL code – to attach to the plant or stuff you are giving away. Then put the giveaway out somewhere it can be retrieved. Some plants you may “advertise” by putting out for any old passer-by, and this will help publicize PlantCatching; some plants can only be found by those who know where to look. Whenever I practice discardia, I always put stuff at the end of my sidewalk, where it meets the street. Somebody always gets the goods I put out.
The second website is more local to the Montreal area – Troc ton jardin, which means “Barter Your Garden.” It is a project being piloted in Ahuntsic-Cartierville, which is the north side of Montreal. It is a Gardening Circle – a biweekly meeting of gardeners of any style – private household gardeners, container gardeners, business/condo-rooftop gardeners, community gardeners – who exchange their surplus fruits, herbs, and knowledge. Workshops are being arranged for the pilot project, and would be an integral part of any gardening circle. The initiator of the project, Daniel Rochefort, would like to encourage anyone to start up a Troc ton jardin chapter anywhere. The membership and plant exchange is free, and as such, it’s all on a volunteer basis. And this kind of individual-to-individual, sociable community participation is exactly what it’s like in rural areas, where when one wants to learn and grow stuff, you only need call up neighbours to find a friendly person-who-knows. A Garden Circle project, which will hopefully become an ongoing network, is different from country practices only by the a factor of, being in a city, having so many people to go through in order to find what you need, person-to-person. And if anyone would like to start up a Troc ton jardin circle for Le Sud-Ouest, contact me. I’d be a happy co-conspirator.