Blog Archive

Friday, July 3, 2015

Farewell Puebla, Good Luck Gardeners

The Seaside Ruins of Tulum
 June 22nd, Puebla - After six great months in Mexico, staying in Mexico City, Puebla, Oaxaca and traveling for two weeks in the Yucatan, my visa is finally expiring and I'm heading back to Canada just in time for the glorious Vancouver summer. Our short time in the Yucatan was well spent and enchanting. We landed in Cancun, rented a car at the airport and quickly headed South through the Riviera Maya. The commercialism and hoards of tourists at Playa del Carmen bored us terribly and we ended up spending the rest of our time seeking out little-known cenotes (watery sinkholes in the limestone bedrock) and lesser-visited mayan ruins across the peninsula all the way to the western shores. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Weather Extremes Perplex the Plants

Hail storms in cactus country!
May 15th, Puebla - A lot of gardening is simply trial and error to find out what works best under the particular conditions on your patch. The effects of the rooftop's exposure to the elements continues to surprise me. A recent hailstorm came in sideways and ripped up the seedling bed. Birds also picked out some of the seeds before they had a chance to germinate. The hail also left cold burn marks on the leaves of some plants and tore others completely apart.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

All Hands On the Rooftop

Nighttime planting under the new moon
April 22nd, Puebla - With a surprisingly dry April so far and no rain in over two weeks, things have been heating up on the rooftop. But the heat hasn't slowed us down. The Dadas have returned from the last detox retreat, most hands are on deck around the house and collaboration is growing. A few days ago we held a nice, intimate little seed germinating party at night under a thin sliver of moon. Everyone from the house gathered on the roof to lend a hand with the planting. Dada sang a special mantra that was given for tree planting ceremonies and the seeds were tenderly placed into their earthy cocoons with thoughts of universal consciousness nurturing them to maturity. The location of the seeds will intentionally put some degree of stress of them, in the form of heat and wind, while protecting them from heavy rain and direct sun, aside from a few hours in the morning. In this way, they will be better adapted to the harsh conditions on the roof. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Building, Planning and Designing

Living pallet wall
April 6th, Puebla - Just over a month has passed and the roof is slowly coming alive, the different components piecing themselves together, and the entire space lending itself nicely to exercises in visualization and brainstorming of things to come. This first phase has mostly been dedicated to importing materials and building the structure and elements that are necessary to allow the garden to thrive.

Friday, March 27, 2015

A Promising Beginning

North Thompson River from Westsyde
March 10th, Puebla – Kamloops, British Columbia, the patch where I was born, is a town of around 100,000 people spread across the semi-arid valleys that lie 4 hours inland from the Pacific Coast. In Canada, there are few ecosystems of its kind, and summer temperatures can easily stretch into the high thirties. Close to my parents' home is North America's most northern wine vineyard; they've had bears roam onto their yard and peak through the garage door windows; and in the distance, across the North Thompson river, the hills are bare with black-scorched pine trees dotting the dry, golden earth; a remnant scene of wildfire that swept through some years back. In early summer the hills blush with lavender and the pastel green-grey of sagebrush that powders the landscape and infuses the air with calmness and contentment.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Little Patches of Green, Uncertainty and Permaculture

Templo de Santo Domingo, Oaxaca
February 16th, OaxacaFor over two years Maria and I have lived from packs and roamed as nomadic adventurers. Sometimes together, sometimes on our own. California to Tofino, Sulawesi to Seoul, Jakarta to Denmark, and now, Vancouver to Puebla, Mexico. But every now and then the routine gets dull, rented beds become cold and scratchy. We've slowed down recently, and at times have ground to a halt, when the part that gets desperate yearns most strongly for a deeper sense of place and experience of home.