Saturday, 7 August 2010

Saturday Photo: An Electrifying Urban Agriculture Experiment

There's been much talk about urban agriculture this week in Montreal. The Université du Québec à Montréal is sponsoring a series of walks to showcase two neighorhoods where ordinary folk and university types are growing a multitude of vegetables, McGill has its Centre for Urban Agriculture , there's a festival honouring organic farmers this weekend.

This week Elin also showed me the most urban garden I've seen in some time. It's growing under high tension electrical pilons on the edge of a residential neighborhood of duplexes and modest single family houses, not far from a major highway. St. Léonard--the name of the borough where it's located--is home to a large number of Italian immigrants and their offspring who have turned backyards into bountiful gardens, but this small patch takes the prize for hardwork and originality.

The top left photo shows what the garden looks like from the parking lot of the auto dealership next door. The top right one was taken looking down from the picnic tables, and the third, from the gate where the gardener(s) enter.

The day we were there a second crop of beans was coming up, squash of some sort were setting flower, and there were lots of tomatoes just about ripe. Underneath another pilon cheerful sunflowers and a few zuchinni were also growing (bottom left.)

1 comment:

lagatta à montréal said...

Indeed, though St-Léonard may look boringly residential and some of the neo-baroque Italianesque touches may be rather kitsch, there are beautiful vegetable patches, orchards and flower gardens for the walker or cyclist to explore.

Some people actually plant fig trees and other non-hardy trees every spring, then take them indoors to winter over. There was a Greek fellow on Esplanade in Mile-End not far from you who did the same with an olive tree, but alas I haven't seen his tree this
year - perhaps the tree or the man has passed away...

That garden is a standout!