Jason’s Garden

One day I’ll live in a little, vine-covered cottage by the sea. A flock of happy chickens will roam the grounds, laying eggs for breakfast. The backyard will be home to a big, beautiful garden, bordered with bright orange marigolds, alive with ladybugs and surrounded by apple and pear trees. Occasionally a freshly caught fish from an unpolluted ocean (if that still exists) will grace the dinner table. My beloved bike will take me everywhere and I’ll live a simple, carbon-neutral life. But until my sweet, “living off the land” dream becomes a reality, I have to make do trying to get back to basics in a crowded urban setting.


One way of getting back to basics, growing food, has become a little bit of an obsession lately. As I walk my dog through the neighborhood I find myself peering in people’s yards, trying to get a closer look at their gardens.

Last week I stumbled upon a stunning garden in my neighbor Jason’s backyard and inched my way through the grass to take a closer look.  There I found a lush plot of tomatoes, kale, scallions, herbs, squash and a host of other goodies. This is one of the communal, apartment gardens I love so much and it is a magnificent display of organic goodness.

As luck would have it, I ran into Jason down at the dog beach a few days later and raved about the beauty of his garden.

He mentioned that he had more veggies than he knew what to do with and said to help myself any old time. Really? Carte blanche to fresh, organic, veggies?

I returned to his garden that very evening, carrying a large canvas shopping bag with lots of room to take my little green treasures home. The next day, happy as could be, chopping away in my kitchen, this is what I made:


Bunch of mixed greens, from Jason’s garden

raspberries, picked from the community garden


crumbled Salt Spring goat cheese

Homemade olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard and basil dressing.

The salad is accompanied by sourdough bread, topped with heirloom tomatoes, basil and Salt Spring Island goat cheese. The bread is drizzled with olive oil and lightly toasted it in the oven.

Add a chilled glass of something sweet and sparkly and you have a really simple, really delicious meal.

Thank you, Jason, for sharing your garden with me.


9 Comments on “Jason’s Garden

  1. Wow. I’ve been thinking of doing something like this. Went to a friends place for dinner over the weekend and saw the number of plants they have growing in their tiny balcony, and realised, its possible, anywhere.

    Read an article on the train this morning that even VPD has a vegetable garden on their roof. Heck, there is even a communal garden in the DTES. So, there really is no excuse not to eh?

    • I love that VPD has a roof garden! The communal gardens are popping up all over town and I definitely hope the trend continues. Food corporations are messing with the food we eat so much that growing your own food is really taking some power back. Also, you can’t get fresher food anywhere and it’s great for the budget!

  2. I really love this path you’re on and the direction you are headed. Thank you so much for sharing. I can almost taste those sweet fresh organic raspberries – yum!!

  3. Lovely. I share the ‘lovely cottage in the walkable/bikeable community’ vision, and also living into it from right where we are. Beautiful neighborly generosity and inspiration, too. 🙂 Blessings, Jamila

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