It’s almost the best time of the year: gardening time! Very soon, the flowers will be blooming and the bees will be buzzing, and the snow will be a distant memory.
For all the novice gardeners out there, we wanted to share a short and sweet list of resources to get your hands dirty and to help you enjoy the fruits of the growing season! No matter the knowledge, experience or space available to you, there are ways for everyone to get involved in urban gardening.
Looking to care for a garden this year, and don’t know where to start? Here are the basic things to take into consideration, and some resources to guide you on your way.
- Planning your garden: in search of inspiration for what to grow this year? Consult this simple and free planting guide developed by Tournesol Cooperative Farm.
- Seeds: these are the basis of any gardening project. Check out Magali’s blog post on seeds for some suggestions on where to source the best seeds and how to support local producers.
- Growing seedlings: some plants need to be started indoors as soon as February or March in order to have time to grow fully. This requires some advance planning and a basic set up of seedling trays and grow lights. Consult this introductory guide on seedlings from Espace pour la Vie.
- Buying seedlings: if you don’t have the space or gear to grow your own, buying seedlings is a great alternative. Stay tuned for news about the Roulant farm’s seedling sales, coming up in the month of May. In the meantime, Jean-Talon Market is a great place to find a wide variety of seedlings.
- Compost, soil and mulch: the three most important components of your garden beds or containers. Many Montreal boroughs organize free distribution days: consult the calendar (dates to be added soon). They can also be bought at most hardware stores.
Looking to take your gardening knowledge to the next level? Here is a list of organizations and producers offering workshops and trainings that cover a range of skills.
- Hamidou Horticulture offers a series of in-person workshops based in Montréal (French only)
- Urbainculteurs offers online workshops (French only)
- L’académie potagère offers online workshops (French only)
- L’école d’été sur l’agriculture urbaine et l’alimentation durable is a series of in-person workshops and visits based in Montréal (French only)
- Soul Fire Farm has curated a list of BIPOC*-led, free, online “how-to” videos that cover many gardening topics (English only)
For a more extensive list of organizations offering education and workshops on urban agriculture, consult the members page of Cultiver Montréal.
Community supported agriculture
Are you lacking a green thumb, but still want to enjoy garden-fresh tomatoes? Are you looking to support local farmers while also enjoying delicious organic produce all season long? Look no further than the Family Farmers’ Network. This Québec-wide network allows you to find nearby farmers and to sign up for a weekly delivery of fresh produce baskets all throughout the season.
Looking for more advice or resources? Don’t hesitate to come chat with me next time you’re at the Roulant.
– Adrienne, garden and accessible agriculture coordinator
*BIPOC: black, indigenous, people of color