Updated: May 4, 2020
It all started about 2002 trying to grow bush tomatoes in pots on the patio in Whistler, BC. With such a short growing season there was never much success and lucky to have much of anything even ripen up.
In 2004 the family and I picked up and moved to Vernon. The house we moved in to had many trees around it so that gave us a lot of shade. There wasn't much of a backyard as there was a double garage, patio, deck, etc. Once again tomatoes on the deck in pots and tried a few small gardens in different places around the house. Not much for success once again but that didn't stop us from planting and trying every year.
2 years ago we moved not too far from our last house and now a big, sunny backyard!! YEAH!! So 2 summers ago we set up 3 large garden boxes with a variety of vegetables and had a fair bit of success. Learned quite a bit from these 3 boxes and come the end of summer was thinking about next spring.
Last year I convinced Adrienne to let me set up a greenhouse and a large garden. So after quite a bit of research I turned a free carport frame into a greenhouse. Bought a used tiller which I nicknamed the "Green Machine". I planted tomatoes, sweet peppers, broccolini, long english cucumbers, radish, turnip, zucchini, patty pan, spinach and a variety of lettuce. I'm now hooked. An addict. I would come home from work and always be in the garden. There was so much produce I started to sell a little and then was supplying a weekly harvest box to about 5 families. With the greenhouse we grew in to November but soon learned that the greenhouse wasn't in the best spot and soon received zero sunshine. Sooooo in the fall I'm asking Adrienne if I can expand the garden and build a larger greenhouse in a sunnier spot in the yard? I get the green light and start digging up the grass and tilling the ground right away.
With winter on its way and no garden to play in I started planning for this year. I was online one day and found a used seeder. Well that opened up a can of worms as when I went to see the guy to buy the seeder he had everything a person would need to start growing microgreens. I was familiar with microgreens as a few farmers I followed online grew them. Well I ended up coming home with the seeder and yes all his microgreen equipment. I got busy right away researching on growing microgreens. I set up 2 shelves in the garage and started growing microgreens. Ok now I have microgreens and I can't eat them all now what? I ended up selling the indoor farmers market with some success and built some good repeat customers. I started sampling restaurants and catering companies and now have a number of regular customers. The garage set up has expanded and now growing on 5 shelving units.
Fast forward to spring this year there are 2 greenhouses, an even larger garden, microgreens growing in the garage and even snuck a few zucchini plants in the front yard garden. My goal this winter is to grow all winter in the greenhouse. More trial and error...I'm ok with that!
I've learned so much the last couple of years from trial and error, reading many books and YouTube!! Coming home from my full time job and heading out in to the garden is my happy place....well one of them. I can get lost out there and spend hours without even realizing it. It's my daily therapy. My labour of love. I'm proud to say I'm an Urban Farmer.