The Société de développement de l'avenue du Mont-Royal has implemented a superb initiative to gardenify the pedestrian/cycling zone that is the avenue during the summer. The comestible garden has been set up on the street, with all kinds of aromatic herbs, fruits, and vegetables present. The "Jardins nourriciers" (as the project is called) is under the management of Humanicité, a group of students from the Cégep de Victoriaville Institut national d'agriculture biologique and the UQAM School of Design, with the support of Fertiles and the multi-sectorial network of urban farmers, Cultiver Montréal.
The other day, early in the morning, I ran into a member of Cultiver Montreal working in the garden who told me a bit about the project, about how the garden is inspired by the principles of permaculture and organic farming, as well as how all the herbs, flowers, and vegetables are arranged according to the principles of compagnonnage. (We also talked a bit about how some of the best herbal teas are made from chamomile, sage, and holy basil!)
She also gave me permission to take some cuttings of holy basil (it's a plant I've been adoring in tea for the past year or two) for my own balcony garden, and a small bouquet of chamomile, which are really in blooming in the bright sun on the street.
I find this community garden very well done, and I really hope that the avenue will repeat this experience next year. In this very densely populated corner of town, many apartment dwellers (like me!) don't have access to land to grow their own little garden. For children especially, being able to observe the herbs and vegetables while they are still in the ground, and to see all the work and effort that it takes to cultivate beautiful plants, even while just walking by every day, is a very precious opportunity.
In August, the Jardins nourriciers will be running some very interesting workshops. Register and find out more here:
- August 3: La conservation des semences by Pascale Nycz
- August 6: Astuces pour éloigner les écureuils du jardin by la Maison d’Aurore
- August 10: La nutrition végétale by la Maison d’Aurore
- August 13: Pollinisateurs et plantes: une histoire d’amour by Miel Montréal
- August 17: Introduction à l’herboristerie urbaine by Marie-Josée Vivier
- August 20: Plantes comestibles de nos trottoirs by Fertiles
- August 24: Les familles botaniques du potager by Maison d’Aurore
- August 27: Forêt nourricière en ville, by Fertiles
- August 31: Cueillette sur le Plateau-Mont-Royal by the Collectif Les Fruits défendus