BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Watch Me Grow! A Down-to-Earth Look at Growing Food in the City by Deborah Hodge, photographed by Brian Harris

Watch Me GrowFirst reaction after reading this inviting title: I wanna move to Vancouver … at least for a summer or two! Who wouldn’t want to be part of this “bustling city” depicted in these colorful, diverse, delicious pages?

Amidst the concrete and tightly packed buildings are gardens in “backyards, front yards, rooftops, boulevards, vacant lots, fire escapes, balconies, patios, windowsills and kitchen counters.” Wherever a seed has good soil, sunlight, and water, it will grow … with proper care, it will give back many-fold.

In addition to gardens that flourish in surprising places, city dwellers with enough space might keep happy chickens and enjoy their fresh eggs with bright orange yolks, or even nourish honeybees in a rooftop hive. Plant the garden, and they will come: birds, butterflies, helpful bugs and insects in search of food and shelter …

Sharing your healthy bounty with others (both human and otherwise), cooking and eating and nurturing each other are some of the many benefits to growing the food together. “Everywhere in the city, people are caring for their gardens and caring for each other. They’re sharing gardens, kitchens and food. They’re learning about their neighbors and themselves. They’re making the city a more beautiful place to live.”

Admit it … even if you don’t have a green thumb (that would be me!), this city sounds downright Edenic. Vancouver’s citizens are as diverse as their gardens … just about every ethnicity, every age, shape, and size seems caught in the act of enjoying their daily lives … the blueberry pie alone had me salivating. Surely amidst such friendly faces, someone might invite me over for a homegrown meal?

Readers: Children

Published: 2011



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