Love The Ravines

ravine in toronto

Toronto ravines make for leafy getaways all over the city.


The Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) works to promote green space in the city, improve our solutions for public transit and waste disposal. They are supporters of a new partnered campaign Love The Ravines, which champions one of Toronto’s best assets, our network of ravines.

Toronto has incredible wilderness spaces that perform important ecological services and are great for recreational activities like running and cycling. Found in the heart of the city, our ravines are little known gems that deserve our love. That’s why TEA has joined with a number of organizations to launch a new campaign called #LovetheRavines.

They have partnered with Green Space, Patagonia, Environmental Defence, Dot Dot Dash and Park People in creating a petition to let Toronto City Council know

that you want our ravines to be added to the protected lands that make up Ontario’s Greenbelt.

I spend a lot of my time walkimg in Toronto’s ravines with my dog. I’m always thrilled to be able to be in a place of pure nature, right within the city limits. Our ravines enhance the livability of the city in countless ways. They need help, and we cant afford to take them for granted.



You May As Well Try to Catch The Rain: In A Rain Garden

 

rain garden

Rain garden with birdbath feature, and rock stream diverting downspout.

When you hear the phrase ‘rain garden’, you might think of a garden made of falling raindrops. That’s what came to mind the first time I heard the term. There’s a little poetry in the idea of a rain garden, but in fact, it’s a practical way of turning your garden into a cache for rainwater; about keeping rain where you want it, (and need it) rather than having rain run off madly in all directions.

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City Hall Roof Garden Cools it Down

Ornamental catnip, loved by bees, blooming on Toronto City Hall green roof.

Ornamental catnip, loved by bees, blooming on Toronto City Hall green roof.

While the goings-on at City Hall get heated in the summer of 2013, the plants growing on the vast roof garden are keeping it cool overhead.  Toronto City Hall’s roof garden has been in place since 2010 and it really is worth a trip up that curved, modernist ramp when you’re in the area. It’s the only way to see it, and what a pleasant surprise it is.

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Eco-Lawn Seed: Let the Seeding Begin!

eco lawn grass

Eco-Lawn isn’t your ordinary thirsty, gas-guzzling lawn.

The whirlwind of spring has begun. And it’s the ideal time to seed my big green bag of Eco-Lawn grass seed! Eco-Lawn germinates best when temperatures are 55-70 degrees F, which makes late April and early May—right now—the perfect time. Eco Lawn and any other grass seed won’t germinate during the very hot summer. Grass likes it cool.

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Canadian Organic Growers Conference: Feb 2013

Cornfields are controversial when it comes to organic growing, with GM and “Roundup Ready” seeds playing havoc with nature.

You might want to mark your calendars for this conference coming up February 16th, run by the Toronto chapter of the Canadian Organic Growers organization. This organization (COG) is a leader in sharing information between farmers, home gardeners and anyone interested the benefits of growing food organically, and sustainably.

COG’s membership is diverse and includes farmers, gardeners, processors, retailers, educators, policy-makers, and consumers. Not all COG members run certified organic operations, but they share a vision for a sustainable bioregionally-based organic food system. Our members believe that organic food production is the best choice for the health of consumers and producers, for the protection and enhancement of the environment, and for the sustainability of the food production system. In fact we believe that the survival of our country and even of the planet depends on it.

COG spreads the word about the benefits of organic through events, workshops, conferences and publications. Their quarterly magazine  has been running for more than 30 years, and is chock-full of info. A donation to the organization will get you an e-subscription, while a hard copy version is available for $18 plus HST. To spread their message of sustainable, organic growing, they also have an online lending library.

The COG Toronto Chapter is holding their one-day consumer conference on February 16th. Keynote speakers include Gilles-Eric Seralini, who will speak on the effects GM corn, glyphosate (Roundup herbicide), and safety issues of genetic food engineering. and Documentary film maker, Deborah Koons Garcia,  whose most recent film is Symphony of the Soil, which I can’t wait to see. From their website:

Hear about GMOs the smoking gun, the real story behind chicken and egg production, a first-hand account of organic food production in China, a pediatrician speaks out, what are the meals that heal, the organic farmer’s perspective, what is the future of organic, and more.

A $65 ticket to the conference includes an organic lunch. Sounds like a deal. (after Feb. 5, $85); COG members $55 . More info and to register: www.cogtoronto.org