List of Monumental sculpture projects 2015

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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

THE BIG PICTURE – New Concepts for a New World; Hedonist Agenda

For the Big Picture- New Concepts for a New World 2012, Linz Austria

Urban Agriculture is the big thing coming for Toronto, and maybe already elsewhere, we think. 

For a long time many many years ago, I have noticed in our downtown annex area, people grow vegetables on their front lawns. These are beautiful Chinese vegetable gardens.   Chinese immigrants often grow vegetables of their own on their property, front and back. In other areas of the city you probably won't see that so often. Only in new younger new age type of neighborhoods do you see front vegetable gardens. 

I saw one such beautiful garden on Kennedy and DeForest in the Runnymede area, next to High Park. Neighbours could complaint about vegetable gardens on the front lawn.  If that happens you would have to remove the garden by law.  By law, you are not allowed to keep chickens too.  Maybe two, for pet use.   

Sometimes i see squatting vegetables gardens in street flower planters. I think having a green lawn for display may have been a traditional of "green carpet" big property to help display the house concept? Grass, lawns are luxury type of land use, no food value, and no financial gain possibility. Even flower fields are "purpose laden" for high profits.

Belgium has prospered after the war from Begonia planting, and also green house Orchid imports from Indonesia. And in Paris, often, public gardens are very green, but, a police would jump out from somewhere to tell people to get off the grass, and that, grass is not for sitting, but for viewing. 

So, our front lawn has always been designed to be for that, viewing purpose. Now, some younger people decided to grow vegetables - because all plants being equal, a vegetable plant is just as "viewable" as grass. On top of it, you could eat it! 

At the Urban Agriculture Summit in Toronto, there were many agendas. 
Some people want to help others supplement their daily diet with fresh vegetables because they couldn't afford to buy fresh vegetables. This is the "Helping hand" agenda.

Then, the business men agenda, rent some roofs and grow your vegetables, supply it to fancy restaurants. New farmers who could get to do their farming job, they enjoy it and they also get to live in the city. They wouldn't want to have to live in a faraway lost country side without any cinema, restaurants, clubs, all the urban facilities in big cities. This is the "Roof top urban farmer" agenda. To help it run, they also used volunteers, non paying manpower. 

Then, there is the community agenda, people do gardening together on a city plot. This creates a social space for a healthy nature related activity. This would be the "Mental Health and Well Being" agenda. 

Then, there is the "Eat good food", "revitalizing derelict inner city" agenda. This category involves raising worms, getting composting closing a loop for ecology, recycling as a part of lowering global warming solution. This is the "Green" Agenda. 

My agenda for growing things-plants, fish, birds, turtles, animals - is "hedonist", the "Hedonist" agenda.

I like to grow things, even just tiny trials, like sprouting lentil beans for own use. Or growing purple sweet potatoes because I dont see them in super markets often enough. Now that I have seen the Will Allen talk, actually, I think I should first grow worms. His message is that good food is all about having good soil.  Good soil comes from natural workers like worms. Red Wriggler worms. 

So I begin with a small bucket of worm. Thanks to "Food Share" of Toronto, Mike Neven the compost facilitator helped me put together a bucket of worms with bedding etc. I will see how that goes.

In year 2006, after one summer  of zero attention gardening - let grow, live or die style - i got three fingers of purple sweet potatoes!  (Wouldn't say I am the greatest gardener yet, but even at this minimum input of effort and minimum output of crop, what joy!)


My agenda is to grow things that I find fun, beautiful or delicious.  

Its the "Hedonist agenda".

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