Why did I decide to create this forum?
Okay – allow me to start by providing a bit of context first. Growing up, my family lived in the GTA suburbs. Every summer, we would visit my grandparents in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia where they had the most lush, diverse garden. My (then) tiny self would love getting lost in the bushes finding insects while snacking on berries. My grandfather would sow the seeds and my grandmother would make use of everything – most favourably, in the form of delicious strawberry-rhubarb pie.
I also have to mention my other grandfather, Eddie, who lived near to us in the GTA as well. He grew tomato plants every summer in his backyard and they were always SO delicious. I will always remember biting into one of his vine-ripe cherry tomatoes on a hot day as being the true beginning of my love affair with tomatoes. If you know, you know.
In 2006, my mom moved us to a rural town on Georgian Bay where she began her own, smaller vegetable garden. I think this would be where my lust for growing my own herbs and vegetables stemmed from (bah-dum-TSH). This interest perfectly complimented my fascination in health and the benefits of nutrients within the food I consume.
Despite this, my teenage-self dreamed of living in the big city with a business degree. I moved away after high school graduation, and have not had access to actual land since. Currently, I rent a 4th floor, 350-sq. ft. apartment in Toronto with a balcony just large enough for a bistro set and a couple planters. Yet the desire has always lingered…
Somewhere during the first month of a COVID-19 induced self-quarantine, I looked into some how-to’s for apartment gardening and decided pursuing my dream on my tiny balcony was worth a shot. What did I really have to lose other than time – which we were ‘losing’ anyways? So, I went to Home Hardware and purchased the last of their seeds selection: tomato, cucumber*, and yellow wax pepper. I also decided to try out propagation from basil and mint cuttings, and seed sprouting from alfalfa. (*Note that my grandfather advised against growing cucumber in pots. Stay tuned for how they turn out!)
The idea of Fourth Floor Flora began yesterday. Picture it: it’s 8:45 am on Thursday, April 16th, 2020 and day 32 of being laid off due to a global pandemic. I’ve spent the last month meal prepping, completing home workouts, gardening hybrid plants on Animal Crossing: New Horizons… and not much else. Four days ago, I started a daily meditation challenge with my university roommate out of sheer boredom and with minimal enthusiasm, so I am beginning the day with a new mantra: “From this moment forward, I invite unlimited abundance into my life.”
As a recent college graduate, I already knew I was not content with this stand-still life was taking. The mantra really spoke to my half-awake self. I decided to make the best of it by gaining some experience in the online community while doing something meaningful for myself. Why not document my attempt at a make-shift urban edible garden for whoever else might be out there with a similar interest? So, I took some photos of the beginning stages of my garden and envisioned this forum, my garden, and the recipes I will create with each harvest.
Fast-(all-the-way-)forward to today, and I am writing this introductory post! I have no experience with blogging and, full disclosure, my sister came up with the title Fourth Floor Flora about an hour ago. However, I am feeling optimistic about this Great Pause – super excited to see what’s ahead in this experiment and can’t wait to share with you.