Brad Dunks still remembers his great grandfather’s reaction to his mother’s garden. He looked around and remarked “all these flowers and nothing to eat.” His grandfather grew up during the depression and knew the value of growing food. Brad feels the same way. “Why do we put food on ships and send it half way around the world when we have so much space right here?”
He takes full advantage of his rooftop in downtown Vancouver BC. He finds it’s way easier to grow food than people realize and advises new gardeners to keep it simple. “Be practical, use whatever space you have and grow whatever is easiest. Don’t force it.” He likes growing greens: lettuce, kale, and chard. He’s found that kale gets sweeter in the winter and is fine even with 2″ of snow. Herbs are also a good plant to start with –you can’t kill mint– according to him. He also says the food he grows tastes way better than what you can buy. His wife always hated beets till they grew them and his daughter likes vegetables way more now that she helps care for them.
Brad also advises new gardeners to pay attention to the soil. “It’s really all about the dirt.” He composts his kitchen scraps and cuttings and when a plant becomes too rooty he adds it to the compost too. He rotates the compost out every six months or so–keep the soil moving he says.