Od­lum Brown VP Christina An­thony shows off her green thumb

BC Business Magazine - - Contents -

I have been gar­den­ing with my chil­dren since 2007. They range from age seven through age 11. I think it's im­por­tant for the kids to know where food comes from, to un­der­stand that they can grow their own, and what it means to build some­thing and grow some­thing.

My grandma was a farmer in Rich­mond. Our house was down the street. I grew up run­ning in the fields, grab­bing peas and eat­ing them in be­tween the rows, and com­ing with big pails and buck­ets of peas and blue­ber­ries and any­thing we could pick from her gar­den. My mom was more into or­na­men­tal flower gar­den­ing, so it's like it skipped a gen­er­a­tion.

I loved the sci­ence ex­per­i­ment na­ture of it. The first cou­ple of years, we ex­per­i­mented to see what can you grow in this cli­mate and then fo­cused on what we like to eat and what can also look nice—you want your yard to look pretty but still be as func­tional and use­ful as pos­si­ble.

We have two huge herb sec­tions by the back door. And we grow beans, peas, toma­toes, kale, cu­cum­bers, pota­toes, car­rots, radishes, gar­lic and var­i­ous let­tuces: arugula is my sig­na­ture thing. Nine years ago I bought a Syl­vetta arugula plant from South­lands Nurs­ery, and my plant still ex­ists. My friends and fam­ily joke that if we have the apoca­lypse, my arugula is going to live. We prob­a­bly get 15 huge har­vests a year.

In the front yard, I grow my pump­kins up an ar­bour. I've made al­most like a blue­berry hedge, and we have this special squashed ver­sion of rasp­berry called Rasp­berry Short­cake. We bought a bunch of them to make a mini hedge. We have six ap­ple trees, and straw­ber­ries are the thing that my kids just love, so we use them for most of our ground­cover.

The most fun part for the kids is to har­vest. They will grab car­rots and ba­si­cally just rub them off and eat them. Their most fun is the potato har­vest. We all get pretty dirty and get heaps of awe­some pota­toes.

—as told to Felic­ity Stone

BACK­YARD BOUNTY Sow­ing densely in raised beds makes the most of lim­ited space

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