My potted, urban balcony and window garden

English: Vandana Shiva, noted environmentalist...

English: Vandana Shiva, noted environmentalist in 2007, at Rishikesh, Cropped from Original image to eliminate other people in the photograph. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I began a journey of change and learning a couple of months ago when in my “Women in the Third World” gender class our professor introduced us to Vandana Shiva. Shiva is an Indian Dr. who has dedicated her career to protecting, maintaining and educating the world of the importance of organic seeds and elders’ earth knowledge. As her follower and fan, Shiva reminds me every day of the need to have control over our food, the fights against genetically modified corporations such as Monsanto, and the importance of returning to the soil, to nature, to our ancestors for lessons that our all too innovative world has undermined. 
Having her in my thoughts, I was pinteresting one day about fashion and deco, when it occurred to me that pinterest must have pins on gardening. So it all began one afternoon, when I got immersed in the quantity of information, ideas and love shared by pinteresters, bloggers, youtubers, and other online individuals. I was underwhelmed not only with the tips, but also with the connection between gardening, recycling, sharing, and uniting of communities, one neighbour at the time. Thinking about gardening not only helped me make it through the last months of winter in cold, snowy Fredericton, but it also inspired me to reconnect to my own roots. How was it possible that I came from a country in which we had the same tropical weather all year round, and the only thing we grew was rosemary? Something in my thinking and relating to the world was changing. Gardening was, indeed, a method of rebellion. With Vandana Shiva in my spirit, two gardening books, a couple of pots and pinterest I began to grab the bull its horns and tell the world that it was I WHO HAD CONTROL OVER MY LIFE. By creating life around me, by growing food (that my lovely partner will make into delicious meals), and by gifting other women with seeds and plants and whatever little knowledge I had gained, I began to find love. Every time a basil plant appeared before my eyes overnight a tremendous joy filled my existence. Before I knew it, and even combatting the lack of dedication, my love nest was suddenly filled with baby tomato, pepper, coriander, arugula, and basil plants. In addition, rosemary, lavender, mint, tomato and green onions teenager plants lead the way to a home filled with nature, life, and love. Gardening has become a daily mediation and dedication to my plants. It is exciting to see new life spring into beauty, it is awakening to have little ones to be responsible and caring for, and it is path that will change my life. I already know this and I can only smile at a future in which I am feeding myself and my loved ones with healthy plants. I am taking control of my life by connecting to the earth, by teaching my hands to be fruitful and by uniting women of diverse backgrounds and minds to share such a wonderful experience with me.
Hopefully I can get my partner to photograph some of our babies tonight, and will be posting the beginning of the rest of my life, all sitting happily in pots around the windows and balconies in our home.
If you are in Fredericton and would like to share your experience with me, please contact, I am waiting to hear from others. If you are away, I would love to hear from your experiences as vividly as you can make them!
Mai C.   

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