MaryAnne Bannon Robertson from Waterloo County, Canada

“Greg and I lived in a city apartment in the 70s. We dreamed of having a country garden. We wanted to be part of the “Back to the Land" movement. We got Organic Gardening Magazine and read it cover to cover. In 1979 serendipitously we found a pioneer cottage with a quarter acre in a small country village. Being long time, low income realistic teddy bear making artists; it met our budget and so our adventure began. Our dream came true.
We have been vegans since 1970 and the quality of our food has always been very important to us. We wanted good organic food and that was hard to find in the 1970s. Also as I said we were low income artists so growing our year’s supply really allowed us to eat well. Working from home allowed us time to garden. It has kept us totally healthy as well as exceptionally physically fit.
I grow all our vegetables, herbs, some fruits. I am not sure I can list them all but I will try. Peas, onions, garlic, leeks, spinach, potatoes, carrots, beets, celery , peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, beans…green and dried, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, chinese cabbage and greens, brussel sprouts, squashes, cucumbers, swiss chard, lettuce, asparagus, kale, rutabagas, rhubarb, apples, grapes, blueberries, goji berries, grapes. We have almost run out of room. Our gardens are spilling over onto the road now.
I have a root cellar to store the root crops. Several small freezers are filled. I also do canning, drying, make my own seasonings, condiments, juices etc. We are very self sufficient. We also have extensive flower gardens.
I have saved heirloom seeds for over 35 years and often share with others. I have a garden group on Facebook which is constantly growing with friendly gardeners from all over the world. In this forum, I encourage others to grow their food as well as share information and experiences. I have spoken at local group dinners where gardeners are more than delighted to have all their questions answered by an experienced organic gardener.
We are now retiring and spending more time in the peace of our garden. I have no major plans other than to enjoy life and keep building good soil and healthy plants to feed us. The activity will keep us supple and well fed as we age"