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Season extension - growing sub-tropical species in temperate climates

  • Subject: [cg] Season extension - growing sub-tropical species in temperate climates
  • From: "vijay cuddeford" <ours.1@sympatico.ca>
  • Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2001 09:12:41 -0500

Hello all.  My name is Vijay Cuddeford, and I am working for the city of Toronto to assess the feasibility of growing sub-tropical food species in the city, using simple season extension techniques.  "Simple' being defined as relatively inexpensive to make or buy and straightforward to use.  I am particularly looking at species that are of interest to our multicultural community gardening community - West Indian, South Asian, Chinese, etc. 
I have spoken with Laura Berman and Solomon Boye here in the city, whom many of you will know already, and have received their input.
Now, I am wondering about a number of things:
1) Has any other city embarked on a similar programme, either formally or informally - using season extension to grow more southerly crops?  If so, what kinds of results did they have?  What crops did well, etc.?  What kinds of season extension were most useful and economical? 
2) Can you direct me to studies or anecdotal information on how to use existing urban microclimates, e.g. southern- exposured building with heat-reflecting surfaces, to extend growing seasons?  
3) Can you direct me to documentation or anecdotal information which speaks to the therapeutic value/empowerment of immigrants or refugees growing food from their home countries?
4) Have there been any studies looking at whether small-scale market gardening of warmer-season crops usually associated with an immigrant culture, e.g. Chinese vegetables, can be financially viable, given relatively limited space and capital?
Thanks for any responses to these inquiries.  As the contract is very short, rapid responses are even more appreciated.
Vijay Cuddeford

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