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Ottawa gardeners are findings ways to bring sustainability to their urban spaces

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OTTAWA — Cole Etherington was not always a green thumb. In fact, he said his first year of gardening was plain horrible: his crops didn’t grow, the soil wasn’t right and everything that could go wrong, did.

“It just absolutely sucked,” said Etherington.

But that failure only pushed him to evaluate where he went wrong and how he could improve. The following year when the snow melted, Etherington began again at his home 45 minutes south of Ottawa.

He said the game-changer was when he started using his chickens’ manure as fertilizer. Since then, his budding garden has produced fresh vegetables including squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and a stunning array of herbs.

Etherington has always been interested in ways of reducing his carbon footprint and increasing plant diversity through farming.

“Even just one tomato plant in a pot of flowers on your balcony is part of the fight against climate change,” he said.

As food prices continue to climb, more people are also turning their love for gardening into a way to save money.

Shabana Buwalda, who lives in a townhouse in Ottawa, is one of them.

Her city backyard is not the biggest plot of land to start growing food, but her…

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