In today’s Simplified Speech episode, Andrew and Harp talk about a hobby they both share: gardening. Join them as they chat about growing fruits and vegetables, gardening trends in Montreal, and having a green thumb!
Expressions included in the learning materials
- To carve out something
- A jack-o’-lantern
- Fort St. John, British Columbia
- An herb/a herb
- To have a green thumb
- To face a problem
- A green roof Pickling
Andrew: Yeah. So today, our topic is going to be gardening.
Harp: Gardening. I love gardening.
Andrew: Me too. I love gardening too.
Harp: Did you grow up with a garden?
Andrew: I did. I didn’t have a huge backyard, my family home, when I was growing up, but I did carve out a little section of the yard for my very own vegetable garden.
Harp: Nice. What did you grow?
Andrew: My favorite plant to grow was pumpkins.
Harp: Pumpkin. That’s ambitious!
Andrew: I would plant pumpkins in the spring and I could watch them grow all season. They’re like a vine, so they grow very, very big and they spread out all over the garden. And in the fall, I would get a huge pumpkin, where I could carve a jack-o’-lantern for Halloween.
Harp: I love that. For me, growing up, we always had huge backyards because I lived in Fort St. John, BC, which is a very small town in northern BC and there was just so much land that everyone had a big backyard. And my parents had a huge garden. We grew everything we could. We had onions, and carrots, and lots of different types of herbs. And really, everything that could grow in northern BC, we tried.
Andrew: That’s so cool. You’re very lucky.
Harp: I was extremely lucky. And I loved gardening from a very young age, and I loved being outside. And even just the smell of cilantro, for me, always takes me back to my childhood.
Andrew: Would you describe yourself as having a green thumb?
Harp: Yes, for every plant that’s outside. But I kill all indoor plants. Andrew: It’s difficult, taking care of indoor plants. Harp: Yup. But outside, I’m pretty good.
Andrew: And so, these days, do you have a garden too?
Harp: I have a very, very small balcony, so I have two small planters. That’s it.
Andrew: Mmhmm. This is something that I struggle with too, because we both live in the city. There’s no space for gardening. So, like you, I have some planters on my deck, where I grow some herbs and vegetables in the summer. But I can’t grow as much as I’d like.
Harp: Have you heard of the community gardens in Montreal?
Andrew: Mmhmm. I’ve seen these. They’re very cool.
Harp: They are very cool. So basically it’s a small, kind of, backyard park area that’s divided into small plots that a family or a person can sign up to have that for the summer. And you basically can garden whatever you want in that space.
Andrew: Mmhmm. I have a friend who did this last year and she said it was really cool. You get to go and there’s a great sense of community at the garden because all the other gardeners are out watering their plants every day together. And it sounds really cool.
Harp: Yeah. It seems super cool. I’m on a waiting list and I think it’s gonna take me about 2 or 3 years before I get a plot.
Andrew: There’s that much demand?
Harp: Yeah. There’s a huge demand for community gardening space.
Andrew: Well, I’m happy to hear that, although you have to wait. But it’s good that everybody wants to garden, I think.
Harp: Yeah. It’s nice. It seems everyone really does want to.
Andrew: You know, I had a disaster with my garden on my balcony 2 years ago.
Harp: I remember. Your fruits and vegetables kept getting eaten by squirrels.
Andrew: That’s right. The squirrels came and ate all of my plants.
Harp: Oh, that would be so frustrating.
Andrew: It was very frustrating. So last year, I was OK. My garden was OK last year. But I don’t know what I will do for this summer. I think I’m going to have to think of some strategies just in case the squirrels come back.
Harp: It’s so interesting that they left your garden alone last year.
Andrew: Well, actually, I moved in between, so I had… This squirrel incident happened at my old apartment, and then this summer, at my new apartment, it was OK. But I still see lots of squirrels in the trees and I know what they’re capable of now.
Harp: Yup. They’re able to get everywhere, so you might face the same problem this year.
Andrew: Mmhmm. And now, it’s funny that you mentioned cilantro earlier, because this is one of my favourite herbs to grow.
Harp: I love it. It grows so easily, the smell is amazing, and I like to use it in almost everything.
Andrew: Me too. I love cooking with cilantro. And as Culips listeners know, I spent some time overseas living in Korea. And when I was there, I couldn’t find cilantro anywhere. I searched all over the place and it was very difficult to find. And when I did find it, it was so expensive, just unreasonably expensive. So, I ended up going on the Internet and finding some cilantro seeds, and I ordered them and I grew cilantro in my apartment. That was the one thing I grew in Korea
Audio/Learning Materials: Culips English Learning Podcast