Upcycling is the process of turning materials from the wastestream into new materials of higher environmental value.
Upcycle Yourself is a similar concept on a human scale, turning from agents of pollution into agents of environmental change.

Oct 13, 2010

The return of the extreme gardener

I'm sitting in my tent as I write this, pitched by the side of the TransCanada trail, listening to the highway in the distance, pretending it's the sound of the ocean.

After six days of cycling in southern Quebec, I was returning to where I came from, back to the rawfoodist farm in the countryside, a two day ride from home. After seven hours of cycling toward the farm today, on a bridge I crossed paths with another cyclist riding in the opposite direction, doing a world tour, having covered 12,000km in the last five months. He invited me to ride with him. I turned my bike around, and started backtracking along the TransCanada trail. Backtracking happens.

I'll only be backtracking 150km or so... then on to new trails. I have no large ambitions to travel the world by bicycle, though taking advantage of the last few weeks of snow-free weather only seems to make sense in our glorious northern climate. Heading toward Montreal, perhaps Ottawa, as long as I can bear out the cold nights with insufficient gear.

Chris, who I'm riding with, is living on a budget of $40 a week for all expenses. I'm ridiculously impressed, and will surely learn a lot during the ride. $40 a week is quite close to the world median income, and half the world's population live with less than this amount. The world *average* income is much higher, because the numbers are skewed by the large incomes of richer nations, and the average person would have around $8000 per year if the world's wealth were evenly distributed. But, in reality, half of the world's population are living with around $2000 or less per year, including my fellow cyclist. Halfway down the distorted champagne glass of the world's distribution of wealth. Minimalism worth aspiring toward. Chris can be followed at

For the first time this year, I'm riding without a bicycle garden. When starting out, I planted peas in a water bottle. They grew well, though were later feasted upon during the night by rescued bunny rabbits. Glad they served a useful purpose. With the temperature dropping below freezing some nights, it seems that bicycle gardening is no longer a reasonable ambition until next spring. Perhaps I need to plant an evergreen.

However... in more fruitful extreme gardening news, I recently made a set of edible clothing for a local compost festival, growing wheat and rye on sheets of coir. People were eating off of my shirt the evening long! Photos posted below :)

Stay tuned for the return of the extreme gardener,


edible clothing collective

farmer revolutionary

100 millimeter diet