Semis Urbains
By YP Contributor

Montreal’s Urban Agriculture Experts

Tereska Gesing and husband Shawn Manning founded Urban Seedling as a way to promote urban agriculture and share their expertise of the ever-growing practice with the most people.

"Shawn and I used to work respectively in catering and costume design for cinema," Tereska says of her life before Urban Seedling. "We had a garden at home, and didn't know much about how to grow veggies and care for it. On our own, we set out to take part in urban agriculture and cultivate fruits and vegetables, and we had great results. Given our success, we started thinking about ways to share our experience with Montrealers and help as many of them as possible to get on board with urban agriculture and learn how to be a good gardener. That laid the foundations for Urban Seedling."

What Tereska and Shawn aim for is to encourage as many people as possible to grow their own fruits and vegetables, a move that allows for more control over what one eats and increases urban biodiversity. "It’s also a matter of education as to the provenance of your food and the importance of healthy nutrition," Tereska adds.

It’s also a matter of education as to the provenance of your food and the importance of healthy nutrition. - Tereska Gesing, co-owner

Providing Expertise, Support and Everything Else You Need

Tereska and Shawn offer three main services to further their mission. First, the company’s team creates and cares for their clients’ home gardens, from spring to fall. Focusing on high-density gardens packed with organic vegetables, Urban Seedling takes care of everything, from planting the seedlings three times a year to closing the garden before winter, and even maintains it when you’re away on vacations. "We also send out a weekly newsletter so that garden owners can learn tricks to become better gardeners and care for their veggies like we would," says Tereska.

The company creates 100% edible landscapes for clients as well, planting fruit trees and edible flowers for your enjoyment. They even go as far as to replace the grass with micro-clovers, turning your backyard into a sustainable, renewable food factory.

Last but not least, Urban Seedling operates a gardening centre in Verdun, where they sell seeds and seedlings as well as tools and accessories for the garden. Tereska and her team also host workshops there to better educate people on the benefits of urban gardening.

Inspiring Future Generations of Urban Gardeners

"As of the fall of 2014, we are partnering with the Lufa farms and GUEPE, a non-profit devoted to environmental education. With them, we are promoting urban agriculture to kids, and they’ll even grow their gardens at their schools as a first contact with the practice," Tereska adds.

"We have two kids, and each of them has his own garden that they care for and maintain. They know when their veggies are ripe and they decide which ones they’ll eat for dinner. That makes me really proud, because that’s the kind of impact we wish to have, and it’s important for future generations to engage with urban agriculture."

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