Nfld. & Labrador·From The Ground Up

Go on a tour of this Pouch Cove garden paradise with green thumb Dan Rubin

Nearly two decades ago, Dan Rubin moved across the country to set up shop in Newfoundland. Now his small property is a bounty of blooms, veggies and fruits.
Dan Rubin gives the CBC's Carolyn Stokes a tour of his early summer garden in Pouch Cove. (CBC)

From The Ground Up is a CBC series in collaboration with Food Producers Forum, looking at how small-scale growers are digging and dreaming agricultural innovations in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Dan Rubin's property in Pouch Cove is a seaside piece of gardening paradise, bursting with beds, buds and blooms.

But make no mistake: his bounty is the result of years of steady gardening growth, after he made the big move from Canada's west coast to Newfoundland's east coast nearly two decades ago.

"This is the result of 17 years of work. And if you take it one step at a time, you can grow food in your backyard," said Rubin, who is also chair of the Food Producers Forum.

Rubin has managed to squeeze every productive inch out of his double-sized lot. He has 27 fruit trees and bushes, ranging from apples to kiwis to currants, along with 20 raised beds with almost every vegetable imaginable.

"Little by little, we've been figuring out how to grow our own food in this challenging climate," he said.

WATCH: Dan Rubin gives a gardening tour, and a little advice, to CBC's Carolyn Stokes:

A gardening paradise in Pouch Cove

1 year ago
Duration 7:01
Take a tour of Dan Rubin's bountiful seaside property

The keys to success, he said, are simple: "Protection from wind and cold, planting the right varieties, and then building up really rich, organic soil."

And that soil isn't the stuff of big box store bags. Rubin said it's about mixing in leaves, seaweed, manure and compost, constantly adding more organic amendments to give plants a boost.

That may seem intimidating to fledgling gardeners, but mistakes are just as much a part of gardening as watering.

"Don't worry. Just do it. Every time you make a mistake, you'll learn something, and you'll learn from your neighbours and friends."


Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Carolyn Stokes


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