One way to raise awareness of the looming catastrophe caused by the greenhouse effect and global warming caused by fossil fuels is, apparently, to build a greenhouse, heat it with fossil fuels and grow things inside it that can’t grow outside because it’s too cold where you live. Or something. The “Best of Maclean’s” tells us about one Annette Clark who “built a greenhouse that grows eye-catching exotic fruits – in Nova Scotia… Seeking refuge from looming climate disasters, Clarke sold her land [in BC] in 2021” and headed to Lunenberg “(sight unseen)” to erect a greenhouse equipped with a propane heater to keep things warm so she can grow “Tart Chilean guava berries, plump persimmons the size of tomatoes, and pods of blue sausage fruit, also known as dead man’s fingers” (yum yum). Her “Exotic Fruit Nursery” is “expanding what the ‘hundred-mile diet’ means to hungry East Coasters.” You ain’t foolin’. But also not thinking much about how a winter spent eating salt cod and rutabaga in a cold climate can be transformed into bounty by… um… a greenhouse effect.
Clark, who was born in Germany but met and married a Canadian while here doing grad work, “acquired her penchant for unique fruits in childhood, during a family vacation to Lake Garda, Italy. She remembers climbing a tree loaded with sweet, ripe figs and eating them right off the branches.” Boo. Warm weather. Fig trees. It’s the apocalypse.
No, really. She started out growing exotic fruit in BC, not always successfully, before water restrictions drove her away. So when climate change makes it wetter… um… never mind. Instead “Then came the forest fires…” and off she went to the East Coast.
She’s very progressive. The story assures us that:
“Eventually, she hopes to open a gift shop that sells fruit-inspired jewellery and launch tastings to educate locals about growing patterns, the environmental impacts of pesticide use and what’s possible to grow in their home province – a list that’s changing right along with the climate. Thanks to her, it now includes persimmons that taste like pudding parfaits and juicy, watermelon-esque blue sausage fruits. ‘It’s not just about picking up a piece of fruit and eating it,’ she says. ‘It’s about getting people to think, Where does this come from?’”
Oh right. Somewhere warm. Terrible. Imagine if it came near you and you got dead man’s fingers to eat right outside your window.