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Growing a New Life by Kamyar

I came to Canada to build a new life from scratch and so far I couldn’t be any happier with the decision I made. I arrived in summer of 2004. First I was in disbelief how hot and humid it could get. It was quite the opposite of what I had thought of Canada originally. When the winter arrived in the same year, I was in disbelief again over the severity of the cold and ice accumulation on the windows of where I lived.

I later succeeded in sponsoring my wife to come to Canada, which was the happiest moment of my life. It made our family whole again. I am glad that my two boys will be raised in a country with so many opportunities, where hard work is rewarded.

Still, there are things I miss about Iran. Things like some of fruits that where readily available when I was in Iran, but not sold in the big box stores here in Canada. Some of those fruits like cornelian cherry, sour cherry and mulberry can tolerate our extreme cold, which I have them planted outside. But some others like pomegranate, citrus and fig need to be in a pot and brought inside or kept in a garage during their dormancy period.

As you can tell, I love gardening and I would like to share that certain fruit trees and plants that people might not believe can grow in our area, can indeed flourish (despite our short growing season) with some TLC. Examples of those are harvesting delicious figs and growing a 22 pound watermelon! The good news is that it is still possible to taste those fresh fruits with some well worth effort!

I’ve come to really love this area. We pride ourselves with the beautiful St. Lawrence River and all the fun summer activities that comes with it. The islands nested in the midst of the river are true gems for anyone who loves and respects nature.

My advice for newcomers, I think as an immigrant we should not get discouraged by the initial culture shock and homesickness which can happen with immigrating to a new country. Over time, we get to enjoy the benefits of Canada such as freedom, democracy, rule of law and the peacefulness among many other things. I think by far, immigrating to Canada has affected my life the most for the better.

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