Vancouver's Leader in Transition toward Strong, Resilient, Complete Communities
The Village Vancouver Local Food and Environment residency (with an art component as well) at McBride Fieldhouse is generously supported by the Vancouver Park Board's Fieldhouse Activation Program which provides project space and access to parks to foster community-engaged activity that focuses on arts, culture, sports, environment, local food and social encounters. Village Vancouver is pleased to host LocoMotoArt artists collective during our residency, and to collaborate with West Point Grey Community Centre (as well as with Kits Community Centre).
The fieldhouse is located at 2049 Waterloo Street in McBride Park, 3350 W. 4th Ave (@Waterloo).
DIY Planter Box Kits
December 2020 - March 2021
During this difficult time, it is very important to make sure we are doing all we can to bring connection and inspiration to our community. Gardening and planting is, for many, very therapeutic and brings a lot of joy. Some are able to garden outside in their backyards during the pandemic, but many others don’t have access to private outdoor growing space. In order to make sure anyone who wants to plant is able to, we have launched the DIY planter box initiative.
Village Vancouver, working out of the McBride Park Fieldhouse, has small (6-7 litre), lightweight, easy-to-assemble DIY Planter Box Kits available free for seniors, immunocompromised, low income, and other vulnerable members of the community, as well as for the general community, based on availability. Each kit includes planter box parts, soil, seeds, and assembly instructions, and is available for socially distanced pickup at select times outside the fieldhouse. (In some cases, kits can be delivered.)
Planting in a small area is not a problem with these boxes, as you can put them virtually anywhere! They bring a space to life and are so convenient for small-space, apartment, and balcony gardening, especially for people who cannot visit a shared garden space during the pandemic. Village Vancouver is excited by the potential of this initiative to bring the benefits of gardening to as many people as possible.
"I recently saw the note on the West Point Grey CC Facebook page re. your DIY
planter box kits. Just love this idea. I would love to be considered for one for my
mother, who is immune-compromised senior in a wheelchair. This would be a
great project for her and she can keep the box on her balcony.
This is a wonderful project to engage with isolated seniors. Would love to be
considered for one, and also, would love to partner with you in the New Year."
- VV community member testimonial, December 2020
December 2020 - March 2021
Growing a lush and green garden requires soil, water, and a few good seeds. Some gardeners may not have access to seeds to plant. During the pandemic, seed companies and suppliers have been unable to keep up with the demand for seeds. Seed shortages, seed order delays, and social distancing requirements have created barriers to accessing seeds. In this initiative, Village Vancouver sends free seeds to anyone who may want some, and helps people learn how to save seeds for future plantings!
What is a Seed Library?
A seed library is an institution that shares or lends seeds!
Some seed libraries will lend you seeds, then once
you grow your plant and it produces more seeds, you
take the saved seeds back to the library for someone else to
borrow. It’s a sustainable cycle that can go on forever.
Village Vancouver's Westside Neighbourhood Food
Network, working out of the McBride Fieldhouse,
maintains several community seed libraries in Vancouver. Information on seed saving and free seeds for gardening (veggies, herbs, pollinator attractants, etc.) are available at VV’s many local events, workshops, and collaborative garden work parties, as well as at the Westside Community Food Market, the Kits Branch Vancouver Public Library, MLA David Eby's constituency office, and other locations.
During the pandemic, we're making seeds available by mail and by socially distanced pickup at select times outside the Fieldhouse.
We hope that you can join in and borrow, grow, save, and give back to our seed library and Seed Library-by-mail initiatives!
A Look At Our Gardens
Vancouver Village has many gardens all around Vancouver. All the gardens are collaborative and we invite everyone to come and take part in planting in any of the locations. We believe gardens that are shared are more successful. When many people come together to create something, it usually turns out bigger, better, and more fun!
Here are our many garden locations:
Aberthau Permaculture Garden
Aberthau Community EcoArt and Permaculture Garden. Vancouver Village manages the whole garden, which also includes a pre-school garden space and an artists’ garden space. Includes a vertical garden, an herb spiral, and a hugelkulture, of sorts.
VV plots at Cottonwood Community Garden
Strathcona, 4 plots
Green Streets Garden
Kitsilano, near Broadway; with a focus on native plants
Kits Village Collaborative Garden
At the Billy Bishop Legion Hall in Kits, our very 1st garden. Includes a vertical garden and a small orchard. 2021 will be our 11th year here!
VV-WENFN boxes at Robson Community Garden
9 boxes, in the West End
Vertical Garden at McBride Park Field House
Kitsilano; expanding in 2021
Coming in 2021…
VV plots at Woodland Community Garden
2 plots, in Grandview-Woodland. Vancouver Village sponsors Woodland Community Garden
Community Planter Boxes at MLA David Eby's office
Kitsilano 2 boxes, a focus on permaculture and perennials.
Interested in gardening with us? Send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Thanks so much Ross! Working in the garden over the summer was one of the
highlights of my year :) Stay safe!" - Garden volunteer testimonial, Fall 2020
ZUCCHINI FRITTERS RECIPE
Fall harvest is upon us, and one of our garden favourites is the mighty zucchini. Sliced, diced, put into savoury or sweet dishes, this summer squash adds extra moisture and nutrition to any dish. One cup of zucchini (around 223 grams) is packed with Vitamins A, C, K and B6. It also has 13% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of potassium and 10% of the RDI of magnesium.* Rich in antioxidants, along with soluble and insoluble fibre, it makes for a healthy raw snack (slice and dip into spreads such as hummus) or addition to stir-fries and other meals.
By Laura Lee Coles
Laura Lee is the main artist in residence at McBride and also a Vancouver Village board member
- Plain unseasoned bread crumbs
- Unbleached white flour
- Red bell pepper (any will do, but red is super tasty)
- 6 large/ extra-large eggs
- 8 large firm zucchinis
- Oil (either olive or avocado are best)
- Cream, half-and-half or milk
- Dried basil leaf
- Garlic powder
Grate zucchini and let drain. Blend 6 eggs. Add cream, half-and-half or whole milk. Add a dash of nutmeg and dried basil leaf and blend.
Thinly slice onion and bell pepper. Add bell pepper and onions to grated zucchini and mix together. Add a pinch of salt and a generous amount of dried basil leaf. Slightly cover with cream, half-and-half or whole milk. Add the egg to the zucchini, onion and bell pepper. Mix
together. Add bread crumbs and mix until doughy. Add one or two tablespoons flour to get a gummy texture. Roll into balls and flatten into a thick pancake form.
Heat oil in a pan on medium to low heat. Place cakes into oil carefully. Brown well on each side. Place browned fritters onto a baking pan or sheet. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top of each fritter. Pop the baking dish/ sheet into the oven at 275 degrees Fahrenheit and bake slightly for half an hour. Let cool and serve.
4th Annual Westside Food Festival
July 14 - August 8 2020
The Westside Food Festival is the highlight of the year for us at Village Vancouver. It is the event most anticipated by our community members, and attracts people from all over the lower mainland. This year it was done virtually, as being physically together was not an option due to the pandemic.
Let’s take a look at some of the amazing workshops we had in this year's 4th Annual Westside Food Festival.
Veggie Gardening 101
Have you always wanted to learn how to grow your own food, but don't know where to start? In this workshop, Mik Turje went over soil health basics, planting, watering, fertility, harvesting, plant health, troubleshooting, and much more! It was a gardening blast and many people learned new skills and are now expert veggie gardeners!
In this workshop, we had the honour of having Lori Snyder tell us all about the natural edible and medicinal plants all around us. Many people gained so much knowledge about how to use the plants in a healthy and energizing way. Many plants have healing properties that we aren’t even aware of! It was a workshop not to be missed!
Introduction to Vertical Gardening
Vertical gardening has grown in popularity over the years and it seems that now everyone has some sort of vertical garden in their homes! In this workshop, Dr. Yael Stav taught us all you need to know about the different systems and technologies available for vertical gardening, and how to set up a successful vertical food garden on fences, walls, and balconies.
The techniques and strategies covered in this workshop were useful for small and large gardens alike! In this workshop, Mik Turje taught about crop rotation, succession planting, and companion planting. They also told participants all about
how to create a garden map and a planting and harvest schedule to help get everything planted on time, lengthen your harvest, create steady production, and increase garden health and diversity.
Making Beeswax Salves
Your very own beeswax salve - what a fun thing to make at home! In this
Workshop, Lori Snyder taught participants how to make beeswax salves with infused plant oils. Participants learned how to make lip balms, natural skin care, and hand salves.
Grow Your Own Microgreens (part 1)
Microgreens are tasty and nutritious greens that can be eaten as a fresh snack or added to salads, smoothies, soups and more. Dr. Yael Stav taught how you can grow your own trays of microgreens at home year-round!
Grow Your Own Microgreens (part 2)
Here, Dr. Yael Stav dove deeper into the world of microgreens with this exciting part 2 workshop!
She reviewed the many possible seeds that can be used for starting microgreens, and looked into troubleshooting common problems.
Container gardening is one of the most popular workshop topics! In this workshop, Mik Turje taught the techniques and challenges specific to gardening in containers. They looked at soil, fertilizing and watering, types of containers, different sun orientations and what to grow.
Introduction to Fermenting
Are you intrigued by fermenting? Here participants learned all about the types of fermenting (there's more than just kombucha!) from instructor Evelyn Lee. They found out what's involved, what equipment and ingredients you need, and how much time and space it takes. We all have jars at home and can easily make some fermented foods with what we have. It’s healthy and delicious!
Garden Problem Solving
Sometimes our gardening goes great and everything goes just as planned. But more often, we run into some obstacles when it comes to planting. Here, Mik Turje went over how to troubleshoot and solve garden problems and make the best of your challenging growing situation to produce your own delicious veggies all season long.
Making Incense 101/ Flower Essences
How lovely would it be to make your own kind of perfume from the plants around
you. Here, participants discovered which native plants can be harvested to make incense cones. It’s a simple DIY project with many benefits for our spiritual practices and to purify our homes with plants’ amazing healing aromatic chemical components. Flower essences carry the highest vibration of the plant which can be very helpful for our emotional health. Smells good AND healthy? Count me in!
Creating an Herb Spiral Garden
Dr. Yael Stav teaches how to make a beautiful spiraling herb garden! There is something so beautiful and aesthetic about having a spiral garden. Plus, you can eat many of the herbs you grow and incorporate them into your kitchen cooking! Fresh herbs provide so many benefits and have an abundance of healing properties.
Check out this cool Gardening for Kids article:
4th annual VV Westside Food Festival dates announced: June 16th-August 3rd, 2020 NEW DATES: July 11th-August 8th online festival
Over 100 free and low cost workshops and activities at twenty plus locations around the Westside (including several at the fieldhouse).
March 28 2020
Why is manure used in planting?
Manure contains Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K), which are all elements that plants need to grow! We may recognize it as smelly and gross, but to the plants, it is their food source! As long as the plants are happy, we are happy.
On March 28, 2020, we had a manure sale at Dr.A.R.Lord Elementary. The manure was offered at a reduced cost ($5 for 5 gallons), providing access to many gardeners who may not be able to afford this resource otherwise. The manure was antibiotic- and hormone-free composted steer manure from Hopcott Farms. Providing manure will enable more gardeners to grow successful crops and healthy plants rich in the nutrients they need.
Kits Village Recycling Depot
Recycling depots are a great way to get the community to come together and recycle! Sometimes it’s a daunting task that we don’t want to do alone, so turning it into a community event can be a great push!
We are very pleased to say that this is the recycling depot’s 7th year. This monthly initiative is free of charge! In the past, depots were hosted at people’s homes, at the Westside Community Market at Kits Neighbourhood House, or at the seniors’ housing a block away from Kits House, and at the Village Vancouver Field House. About 3 years ago, we moved the depot to the Kitsilano Community Centre. The depot is run by Kits Village, and is supported by Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grants.
This year we’ve added metal lawn and leaf holders to hold the bags (as a COVID safety protocol) to eliminate the need to touch the bag.
This event is organized by Ross Moster, Kathy McKay, Alison Bealy, Kits Village Vancouver, Westside Neighbourhood Food Network, and Kits Community Centre. We hope you’ll join us every month!
Fall at McBride Park: Village Vancouver Open House Tuesday, November 12 and Wednesday, November 20 10 am-3 pm Drop by and say hi, and find out what Village is up to - our Westside Permaculture Corridor project, workshops, collaborative gardens, community seed libraries, responses to the climate emergency, volunteer opportunities, and much more.
We'll have a community seed library present - pick up some free seeds for your garden, swap or donate seeds.
We also host LocoMotoArt artists collective in the studio behind the fieldhouse. Check out their Open House from 10 am -3 pm on any of the following days: Tuesdays, November 5, 12 and 19 and Wednesdays, November 6, 13, and 20.
How do we live in a society that wipes out ecosystems?
November 21, 2019
How is ecological collapse affecting your life?
How best to face this?
How might we respond realistically?
One of the most important topics in today’s world is ecological collapse. Climate change, global warming, and ecological damage are at the forefront of many conversations. It is a sad reality that we must face, and at times, talking about this reality can get stressful and even exhausting.
In this workshop, Fred Bass spoke about several points including:
Explore and share thoughts, feelings and actions regarding the potential impacts of ecological collapse.
Help find meaning, clarity and peace in this uncertain world.
Build personal and community resilience that promotes the wellbeing in every day hardships.
Fred Bass is a community medicine physician whose past work focused on tobacco addiction & clinical preventive care and who served on Vancouver city council from 1999 to 2005.
Workshops like these help us to collectively move past being overwhelmed, to a place of greater resilience. It is hard to live in constant worry about the future of our planet, but by coming together and learning from each other, we build connections that help us to take on the challenges we face.
Neighbour Savour West
November 6, 2019
What’s better than a bunch of food and some great company? Community potlucks are such a fun way of bringing members from all sorts of backgrounds together. Talking over a meal and getting to know others in your community is so important to the success of your neighbourhood. When everyone collectively shares a meal, they become a family. If a community develops this collective and family-like bond, it can achieve so much together.
And if food isn’t enough, there was even live music by Chris Ronald. AND there was a seed library available so you could even take some seeds home to your garden!
Located at Kitsilano Neighourhood House, this event was
organized by Ross Moster and Kathy McKay in collaboration
with Village Vancouver and Westside Neighbourhood Food
This was our 2nd annual family friendly, zero-waste community
potluck! On top of that, it was completely FREE!
Food, music, seeds, and great company.
Community-building events like these are an
important part of any neighbourhood. We hope to continue these potlucks whenever we are able to! Hope to see you at the next one!
Village Vancouver Events October 30-November 30, 2019
--Fieldhouse activities are in italics--
watch for updates
for more info: email@example.com
VV Collaborative Community Garden work parties:
Aberthau Permaculture Garden
VV plots at Cottonwood Community Garden
Green Streets Garden
Kits Village Collaborative Garden
If you're interested in gardening with us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wed Oct 30 10:30am-2pm VV Admin Working Group work session (VV Field House in McBride Park)
Wed Oct 30, 10:30am-2pm Seed Packet Party (VV Field House in McBride Park)
Sat, Nov 2, 10am-12:30pm Gardening at Aberthau Permaculture Garden (planting garlic and prepping the garden for winter) (West Point Grey Community Centre)
Sun Nov 3, 10-11:30am Gardening at VV Cottonwood Plots (planting garlic and prepping the garden for winter) (Cottonwood Community Garden)
Sun Nov 3, 3-5:30pm Gardening at Kits Village Collaborative Garden (planting garlic and prepping the garden for winter) (Billy Bishop Legion Hall)
Sun Nov 3, 1-3pm Planning Your Spring Garden (West End Community Centre)
Mon Nov 4, 11am-noon Gardening at VV Green Streets Garden (planting garlic and prepping the garden for winter) (Kits, near Broadway)
Tue Nov 5, 10am-3pm Fall at McBride Park: Loco Moto artists collective Open House (VV Field House in McBride Park in the studio)
Tue Nov 5, 6-8pm Main Street Village November Gathering: Exploring Responses to the Climate Emergency (Little Mountain Neighbourhood House)
Tue Nov 5, 7-8:30pm Introduction to Vertical Gardening (West Point Grey Community Centre)
Wed Nov 6, 10am-3pm Fall at McBride Park: Loco Moto artists collective Open House (VV Field House in McBride Park in the studio)
Wed Nov 6, 10:30am-2pm VV Admin Working Group work session (TBC) (VV Field House in McBride Park)
Wed Nov 6, 10:30am-2pm Seed Packet Party (TBC) (VV Field House in McBride Park)
Wed Nov 6, 5:30-7:30pm Neighbour Savour West community potluck (Kitsilano Neighbourhood House)
Sat, Nov 9, 10am-12:30pm Gardening at Aberthau Permaculture Garden (prepping the garden for winter) (TBC) (West Point Grey Community Centre)
Sun Nov 10, 10am-2pm (possibly longer) Grounds and Garden Cleanup (for Remembrance Day (Billy Bishop Legion Hall) Volunteers needed
Mon Nov 11, 9:30-11:30am Grounds and Garden Cleanup (for Remembrance Day) (Billy Bishop Legion Hall) Volunteers needed
Tue Nov 12, 10am-3pm Fall at McBride Park: Loco Moto artists collective Open House (VV Field House in McBride Park - in the studio)
Tue Nov 12 10am-3pm Fall at McBride Park: Village Vancouver Open House (VV Field House in McBride Park)
Tue Nov 12, 6:30-9pm Mending Circle (VV Field House in McBride Park)
Wed Nov 13, 10am-3pm Fall at McBride Park: Loco Moto artists collective Open House (VV Field House in McBride Park - in the studio)
Wed Nov 13, 10:30am-2pm VV Admin Working Group work session (TBC) (VV Field House in McBride Park)
Wed Nov 13, 10:30am-2pm Seed Packet Party (TBC) (VV Field House in McBride Park)
Wed Nov 13, 1-3pm Seed Savers Club (West End Community Centre)
Wed Nov 13, 6:30-8:30pm Zero Waste in the Kitchen and Making Beeswax Wraps (West Point Grey Community Centre)
Thu Nov 14, 6-7pm Kits Village Recycling Depot (Kitsilano Community Centre)
Fri Nov 15, 4:30-6pm Introduction to Fermenting (False Creek Community Centre)
Sat, Nov 16, 10am-12:30pm Gardening at Aberthau Permaculture Garden prepping the garden for winter) (TBC) (West Point Grey Community Centre)
Sun Nov 17, 10-11:30am Gardening at VV Cottonwood Plots (prepping the garden for winter) (TBC) (Cottonwood Community Garden)
Sun Nov 17, 11am-1pm Menu Planning, Meal Prep and Mason Jar Salads (Trout Lake Community Centre)
Sun Nov 17, 1-2:30pm Community Potluck, Seed Library & Workshop (West End Community Centre)
Sun Nov 17, 2:30-3:30pm West End Urban Garden Club (West End Community Centre)
Sun Nov 17, 2:30-4 VV 2019 AGM (meeting 2:30-3:30; potluck 3:30-4) (VV Field House in McBride Park)
Sun Nov 17, 3-5:30pm Gardening at Kits Village Collaborative Garden (prepping the garden for winter (TBC) (Billy Bishop Legion Hall)
Sun Nov 17, 4-6:30 pm VV Board of Directors Meeting (VV Field House in McBride Park)
Mon Nov 18, 11am-noon Gardening at VV Green Streets Garden (prepping the garden for winter) (Kits, near Broadway)
Tue Nov 19, 10am-3pm Fall at McBride Park: Loco Moto artists collective Open House (VV Field House in McBride Park - in the studio)
Tue Nov 19, 6:30-9pm Mending Circle (VV Field House in McBride Park)
Wed Nov 20, 10am-3pm Fall at McBride Park: Loco Moto artists collective Open House (VV Field House in McBride Park - in the studio)
Wed Nov 20 10am-3pm Fall at McBride Park: Village Vancouver Open House (VV Field House in McBride Park)
Wed Nov 20, 10:30am-2pm VV Admin Working Group work session (TBC) (VV Field House in McBride Park)
Wed Nov 20, 10:30am-2pm Seed Packet Party (TBC) (VV Field House in McBride Park)
Wed Nov 20, 6-8;30pm Permaculture Vancouver Monthly Meetup (potluck at 6; workshop at 6:30) (VV Field House in McBride Park)
Wed Nov 20, 6:30-8:30pm Introduction to Vertical Gardening (hands on) (VV Field House in McBride Park)
Wed Nov 20, 6:30-8:30pm Garden Prep: Site Analysis, Bed Prep and Crop Planning (West Point Grey Community Centre)
Thu Nov 21, 6-9:30pm EcoResilience Workshop (VV Field House in McBride Park)
Sat Nov 23, 2-4pm Planning Your Spring Garden (Hastings Community Centre)
Sun Nov 24, 11:30am-1:30pm Concepts in Year Round Gardening (Douglas Park Community Centre)
Mon Nov 25, 6:30-8:30pm Planning Your Spring Garden (Kitsilano Community Centre)
Tue Nov 26, 6:30-8:30pm Grow Your Own Microgreens (West End Community Centre)
Thu Nov 28, 7-8:30pm Grow Your Own Microgreens (West Point Grey Community Centre)
How to Compost and Make Great Dirt!
October 27, 2019
One of the most important things when it comes to gardening and planting any seed is the soil. Without good soil, the seed will not be able to grow, or the plant won’t reach its full potential. A healthy and nutrient-rich soil will surely allow your plants to thrive!
Composting produces a valuable addition to your gardening
that is rich in nutrients and beneficial microorganisms.
In this free workshop, Rhiannon Johnson taught
beginners and experienced composers how to start
composting, optimize their compost bins, reduce
their effort and produce free compost year-round.
Topics included starting your compost pile,
maintaining it, different composting systems
including worm composting and leaf mulching.
This workshop was
organized by the
Richmond Food Bank
and Village Vancouver as part of a series made possible by the
+Fresh Gardens & Growing Fund from Food Banks Canada.
"Enthusiasm of instructor. Extra 30 min. to answer as many of the questions as
possible. Very generous! Knowledgeable and happy to share." - Workshop participant testimonial from a December 2020 zoom workshop with Rhiannon
Introduction to Seed Saving
October 6, 2019
Would you like to start saving your own seeds? Imagine being able to save seeds from your plants and crops every year until you won’t even need to buy seeds ever again!
In this free Village Vancouver and Westside Neighbourhood Food Network workshop, Rhiannon Johnson provided participants with the knowledge needed to understand the basic principles behind seed saving and the skills necessary to begin saving seeds.
To help the members get started, we had our community seed
library there for those who wanted to pick up some free seeds for
their garden, swap or donate seeds.
In an article on the Modern Farmer website, the author goes over some basics about
seed saving. Let’s take a look at 5 tips:
Than Growing It to Eat
He says that you can’t eat the plant you want to save
seeds from because it has to grow to the point where
it's not edible anymore. At that stage is when the
flowers for the seed pods grow. So make sure you
have a few extra plants you can dedicate to seed
saving and not eat them!
Whatever you want your seeds to be like, you need to make sure to save seeds from that kind of plant. For example, if you want big tomatoes, save seeds from the biggest tomatoes. If you want seeds that will ripen quickly, save seeds from the first tomatoes that ripen! The best plants will give you the best seeds and therefore next season will be more successful!
You would never pluck an unripe tomato, so make sure you pick the seed from the plant only once it’s fully ripened! Some plants you might even have to
wait till it’s over ripe and has become shrivelled, like cucumbers and eggplant, before you pick their seeds!
Different plants have harder to extract seeds. Some may be bigger seeds and therefore easier to pick out and save. But many plants have seeds that are super hard to even see! For example, carrot seeds are smaller than a baby flea and are easily lost! It’s important to know which seeds you have the patience to extract when you choose which plant seeds you want to save.
Seeds need to be kept in a cool, dry place, in a container such as a mason jar. Making sure the temperature isn’t too hot or cold will make sure that the seed stores well and remains viable (maybe for many years, depending on the seed type) Before you pluck the seeds, make sure you have your storage ready!
Spice Up Your Garden with Garlic!
September 30, 2019
Garlic is a staple vegetable that is incorporated in so many foods that we love! It gives flavour and punch to so many different dishes. Being able to grow your own garlic at home is so useful, as it is used all the time!
Garlic's easy to grow, can thrive in small spaces, and tastes great homegrown! In this free workshop with Rhiannon Johnson, she covered different types of garlic, soil, planting, care, and what to expect. Participants learned how to grow garlic in their garden or containers and take home some garlic cloves to plant. There are so many benefits associated with eating garlic, including:
Improves Heart Health
Boosts the Immune System
Improves Iron Metabolism
Promotes Skin Health
We also had our community seed library at the workshop for those who wanted to pick up some free seeds for their garden, swap or donate seeds.
This workshop was organized by the Richmond Food Bank and Village Vancouver as part of a series made possible by the +Fresh Gardens & Growing Fund from Food Banks Canada.
Plant Families: Understanding Garden Connections
This workshop was a part of the Westside Food Festival done in August. In this Westside Neighbourhood Food Network workshop with Farmers on 57th, Karen Ageson taught about the eight plant families the majority of garden vegetables fall into. Knowing plant families & their characteristics simplifies garden planning and plant identification, as well as pest, disease and soil health management.
The 8 Plant Families
White beans Fava beans
Green beans Lentils
We'll have the West Point Grey Village Vancouver Community Seed
Library present - pick up some free seeds for your garden, swap or
(July 10, 2019)
A long overdue post
Village Vancouver is proud to (finally) post something on this page!
In case you haven't heard, VV has moved to our new field house in McBride Park. You can expect regular(ish) blog entries on anything related to our activities, recipes we'd like to share, and anything we think might be interesting. So without further ado, here's our first post!
3rd Annual Westside Food Festival
From June 18 to August 5 we have many amazing free and low-cost food and gardening-related workshops/events! Head over to our main Eventbrite page for a full list of workshops and to register.
Main Street Car Free Day
We had an amazing Main Street Car Free Day on June 16! We handed out hundreds of free seeds from our Seed Library and handed out flyers with info on our 3rd Annual Westside Food Festival.
Here's some photos of our booth and the Sustainable Village! There was some amazing live music, some booths from Groundswell, Open Science Network, the UBC Bike Kitchen, Elderdog, and the Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House.
Making Beeswax Salves at the Field House
Lori Snyder came over to our Field House for our Making Beeswax Salves workshop. As someone who's always been interested in crafting, but has never actually gotten around to doing it, this was a very nice introduction into that world. Lori is incredibly knowledgeable in native plant species and the various medicinal and healing properties that they contain. Lori infused the oil she used with local plants and flowers.
What astounded me was how easy it was to go about making the salves for yourself. Some beeswax, plant infused oil and few containers was all it really took to craft something that is so great for the skin. I took home a little jar myself and am using it on my lips, which were terribly dry, and have found it not only soothes, but actually repairs them!
Pictured on the upper left corner of the image below is The Boreal Herbal: Wild Food and Medicine Plants of the North, a book highly recommended by Lori as it's a great guide for those wanting to pick their own plants and flowers to make their own healing salves.
Lori later took us out around the Field House to look at any native plants that we could pick, dry out, and then use to infuse oils (such as sunflower, olive, or coconut oil) to then use for making our very own beeswax salves.
Children's Workshops at the Field House
Teaching your children how to garden is an excellent developmental tool! They can get their hands dirty while learning where food their food comes from, how to eat healthy and lets parents spend quality time with them. There's many great sources that you can find online that explain many other benefits of gardening for children, I've even found academic sources that provides a more in depth analysis (for those interested in that source click here).
Kids are also very eager to learn about gardening (as a former child myself, I can attest to this) so that's why we were more than excited to put on 2 free children's gardening workshops as part of the Westside Food Festival!
Hands in the Dirt!
Last week we had our very first children's workshop, where our instructor, Rhiannon Johnson, taught kids how to re-pot herbs and veggies so that they can grow better and stronger. Along the way, she took out plants from her very own garden to show and taste. Kale proved to be very popular among the little ones!
We had a variety of plant and herbs for parents and kids to take home, including kale (of course), basil, and chives. Next, we took everyone outside to start re-potting the herbs/veggies of their choice.
A few of the older kids happily helped us set up a small vertical garden right outside our door. They'll be able to stop by and maintain it whenever they need to.
Grow Your Own Microgreens
Microgreens are quick and easy to grow at home and a great way to teach your kids how to grow from seeds! Our instructor, Dr. Yael Stav, came over to teach parents and kids how to set up their very own tray of sunflower seeds microgreens.
She showed us the various stages of growing from seed to microgreen, and brought a tray of microgreens for us to taste (with many of us going back for seconds).
Kids and parents then went outside to prepare their very own trays to take home!
Make Your Own Hand-Made Raw Chocolate at Home!
Use this easy recipe to make your very own chocolate at home. Add orange zest, raspberries, lavender and more to make your very own customized chocolate! For equipment, you'll need a chocolate mold of your choice or a shallow silicone ice cube tray, a pot and a metal bowl that will fit over it (to serve as your double boiler).
If you're adding lavender, add it in Step 1, allowing the lavender to steep in the melted cacao butter and coconut oil for a bit before straining the lavender out, then resuming with the rest of the steps.
With any type of zest, add it in Step 1, as with the lavender, but do not strain it out, and continue on with the rest of the recipe.
If you want to add nuts, wait until the last 'phase' of Step 6, chopping them up a bit before adding them in.
If your adding fruit, make sure it's been dried or the extra water from the fruit itself might cause your chocolate to clump. Be sure to sprinkle the fruit into the mixture in Step 7.
There you have it! A recipe for chocolate that is simple to make and is delicious to eat.
Gardening with Lori Snyder
May 18, 2021
It is always such a pleasure when we are joined by the amazing Lori Snyder! In this Village Vancouver Westside Neighbourhood Food Network workshop, Lori Snyder planned with participants which herbs to grow, when to harvest them, and when to create new products from them. It was a “magical evening” and the 7 participants that arrived had an amazing evening filled with planting and learning.
While the weather forecast said it would be raining, we took a gamble and it all worked out with beautiful sunshine! We can’t wait for Lori’s next session. We hope to see you there!
DIY Planter Box Kits
During this difficult time, it is also very important to make sure we are doing all we can in order to bring a little cheer to our community. Gardening and planting is, for many, very therapeutic and brings a lot of joy. Some are able to garden outside in their backyards, but others don’t have that space. In order to make sure anyone who wants to plant is able to, we have decided to launch this initiative.
Village Vancouver, working out of the McBride Fieldhouse, has free small (6-7 Ltr.), lightweight, easy to assemble DIY Planter Box Kits available for seniors, immunocompromised, low income, and other vulnerable members of the community, as well as for other community members. Each kit includes planter box parts, soil, seeds, and assembly instructions, and is available for socially distanced pickup at select times outside the fieldhouse. (In some cases, kits can be delivered.)
Planting in a small area is not a problem with these boxes, as you can put them virtually anywhere! They bring a space to life and are so convenient. Village Vancouver is excited for this event and hopes to bring some cheer to as many people as possible.