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Credit: Flickr / EvelynGiggles

The community that grows food together, grows together


Poring over food labels in the grocery aisles can be quite an alarming and depressing exercise these days. A meandering list of chemical additives clouds the source and nature of what we put into our bodies. An overly shiny apple or a freakishly large strawberry (in January, no less!) immediately raises our suspicions. It seems the only way to be sure of the nutritional integrity of the food we eat is to grow our own.

Which is exactly what many people are seeking to do in Vancouver. But while the appeal of planting your very own organic vegetable garden and consuming a zero-mile diet is strong, it can all be quite daunting for a novice such as myself.

Where do I start? What should I grow during which seasons? What if I don't have enough gardening space? How can I tell if I'm on the right track?

Village Vancouver's neighbourhood food network and workshops

Enter Village Vancouver, a grassroots movement committed to promoting local food production as the key to building a sustainable future for Vancouver—with a steady, healthy food source and a reduction of fuel waste.

Through neighbourhood food network building initiatives and educational workshops that cover a wide range of topics—from seed saving, crops selection, harvesting, food preservation and storage, container gardening to urban beekeeping, raising backyard chickens and more—it is a thriving hub of local information and resources for seasoned and aspiring food growers alike.

By joining the Village Vancouver community, you can not only get to know your food, but your neighbours too!

The Cultivating Food, Cultivating Community workshop series by Village Vancouver

Here is a list of upcoming workshops and presentations featuring BC gardening and urban farming experts, happening from January to March 2011 at the Strathcona Community Centre (map). Visit the Village Vancouver website for more information and updates.

Sunday, January 9, 2011 | 1:30–4:30 p.m.
Garden Planning and Preparation workshop with Grant Watson

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 | 7–8:30 p.m.
Two Block Diet presentation by Kate Sutherland and Julia Hilton

The two women who helped transform two East Vancouver blocks into a thriving community food garden share their insight on how any neighbourhood can replicate the success of this project.

Sunday, January 23, 2011 | 1:30–4:30 p.m.
Garden Planning and Preparation workshop with Grant Watson

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 | 7–9 p.m.
Backyard Chickens 101 workshop with Duncan Martin

Sunday, February 6, 2011 | 1:30–4:30pm
Food Crops: Selection and Care workshop with Grant Watson

Tuesday, February 8, 2011 | 7–9 p.m.
How to Create a Village in a City dialogue with Ross Moster

Sunday, February 20, 2011 | 1:30–4:30 p.m.
Food Crops: Selection and Care workshop with Grant Watson

Sunday, February 27, 2011 | 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Seed Saving in the City workshops with Robin Wheeler and other BC Seedswomen

With beginning and advanced options.

Sunday, March 6, 2011 | 1:30–4:30 p.m.
Soil Fertility and Plant Health Management workshop with Grant Watson

Saturday, March 19, 2011 | 9–11:30 a.m.
Gardening for the Faint of Heart with Robin Wheeler

A great introductory course for those who are seeking to learn the basics of food growing.

Saturday, March 19, 2011 | 12:30–3:30 p.m.
Intensive Urban Microfarming workshop with Robin Wheeler

Learn strategies to maximize harvest in your urban garden.

Sunday, March 27, 2011 | 1:30–4:30 p.m.
Soil Fertility and Plant Health Management with Grant Watson

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 | 7–9 p.m.
Backyard Chickens 101 workshop with Duncan Martin