Thursday, April 19, 2012

School Children & School Gardens

An entrepreneur urban farmer friend of mine has a contract to create school gardens at several Vancouver schools, one of which, Queen Elizabeth Annex, is in my neighbourhood. In fact this is where my children attended. The students planted the first seeds on March 29.
Gathering around the farmer to collect the seeds--

Everyone was eager to use the wheelbarrow to bring soil to the raised beds.
Some children did not want to get their hands dirty--others were keen to get into the soil. (Apologies for the bad focus job.)
The children were fascinated with the planting.
Four of the beds are actually raised tables, constructed locally.

The gardener created two more beds; these are "lasgna" beds.

Ten days later on Easter, some of the seeds had sprouted!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Urban + Farming

I used to consider the words "farming" and "urban" as opposites. Now the two words are being joined together--"urban farming". More and more people are interested in this concept, "farming" has gone upscale, and training courses abound. Here is one taking place in downtown Vancouver:

Urban Farmer Field School program

This program is tailored to growing and farming food in Vancouver. Using the YWCA Metro Vancouver Rooftop Garden as our classroom, students have the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning about urban agroecosystems. For 2012, we are offering 14 classes related to food production, community food systems, small-farm business planning, city chickens and coop construction, urban soil management and season extension. Students can sign up for several classes, or just one. Registration is open and school starts on April 5 with Managing a Direct-Market Small Scale Farm.