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An educational

urban farm & garden project

The World In A Garden educates community and youth about the nutritional, cultural and environmental aspects of growing and eating food.
May 312012
 

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Self seeding kale “springing” up at The World In A Garden

“Grow what you love”, said Michael Ableman of Foxglove Farm during his week long Growing for Market course that I attended with him and about 15 other farmers.

Intuitively it just made sense. And not just because it offers the sweet rewards that accompany the process of self creation but because I tend to nurture those plants that please the pallet and feed the soul.

So I grow kale.  I love kale. I have loved it since the day I began growing. It must be why I grow it well, so well that this year it is growing wild all over the garden, taking over the garlic patches, the beds freshly sewn with corn salad, nasturtiums, and squashes. It has taken over in some places but I don’t mind, it makes me rather happy to have more kale and observe the wonder of nature.

There’s a saying “Where your attention goes, the energy flows” and it would seem that this has definitely been the case in our garden.

More importantly, the simple words of wisdom, “grow what you love”,  make it clear that there is more to gardening and farming than what you might ever read on the back of a seed package or in a book. Growing is a very personal, intrinsic experience and it really sums up why I so horribly failed at growing brussel sprouts year after year…

So why kale? Kale is the most nutrient dense food per calorie than any other food. It grows year round in Vancouver which means that you can eat it fresh from the plant with the maximum nutrient count everyday of the year. It’s versatile, it produces the yummiest flowers in the spring and nutrient dense kale buds throughout it’s entirety. The fact that it is “pretty” and comes in endless varieties and colours is just a bonus.

We’re so excited about kale that we’ve launched an Eat More Kale campaign. We serve kale smoothies, chips and salads in schools, at local events and  stores. If you’re interested in eating more kale and our fun campaign, let us know we would love to get you involved!

Our next presentation will be on June 12th, 2012 from 11am – 1 pm at BC Children’s & Women’s Hospital farm market that is in partnership with Coquitlam Farmers Market.

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May 162012
 

Tyee students sell sprouts, local eggs and carrots at today’s pocket market to fund their school’s garden!

Back in school and I’m reminded that youth leadership is the driving force behind many successful social and environmental movements today.

Today I’m writing from Tyee Elementary, where students are leading a pocket market sale for their parents and teachers. This is part of a garden education program that we are partnering on with Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company. Students learn about the importance of our local food system and work together to create products for the market sale. Proceeds fund Tyee’s garden, which is underway with raised beds in their schoolyard.

Kids ages 7 to 12 lined the market tables today, beaming with smiles and proudly selling their products to parents and teachers, all the while becoming young social entrepreneurs in a movement towards a more local food system. What’s on sale today? Food in a jar, mason bee hives, potato kits, seed bombs, seed sprout kits and more!

We are facilitating leadership training in anti-discrimination and anti-racism for citizenU, a city-funded program. Our crew enjoyed the sun this weekend during training!

These students have demonstrated that you can never be too young to make positive change, or even lead a movement! All over the country, youth are turning their passion for local food into action, working with their communities to create more localized food systems. This isn’t just a movement; it’s a way of life!

I am sincerely inspired whenever I hear about a new initiative or read about a fellow young urban farmer in the newspaper. Emi Do (Yummy Yards), an urban farmer about my age, was recently featured in a front page article in the Vancouver Sun describing a push towards policy changes favorable to urban agriculture. Just yesterday, I stumbled upon an article about two young Americans filming a documentary about urban farms across the United States. And today, just a few minutes ago, I received a notice from an Environmental Youth Alliance coordinator regarding a group of teenage youth (GrassRoutes) who are cycling across Canada over the summer to empower thousands of youth about environmental leadership.

And The World In A Garden? Among other things, we’re partnering with citizenU, a city-funded program that provides high school aged youth with leadership training in anti-discrimination and anti-racism so that we can celebrate diversity and build more resilient communities in this beautiful city!

All across the world, the local food movement has taken root. Its popularity AND success are on the rise. Farm to Cafeteria programs in schools, youth-run gardens, young urban farmers, social entrepreneurs in the making, young filmmakers and more! So can young people change the world? You bet they can- they already are!

May 012012
 

Alicia here, letting you know that May is Permaculture Month! When I discovered this, I was excited to take the opportunity to spread the word about this amazing method of landscape design, and way of living!

What is permaculture? There’s a lot of definitions out there, but here’s what I’ve got: Permaculture is a method of creating ecologically harmonious, regenerative systems of living in cooperation with nature and caring for the earth and its people. Permaculture basically mimics the mutually beneficial relationships found in nature and encourages humans to work with the environment, not against it.

Permaculture is coming alive in our garden!

Permaculture got me passionate about sustainable farming. I watched a fascinating documentary, A Farm for the Future, about a woman who explores different types of farms around the world and stumbles upon permaculture. After that, I was hooked, and got started thinking, “Why isn’t everyone doing this?”

What are we doing at The World In A Garden? We’ve integrated principles of permaculture into our garden and are continuing to do so this season. We want to be not only sustainable, but regenerative, creating new habitats and micro-climates in a small space that welcome all kinds of bugs, critters, birds, bees and humans!

We’ve also created a summer camp for children (Passport to Permaculture) that gets their hands in the dirt and thinking critically about and following the 3 ethics of permaculture: care of the earth, care of all people and fair share (equal distribution). We are creating a new generation of farmers that are conscious about their impact on the earth, excited to grow delicious food for their communities and working with nature to create a better tomorrow for future generations.

If you’d like to learn more about Passport to Permaculture, you can join us for a Q & A session for parents and hands-on activities for kids at our garden on West 57th & East Blvd, on Monday, May 14th, 5pm & 5:30pm. Hope to see you there!