More Spring Cleaning

We have been putting our new farm crew to work with sod removal and now garden revival. We sort of fizzled out last fall after the garlic plant and neglected a few of our spaces. Other plants, I have heard them called weeds, took the opportunity to enjoy some nutritious soil in the absence of other vegetative occupants. Regretfully, they new-comers have been evicted. Silver lining? They’ll become compost!

Steve’s backyard
Jen & Nicole plating potatoes
Rosco & Brennan & spuds
R & B and weeds
Melinda & Jen in the shade (and weeds)
Sunshine without weeds
Hosing off the mud in east East Van
Happy neighbours, Gladys & Trina, score some green garlic for dinner

Read more

Spring Cleaning with Michael Sider

We are fortunate to have Michael Sider working with us to help document the many stories that unfold in the gardens and in the community over the course of a growing season. Michael not only produces amazing images and videos, he’s also great to have around while working the soil and tending the plants.

Here’s a particularly wonderful video he produced for the Vancouver Farmers Markets Society in collaboration with Campagnolo. I don’t recommend watching on an empty stomach.

And here are some images from our clean up in adjacent front-yard gardens in Mount Pleasant (courtesy of Michael Sider).

The weekend farmers
Overwintered, beautiful, but a little bit like cardboard on the plate to be honest
Sweetest carrots of the season
A mini stand of kale trees

Read more

Yard Conversions 2013

The grunt work begins! We feel very privileged to be offered access to fellow community members’ spaces. Our project could not exist without their (your) generosity, so many, many thanks! We’ll try to post before/after shots to document the transformation throughout the spring, summer and fall.

Here’s a glimpse of our process from this weekend:

Preparing for the sod cutter

Many hands make light work
Rolling, scrapping, piling & moving
Ready for manure
Backyard action, same location
Tidy
                     

Read more

ICF & Matchstick Coffee

This posting is important for those amongst us who enjoy coffee and baked goods. Matchstick Coffee, recently rated Vancouver’s Top Coffee bar, has had a long standing relationship with the ICF crew – that is, we are frequent patrons, have made a few key connections with other food-folk that also bask (bathe?) in their coffee, and you’ll often find Cam there “working”.

This season, we will be getting more of our product into their system, like salad ingredients, herbs and other edibles. Yesterday, Cam harvested and delivered a bit o’ rhubarb, to be included in some of their delicious baked goods…so if you’re in their vicinity today, stop by and grab one, you won’t be disappointed.

Cut
Bagged
Prepped

Read more

Little Mountain Baseball Team

We spent most of yesterday at Hillcrest Park baseball diamond for the Little Mountain Baseball League Opening Ceremony. This is our second year sponsoring LMB and this year, we’re excited to cheer on our team in the Minor Division.  We had a booth set up and were giving away free bunches of fresh Redbor Kale and Champion Collards, harvested in the morning just blocks away from the ball diamond. We’re hoping to get as much kale, collards and other fresh veggies to our team so they can play their best – pretty sure there is a correlation between RBIs and vegetable consumption, or crossing home plate and what’s on your plate at home.

Here are some photos of the morning

This collard variety is called ‘champion’ for a reason
Early set-up with the Mills’ and Drill
Nice tent

Read more

Cold Frames for Cold Lovers

A posting about frigidity? Sort of. Really it’s more about the not-secret lives of plants: some like it hot, others do not. So we have certain seeds starting in a small section of the tropics partitioned off from the rest of Vancouver through a translucent medium, and others, the cold tolerant, perhaps -philic, are germinating in our cold frames – an environmental step up from the grim and callous outdoors, yet by no means sultry and steamy like our greenhouse digs.

Images for Clair(e)ity”

Sharing is caring
Like a good stitch, sown tightly
The Lt and his new recruits
Coldframes: up-cycling at its best.
Taking care of the little ones.

Read more

Hops!

We’re kicking up our urban hop production this year with the help of the lovely UBC Farm. They’re making some adjustments to their hop-yard and spreading the love to the community –  in the form of hop crowns and rhizomes for sale.

Kayla hooking us up!
Crowns!
Young shoots looking for some sun.

We hope to be providing modest amounts of fresh hops in the fall of the following varieties:

  • Fuggle
  • Nugget
  • Centennial
  • Mt Hood – a few seasons down the road, just planting rhizomes this year.

Here’s a good website with descriptions and uses of the different varieties.

Read more

Early or Late Harvest

Depending on how you want to qualify the harvest, these are some late winter or early spring veggies. A welcome pay-off for some work on the vernal equinox.

Chilly weeding
Drill’s keen eye and steady hand at work in the spinach
Tokyo Cross Turnips, already vying for top spot in this season’s Root Crop category

Read more

Spring Training

A productive morning under the sun. It’s nice to get some soil on the hands and catch up with our land-donors and neighbours. Here are some snapshots of our progress.

Blue bells and buttercup
Next step: digging new beds
A pound or so of overwintered Chieftans, hiding out since last season
Time to clean up the kale forest and rudbeckia
Thinned and weeded, ready for this year’s seeds and starts

Read more