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

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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.


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BC Business Magazine Article

Someone just reminded me about the BC Business article about Inner City Farms that came out in 2011. In particular, the image of Andrew as a farming superhero. I thought it was worth re-posting here.

Thanks again for the great shots Blas.

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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

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Mental (Mc)Nugget

Food tastes better when shared with good people, and it’s always nice to have good conversation between mouthfuls. So here’s a pickle for the dinner table or lunchroom. I cut and pasted it from an article published by Richard Bawden and friends. Richard is a visionary from down under who has been quietly transforming what it means to work towards sustainable food systems since the ’70s.

Congenital blindness is a condition that occurs in some strains of poultry. In the wild, such afflicted chickens die soon after hatching. If hand-reared, however, they can thrive and can be kept in intensive conditions with much less stress than sighted birds and are therefore much more productive. Would you buy eggs from blind chickens?

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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.

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CBC Radio-Canada piece

Another media piece, en francais, filmed in the heat of last summer. We were lucky to have Monia follow us around for a day or two and capture some shiny moments with lots of hands in the gardens.

Here’s the link to the video – click on “Regardez l’intervale” under ‘L’emmision du Jeudi 28 Mars 2013′ and skip to 30mins 37secs.

This link might work as well, then skip to 30mins 37secs.

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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!
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.

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UBC Orchard Garden Spring Formal

If you are looking to start the long-weekend right, hit up the Orchard Garden‘s ‘Pretty in Plaid” Spring Formal. You can find all the details at their Eventbrite site.

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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

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