Harvest Party + Riley Park Through the Ages: a Recap!

Thank you to everyone who came by and participated in our last "official" work party of the season here at Riley Park Garden! We had an amazing day this past Saturday. Here are the details! 

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The morning started with the UBC Rewilder Group gathering in the garden to transplant the native plants from their garden bed into the communal northern bed. Thank you to the Rewilders for providing coffee, yummy stew, and knowledge about how to "Re-wild" our city's green spaces!

Shown below is a slideshow of some of the photos from the garden work party in the morning. The UBC LFS students were hard at work finishing the produce library, and garden bed members were hard at work harvesting and taking out plants. 

After working hard in the garden, we had a wonderful "Heritage Potluck", where community members were encouraged to share a dish representing their family background. Some highlights included Anya's pierogies, Amy's chicken curry, Mary's cake, and Felicia's soup + crumble. 

After lunch was the highlight of the day: the presentation on Riley Park Through the Ages! We were lucky enough to hear from Lori Snyder, Dr. Art Bomke, and Allan Buium about how the space has changed throughout the centuries. Thank you very much to these presenters for their time researching and contributing to this very educational activity! 

What a great way to officially wrap up Riley Park Community Garden's first growing season. Stay tuned for upcoming events throughout the fall/winter- and especially look forward to our Season Wrap-Up Celebration: November 29th at the Little Mountain Neighbourhood House

October 7th: Salmon Caravan Celebration

We had a really wonderful cozy day at the garden last Saturday! Our open-door work party was led by Art, who taught us how to cut cover crop properly and talked about harvesting methods. The UBC LFS students were hard at work building the produce library under Robin's direction. This structure will be ready later this month for gardeners to place produce they can't take home! 

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After the slightly damp work party, the weather let up in time for an educational presentation from Blue Comet seafood at their tent at the Farmer's Market. Learning about sustainable seafood is important for us in order to respect the oceans and the spirit of the salmon! This led us to a Three-Sisters Potluck lunch featuring dishes made with squash, corn, and/or beans. Highlights included Amy's vegan casserole and Anne's cassava and corn fritters. 

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Special thanks goes out to The Fish Counter, who provided us with some beautiful salmon and spreads. The leftover fish platter was donated to the community kitchen program at the Little Mountain Neighbourhood House. 

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We were very happy to celebrate the spirit of the wild salmon as they return from the sea up the rivers. Salmon is a very important resource of the Pacific ocean, and we respect the First Nations traditions honouring their spirit. Pictured below are some paintings of salmon that were done by kids from the "Art of Tennis" summer camp, which will be "planted" in an installation around the garden.

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Lastly, we had a great time in the audience and participating in the Shakespeare-inspired original play by Varouj: "The Garden". Make sure to come see the final production on October 21st! 

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We are taking this weekend off as the rain will be giving the garden quite the drink. Stay tuned for the events and activities planned for the next garden day on October 21st! 

September 16th Recap: Garden Work, Corn Fest + Artful Reflections!

This past Saturday in the garden was another highlight of our season. The sun was shining, the Farmer's Market was lively, and many new and familiar faces gathered in the garden throughout the day to celebrate the season. We first had a garden work party led by Master Gardener Selina. We are lucky enough to have Dr. Art Bomke in our graces, professor Emeritus from UBC, who taught us about cover cropping and its benefits before we dug into the garden. 

Community members ready to help! 

Community members ready to help! 

Buckwheat + clover cover crops helping nourish our soils. 

Buckwheat + clover cover crops helping nourish our soils. 

One happy harvester!

One happy harvester!

After the work party, we enjoyed organic corn from the farmer's market's corn boil. Our lovely event planner, Anne-Genvieve Poitras, made delicious butters with herbs from the garden which were thoroughly enjoyed! 

Rosemary Honey, Dill, Chive, Tomato Basil, and Parmesan butters were up for the tasting. 

Rosemary Honey, Dill, Chive, Tomato Basil, and Parmesan butters were up for the tasting. 

After the corn feast began the Artful Community Reflections event. Committee member Anya set up four art stations inspired by the four elements of the First Nations Medicine Wheel: Air, Water, Earth, and Fire. Many adults and children flexed their creative muscles and lent respect to these ancient traditions through art. Thank you to everyone who participated! 

SPEC garden bed leader Tara gets in touch with her airy side! 

SPEC garden bed leader Tara gets in touch with her airy side! 

Drawing on the "rushing river"- the Water inspired station. 

Drawing on the "rushing river"- the Water inspired station. 

Getting inspired by Water + also painting rocks inspired by the element of Earth.

Getting inspired by Water + also painting rocks inspired by the element of Earth.

Thinking about the element of Fire and how it affects us. 

Thinking about the element of Fire and how it affects us. 

Recap: Late Summer Tomato Festival + Workshop!

This past Saturday, August 26th, was a very special day in the garden! There were many new faces at our garden work party in the morning and we got lots done- check out the new borders on the herb gardens next time you stop by! 

Hard at work creating herb garden borders out of reclaimed wood!

Hard at work creating herb garden borders out of reclaimed wood!

After the work party, we were fortunate enough to have a tomato varietal tasting with Shirlene from Earth Apple Organic Farm. We tried over 8 different tomatoes, with shades ranging from bright yellow to totally black! Thank you Shirlene!

Learning about the history of many different tomato varieties. 

Learning about the history of many different tomato varieties. 

With that informative introduction, the tomato-themed potluck began! There were dishes from several different cultures made by many garden bed and community members. Highlights included tomato quinoa casserole, gazpacho, bruschetta, sundried tomato pasta, caprese salad, and more. Thank you very much to everyone who participated! What a yummy lunch! 

Fresh dishes being enjoyed at the potluck!

Fresh dishes being enjoyed at the potluck!

The day was made extra special due to a visit from the Honourable Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould. We all enjoyed having Jody in the garden, digging into the soil, chatting with community members, and enjoying a plate from the tomato-themed potluck! 

MP Jody Wilson-Raybould with Norm Dooley and Dr Art Bomke.

MP Jody Wilson-Raybould with Norm Dooley and Dr Art Bomke.

A message from Bernard Higham, Constituency Coordinator: 

"Thank you so much for the kind (and very delicious) invitation for Jody and myself to the Riley Park Community Garden tomato gathering! Jody deeply enjoyed getting the chance to stretch her legs and have some great conversations with the attending folks out in Riley Park on a lovely day.  The garden is such a lovely concept! It heartens us to see a new substantive gathering location for the community. I hope that Riley Park serves as a template for future community gardens/social hubs." 
MP Jody Wilson-Raybould with Ed Shum, a lifelong gardener. 

MP Jody Wilson-Raybould with Ed Shum, a lifelong gardener. 

Thank you to everyone who made this day possible! Look towards our calendar on the Events page to stay tuned for upcoming events!

Late Summer in the Garden

With most of the summer planting done, we at Riley Park have immensely enjoyed meeting fellow community members, listening to the Farmer's Market musicians while working on Saturdays, watering in the evenings in the warm breeze, and seeing the garden really come to life. 

We have lots planned for this Saturday in the Garden: 

10-12:30pm: Garden Work Party- join us as we dig into the garden while making connections with the community!
12:30-3pm: Tomato Festival Celebration!

  • 12:30- Tomato varietal presentation and tasting by Earth Apple Organics at the Riley Park Farmer's Market
  • 1pm- Tomato potluck (feel free to share a dish- we have fridge space in the fieldhouse if you are coming for the work party beforehand!)

3:30-5pm: Fall/Winter Planting Workshop with Farmer Chris from One Love Farm- come join us as we learn what to plant for the upcoming seasons, how to plant them, zero-waste planting techniques, and more

Farmer Chris Billion of  onelovefarm.ca  offers 20% off tomatoes purchased at this stall for the tomato potluck. Visit One Love Farm at the Riley Park Farmers Market Saturdays 10-2!

Farmer Chris Billion of  onelovefarm.ca  offers 20% off tomatoes purchased at this stall for the tomato potluck. Visit One Love Farm at the Riley Park Farmers Market Saturdays 10-2!

UPCOMING EVENTS IN ADDITION TO SATURDAY WORK PARTIES:

  • Aug 24:   9-3pm         Economical Insurance Corporate Work Party 
  • Aug 26:  12:30-3pm   Tomato Harvest Potluck
                       3:00-5pm    Fall/Winter planting workshop with One Love Farm 
  • Aug 30:  9-3pm         Economical Insurance Corporate Work Party
  • Sept 2:   10-2pm        Donation Station at the Riley Park Farmers Market                                                               3pm             Mad Hatter Tea Party 
  • Sept 16:  12:30pm      Artful Community Reflections 
  • Sept 18:   6pm            Soil Science Workshop with Jo from Rootshoot
  • Sept 22:  6:30pm       Medicine Wheel Fall Solstice 
  • Sept 23:  10-2pm       Apple Harvest Festival:  taste and learn about apples.
  • Sept 30:  12:30pm     Garlic Growing Workshop
  • Oct 7:      10-2pm       Wild Salmon Caravan Celebration & Three Sisters Lunch
                                              Donation Station at the Riley Park Farmers Market

Riley Park collaborates with Environmental Youth Alliance (EYA) Last Saturday we planted several native plants in the garden in partnership with EYA and their Native Plant Corridor project. With help from the rest of the work party, the Rewilders group planted Salal, Snowberry, Oregon Grape, Sword fern and many more! Learn more about the project at http://eya.ca/project-view/native-plant-nursery

Riley Park collaborates with Environmental Youth Alliance (EYA)
Last Saturday we planted several native plants in the garden in partnership with EYA and their Native Plant Corridor project. With help from the rest of the work party, the Rewilders group planted Salal, Snowberry, Oregon Grape, Sword fern and many more! Learn more about the project at http://eya.ca/project-view/native-plant-nursery


The New Gardener's at Riley Park group has been having a great growing season! In addition to hosting workshops on topics ranging from growing edible flowers to composting, this group is now harvesting salad greens, basil, mint, zucchini and cucumbers. Stay tuned for their summer wrap-up party happening in September!

The New Gardener's at Riley Park group has been having a great growing season! In addition to hosting workshops on topics ranging from growing edible flowers to composting, this group is now harvesting salad greens, basil, mint, zucchini and cucumbers. Stay tuned for their summer wrap-up party happening in September!

LATINO WATERING NIGHT COOKOUT & SYRIAN POTLUCK LUNCH

We had a wonderful time this month celebrating the various cultures of our garden bed members. On one watering night, Marta and the rest of the Latino Newcomers group hosted a festive latin-themed cookout featuring live music and barbequed vegetables, which were donated from the Riley Park Farmer's Market during one of our Donation Stations (the first Saturday of every month)! Highlights included handmade empanadas and the Colombian musicians. 

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After the Saturday work party on August 12th, garden bed members Silva and the Alhariri family hosted a Syrian potluck lunch in the garden for community members. Dishes included tabbouleh, hummus, spinach pie, fresh figs, and kelp noodle salad from Japanese gardener Amy. The sun was shining and bellies were left full and satisfied! 

Noha Alhariri, Silva and friend- amazing cooks and terrific gardeners!

Noha Alhariri, Silva and friend- amazing cooks and terrific gardeners!

Make sure to always stay up to date with what's going on in the garden by subscribing to our newsletter + checking out the events calendar on www.rileyparkgarden.org as well as following our Facebook page Riley Park Garden!

Summer Updates from Riley Park!

This summer has been a busy one in the Riley Park Community Garden! Being our inaugural season, there have been many moving parts in developing this project and creating the space. Some highlights from the past couple of months:

·      Our official opening day on June 24th that brought many community members of all backgrounds growing together

 

·      The tribute to Ed Shum: a lifelong gardener and friend of the garden

 

·      Enjoying our open-door work parties in the sunshine alongside the Riley Park Farmer’s Market (ice coffee and BC berries within arm’s reach is always a plus!)

·      Building accessible garden beds to ensure that every body is able to work in the garden

·      The Four Corners ceremony led by First Nations Elder Amy and creating a medicine wheel plant circle

 

·      Watching all our garden member groups grow edible plants, some of which will be donated to people in need

·      Workshops by the Vancouver Meet-Up Group and the New Gardeners Group, teaching everything from planning a food garden, to companion planting, to growing edible flowers!

 

·      The “Plein Air” art event at the garden, encouraging community members to unleash their creativity while enjoying the outdoors

·      Picnics in the Park: bringing Chinese-speaking senior residents from Little Mountain Court for a picnic and chats in the garden

 

·      The Latino Watering Night Cookout, which featured a veggie BBQ with donated produce from the Riley Park Farmer’s Market and live music!

·      Our Syrian Newcomer Potluck lunch which gathered Syrian families involved with the garden and their friends, as well as other community members who contributed dishes from several cultures

 

Stay tuned for further updates via our Facebook page and/or signing up for the newsletter on this website! 

Thank You, Applicants. We will be in touch.

As our Garden Coordinator Hannah wraps up her 6-month contract and heads back to UBC Farm full-time, the garden is taking shape and our programming is being planned for the summer; so we are looking to find a new addition to our team!

We are looking to hire a Riley Park Community Outreach Coordinator on contract from June to October 2017 to oversee the marketing, community engagement and outreach for our activities in Riley Park. This includes the Riley Park Community Garden, the Fieldhouse education plan, community events and celebrations. This position will take on a leadership role in outreach: contacting and engaging groups and residents to work in the garden and for them to offer workshops and activities in the fieldhouse. The Coordinator is the main contact person for our activities in Riley Park.

For more information, including how to apply, please see the contract description here or click the image below.

Community donation from Home Depot!

We want to extend our gratitude to Home Depot on Cambie for their generous support of the garden! Their donations enabled us to secure important tools (shovels, rakes, wheelbarrows and more) necessary to build the Riley Park Community Garden. Thank you to George Paterson-Taylor, Assistant Store Manager, and the whole Home Depot team for all their support!