Latino Night!

Over 50 people came out to the garden on Wednesday for Latino Night! There was great food, plus dancing from the Root Peruvian Folk Dancers (that we may have joined in on!). It was a lovely night in the garden, and we were so lucky the rain held off for us. 

Thank you Marta, everyone who helped with the meal and Small Neighbourhood Grants! 

Saturday July 6th: Work Party, Syrian Lunch and Native Plant Walk & Nature Exploration Workshop

What did we harvest at our Work Party? A LOT! Raspberries, blueberries, tayberries, black raspberries, snap peas, cauliflower, cabbage leaves, garlic, potatoes, and dill! Everyone got to take home some of the harvest.

The Syrian Lunch that was hosted in the garden this past Saturday was a huge success! About 50 people came out to share a delicious meal, learn about the prepared dishes, and eat together as a community. Thank you Silva, everyone who contributed to the meal, and Small Neighbourhood Grants.

After the lunch, the Native Plant Walk & Nature Exploration was also hosted at the garden. Lori Snyder, Metis Forager, lead the Native Plant Walk, and Emma Lei, PLANE Coordinator, lead the Nature Exploration. It was a very interesting workshop, and we learned lots about the different native plants in our very own garden, including which ones are non commonly known edible plants, medicinal properties, and stories. Thank you, Lori and Emma!

Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks Impact Report

Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks launch first-ever impact report, spotlights 109,900 meals shared in community

Inaugural impact report highlights city-wide food security efforts in 2018 

Vancouver NeighbourhoodFood Networks provided affordable meals, food skills programs, and social connections to over 30,000 people in 2018, as indicated in their inaugural impact report.

“This report has been a long time coming,” says community food programmer Ian Marcuse from Grandview Woodland Food Connection at Britannia Community Centre. “We have seen a significant spike in use of our food services in recent years. With the rising cost of rent and food, families are forced to cut costs wherever possible. This impact report from the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks provides crucial data on food access and services city-wide.”

Combining the need for affordable meals with the need for more social spaces in Vancouver, Vancouver Food Networks served more than 109,000 community meals in 2018, according to the report. On average, these meals cost between $3.00 to $7.00 and offered an affordable menu of seasonal and cultural home-style dishes.

Beyond serving meals, the report indicates Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks coordinated over 1,100 skill-building workshops, which generate lasting effects on community members’ well being: “I have grown because I cook better…when you cook and it’s really good and healthy, you feel proud and you get the courage to try new things,” shares a workshop participant from Mount Pleasant Food Network.

Read the full impact report for more details on Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network’s city-wide initiatives in 2018, including fresh food distribution, seasonal celebrations, community and school gardens, and more.

What's On In The Garden: July 6 & 10th

More events coming at you this weekend! Come on down to the garden and see. We have our weekly Saturday Work Party from 10-12, then a Syrian Lunch hosted by our Syrian families from the Garden and the Neighbourhood House at 12:30. Then we have a Native Plant Walk & Exploration Workshop from 1:30-3.

ALSO! On Wednesday July 10th from 6-8pm, the garden is hosting Latino Night! Watch the Root Peruvian Folk Dancers perform, enjoy traditional Latin Spanish dishes (please bring a dish of your choice to share, AND your own plates - help make this event waste free!), groove to great music and enjoy good company.

Did you know there will be line dancing in the Plaza at Riley Park (next to the Community Garden), hosted by the Little Mountain Neighbourhood House Chinese Line Dancers every Tuesday & Friday in July and August from 9-11AM? All skill levels welcome.

So much is going on, how could you miss it?! Scroll through the posters below for more details.

Garlic Harvest!

At our Saturday Work Party last week, 300 bulbs of garlic were harvested! Everyone went home with fresh garlic, and the rest will be cured (dried), and distributed at RPCG events. Stay tuned and watch here for our garlic planting and garlic festival this fall! Thank you to all the volunteers who helped!

LMNH Line Dancers Hosted Chinese Lunch

A big, big, BIG thank you to the Little Mountain Neighbourhood House Chinese Line Dancers for hosting an amazing lunch in the garden this past weekend. The food was delicious and much appreciated after our Saturday Work Party! The Line Dancers also dance regularly in the park throughout the summer.. more info on this coming soon! Watch here.

Ukulele Circle in the Garden

On Friday, June 20, Little Mountain Neighbourhood House and Riley Park Community Garden generously sponsored this wonderful event: A Ukulele Sing-A-Long which was held in the centre of the lovely, verdant Riley Park Community Garden.

Most of the uke players were from 411 Senior centre. The other uke players were from Little Mountain and Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood Houses along with a few invited guests. Overall, it was even better than we had hoped for... over 35 folks playing, singing, and sharing snacks together.

Our sincere appreciation and thanks go to Joanne McKinnon, Annie Wu and the staff at Riley Park Community Garden and Little Mountain Neighbourhood House for helping make this a wonderful way to end our term.

-Jane Belanger

Do you play ukulele? We hope to host more of these jam sessions throughout the summer, so stay tuned (pun intended).

Butterflyway Project in the Garden

The Butterflyway Project Event was a great hit in the garden this past Saturday. Many came out to learn about the different pollinators in the garden and our native butterflies, while learning how to help them thrive! Scroll through the photos to see how much fun we had in the garden and check out here for more info on the Butterflyway Project and how Riley Park Community Garden is involved.

Pollinator Week was last week, but this doesn’t mean you still can’t help out! The BIMBY (Butterflies In My Backyard) Project is a citizen scientist component of the Butterflyway Project, hosted by the David Suzuki Foundation. Volunteer Butterflyway Rangers in Vancouver, Richmond and the District of North Vancouver, will take photos of local butterflies in 2019 to help document sightings. Our goal is to help identify B.C. butterflies and enrich our knowledge of how to help butterflies find food and shelter. Click here for more details on this project.

What's On In The Garden: Friday June 21st

Summer is here! We are pleased to announce that the 3rd Annual Riley Park Community Garden Summer Solstice will be held this Friday from 7:30-9:30pm in the garden. It will be an evening of yummy snacks, music, and celebrating. Everyone is welcome!

Wondering what else is going on in the garden this weekend? Check out the Events Calendar here

Mayan Three Sisters Garden Bed

On May 29, we welcomed Mayan Elder and UBC Sociologist, Lix Lopez to the garden, as he led us in planting corn and beans in the Three Sisters Bed at the Riley Park Community Garden. 

Lopez first shared the story of how corn was discovered by the Mayans (Click link for more details on this story), which was followed by a blessing of the seeds. The seeds were planted around the giant celery from last year that is currently flowering. The celery stock will be used as a natural pole for the climbing beans, and its roots for stabilization and nutrients.

We are excited to introduce a new variety of corn to the garden and look forward to seeing the progress of this bed throughout the summer. Thank you Lix for an evening in the garden, and thank you for everyone who attended this event!

We will keep you informed of upcoming planting sessions with Lix and also SAVE THE DATE for our Mayan Day in the Garden – September 21 for our  Mayan Three Sisters Lunch and Mayan Workshop. This is a partnership with the UBC Mayan Garden in Exile project and a great opportunity to learn more about the Mayan Culture and Traditions.

Microbe Inoculation Event in Riley Park

By Dr. Art Bomke, Professor Emeritus, UBC

On Saturday May 18 th , Riley Park Community Gardeners, guests and representatives from the BC Mycological Society launched an interesting demonstration/education project focused on fungi, bacteria and their effects on higher plants. Additionally, a small log was inoculated with spores of a saprophytic fungus that produces edible fruiting bodies, otherwise known as mushrooms. This latter project will take some time to develop and will be available to observe, likely nestled within the “Food Forest” area of the garden.

Plant – Microbe interactions: All plants exist in a range of relationships with soil microorganisms and good management strives to create healthy soils with a biodiverse array of beneficial microbes. The SPEC (Society Promoting Environmental Conservation) Bean bed is the site of a comparison of two methods of inoculating plant seeds with microorganisms to improve plant vigour, nutrient uptake and fixation of atmospheric nitrogen. The efficacy of inoculating plant seeds is partially dependent on the fertility of the soil and can either show a marked improvement or no effect. What will we observe in our garden?

The Bean plot was divided into four segments with the treatments being a 1) control with no inoculation, 2) addition of a mycorrhizae mix (containing a range of fungi and bacteria), 3) nitrogen-fixing bacteria and a combination of treatments 2 and 3.

Gardeners and visitors will be able to observe over the June and July to see if the treatments have had any visual effects. We will also measure vegetative growth, bean yields and root effects.

Veggie Face and Sign Painting with SACY

The SACY (Supporting and Connecting Youth) group had lots of fun painting the garden signs last Thursday and digging up the two areas where the ground cover was planted (where the blue berries will be going plus part of one of the veg beds). They completed painting the new veggie signs for the common areas we are planting. Lots of fun was had drawing veggie faces. Thank you to Anya, varouj and Susan for making this happen.

Renewable Energy Demonstration on the Shed

Working with SPEC and their Renewable Energy team, we have a solar panel and wind turbine on the shed. On the ‘information board’ to the right side of the door, are the 4x volt/amp/watt meters for each of the energy sources. The UBC Environment Studies students we are working with this year will be putting up an information poster. There is more to come to support our garden including rainwater collection and an irrigation system for the espalier orchard.

Early Pollinators Activity In the Garden

Did you know that the Garden’s border is composed of pollinator friendly plants and most perennial plants, trees and shrubs in the garden were chosen because they provide pollen and nectar for native bees and other pollinators? The biodiversity of these plants supports a large number of species of native pollinators from early spring to fall. This bee was seen recently in on the Pulmonaria “Mrs Moon” in our woodland area. Our Madame Beespeaker, Lori tells us that this is a queen Vosnesenskii  Bumble Bee (also known as yellow-faced bumble bee). When you visit the garden, what other pollinators do you see?

We will be hosting Lori Weidenhammer, Madame Beespeaker in our garden as she leads us on a Pollinator Walk and artful mapping. She will share with us the importance of bees for food production and the types of plants that support our bees. Check our event calendar for more information and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and like/follow us on Facebook.