Seed Library for our Garden Bed Members

Attention to all our Garden Bed Members and veggie gardeners.  check out the list of seeds we have available for you to plant in your garden bed this season.  Thank you to Village Vancouver for providing a lot of the seeds.  Also, we will be getting beautiful organic tomato plants towards the end of May/ beginning of June, so no need to start from seeds or purchase any plants.

PLANE in the Garden

UBC Environmental Education students worked with families with kids under the age of 6 on physical literacy and nature education.  They had 4 sessions in the Riley Park Community Garden learning about compost and planted a few vegetables.  If you have an idea for education or workshops in the Fieldhouse or using the Community Garden, apply online to use our space.  

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Ecological Literacy Through Gardening

The education project “Ecological Literacy Through Gardening” is a pilot project that involves the SPEC school garden program, Charles Tupper Secondary School and the Riley Park Community Garden. This project is designed to promote ecological literacy among high school aged students, and enhance their access to healthy and wholesome food. An additional purpose of the project is to encourage youth to develop critical thinking about the land, its history and the protocols of community relations and responsibilities. Pictures and more information to come. Visit their garden bed at #5.  

Libraries & Gardens

Built by Robin Hastings (our Bartlett Tree Expert on the right), the Produce Library invites community members to help themselves to produce left in this space.  Selina Pope, beside Robin on the right, led the Work Party to harvest the fall planted crops.

A big thank you to Farmer Chris of One Love Farm who donated the plants and worked with us on their planting.  Marta Ramos, our Newcomer Community Kitchen coordinator (on the left) is most grateful to use the produce from the garden in her program. 

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Connecting to Place Dance in the Garden

Thank you to everyone who came out to this event,  where choreographer Eleanor Hendricks taught us how to connect to our garden space through dance. Lori Snyder was also there to help us learn about the importance of connecting to plants and the Earth as the First Nations have for centuries. 

Special thanks to Anya and her family for preparing hot food for our enthusiastic yet chilly group. We ate pierogies, squash soup, and cabbage rolls in the fieldhouse while chatting and drinking tea.

To round off the end of the day, we began painting on the murals around the fieldhouse, inspired by themes we explored throughout the day through dance. 

Our fieldhouse neighbours Merakos Fieldhouse were also hosting an upcycled market and pop-up cafe in Riley Park. The market was a breath of fresh air in this time of consumerism and waste, so congrats to Rebecca and Selina who crafted it. Some highlights of the event were the "Buddy Booth" where you can buddy up with people looking to get involved in similar activities, the florentines at the fieldhouse cafe, and local organization Melt Collective which repurposes disposed-of plastics into objects of use (check out their website here). 

Overall, a great wintery day leading up to the holidays! 

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!