(AUGUST 13) Salon Meeting Notes at Varouj

Varouj opened the meeting by asking the attendees to share their name as well as something about them that helps us understand what drew them to this group project.

Reveiw AA action to take from Salon 2 meeting   AA


Varouj explained that the group has been invited to participate in the Mural Event next Sunday, August 20.  Consideration has been given to following up on our Speakers Corner Project that was initiated at Salon 1 that we tried at Car Free Day in June.

We will be given a space with two walls in an open parking space. Varouj has started an installation involving abstract microphones, a platform, signs as well as a table with some information on the community garden.  Vic had a relevant question about what is the best way to get people comfortable engaging in the speaker's corner. Felicia suggests that we give people just two or three choices and say, “what are you going to do?” assuming that they will choose one to engage in. She suggests that we think in the present simply by changing wording, ie. Use 'collaborate' instead of'collaboration'.  As well, she added that we need to invite something from them speaking to their 'innocense' expecting greatnesses in the way of surprises and magic vs fear and smallness.

Robyn suggested a few ideas he has used in Ontario that were successful: “The Happening' which used paint, a big canvas, clothing, musical instruments. From this came a play with costumes, music anda mural.

It was suggested that we use the attitude “what is it about the mural that personally resonates” vs thinking in the abstract.

Have a table at festival explaining gardenAA


There is a group working on branding for the garden project. Anya, Mavis and Vic are involved and Felicia would like to be involved as well.  A few comments were “come to this and learn to make your own' perhaps promoting future gardens . For example, 'one garden can make 50 more'.

Robyn suggested that there should be four considerations to think of when starting the garden: Rules (ie. Use no round-up, height consideration so large plants do not block out sun for shorter plants, using compromise, communication and negotiation.
Conventions. Incorporating people from all areas – seniors, unemployed, youth would draw many people that could put in time helping in garden.    
Varouj reminded attendees that this garden is not typical of other community gardens – thatsharing is the key. There will be a First Nations component involving 'three sisters', children's play area, tool shed, garden shed. Len Budewski will be helping plan the shed with Varouj. For donations to the garden, Vancity is available.  Tax deductions will be given.

Anya asked if anything is planned for the opening of the garden including handover.

GARDEN SHED -  our hope is to get materials from dilapidation of homes in area of Cambie.  We may need building permit, although it was suggested that with a smaller building (10x10), a permit may not be needed.  'Footprint' is a consideration and then more allowance for overhang.  Felicia suggested using a cage to enclose the shed to prevent theft. After some discussion, we decided that we could eliminate the cage and still have room in shed for tools and wheelbarrows. We talked about having a table hinged outside on one of the exterior walls with a big enough overhang to enable working even when it rains.

Robyn suggested that as hoses can pose a problem with memory, we should have a training session to teach everyone how to use them, As well, this would be to prevent injured plants.  Wheelbarrows may be hung inside.

The outside of the shed should be designed to reflect what's inside it. Green roof, rain barrels, mural were suggestions.  Tera Nova Park by the Fraser River is an example to look at.

Our hope is to start in September – end of month perhaps. The temporary foundation – code – on pads (mobile) – There are ways around making the foundation that will not be problematic with city hall regulations.

We need power in the tool shed.   AA


Anya suggested that when educational sessions are being considered, we should start from the soil aspect. Art Bomke has been involved from the beginning. As well, she suggested Wendell Barrie who speaks on soil philosophy.  Soil memory – tree – visible/invisible. We need to remember that there is so much work going on underground when a plant or tree is growing.

As for composting, we will start with the first crop.  We will need to prep a year in advance. Robyn sugests one inch of soil over the plots with mulch overtop.

We could consider asking for donations from community to get them involved in garden.

Seed to Sky is a great model to look at.

Think of the distinction between 'dirt' and 'soil'.

We can call on Robyn and other experts to speak to our group for educational sessions through skype.  This could bring in more helpful information by making it easier for speakers to join our group without big time expenditures.