Vancouver City Hall Community Garden

Hello and welcome to a walking reflection.

Vancouver, British Columbia has over 100 community gardens and orchards located in city parks, on schoolyards and on private property.  Today, I am heading to the community garden at Vancouver City Hall on Cambie and West 12th Avenue.

The Vancouver Food Strategy is a plan to create a just and sustainable food system for the city, which is designed to meet social, environmental, economic, and health goals.   That means having more opportunities to grow our own food. 

These past months have reminded us that food production is vital to the health and wellbeing of a society.  How we produce, access, prepare, eat, and dispose of food is directly linked to the sustainability of our neighbourhoods and cities.  Food is a celebration that brings us together.  We are united in sustaining life for our family and friends.  Making nutritious and locally produced food easily accessible is a hallmark of an inclusive community

Vancouver has many food-friendly neighbourhoods, which are known for their community and collective gardens, farmers and community markets, food storage facilities and community composting facilities.

Community gardens are found all over the world and have names such as victory gardens, allotment gardens, urban gardens, and market gardens.  Whatever they are called, they are a commemoration of food and togetherness.

How wonderful it is to share a meal with family and friends.

Until next time we meet, keep safe and be well.

55 Thoughts

    1. Don and I just returned from a walk along the Vancouver Seawall. The leaves are changing, Jean-Jacques and there is a mild chill in the air that foreshadow the winter months ahead. And the crows were gathering for their flight home. After our summer of heat waves, it is refreshing. So glad you joined me at City Hall!!

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Hello Rebecca, this is a really beautiful walk around your city garden. I am learning so much about Canada through these posts of yours and am amazed at the dedication to sustainability and the environment your city exhibits. It is a truly marvelous thing especially when you live in a country as corrupt and unfocused as mine. I hope one day we will get to where you are.

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    1. I am delighted to joined me at the community garden, Robbie. These gardens are scattered all over the city – every one has a waiting list. I believe that we will see more of these gardens going forward. I was reading that many believe they these gardens will help alleviate one effect of climate change – the decline in agricultural output making -fresh produce increasingly unaffordable. When I spoke with my mother Frances, about the Great Depression of the 1930’s, she said their home garden was an invaluable source of food.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Oh thank you so much for pointing out HRH’s reading room account, which I had not seen. I’ve just been enjoying Michael Morpurgo’s clip about writing War Horse, and been reminded of the Canaletto Chronicles, which I read ages ago and would like to re-read some time. Isn’t it marvellous to have access to all these insights and recommendations! xxx

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      2. I just watched Michael Morpurgo’s clip about writing War Horse. Brilliant, Liz!! I looked up Canaletto Chronicles and this is what I found: Canaletto and the Case of Westminster Bridge by Janet Laurence. Is this the book you are thinking of?

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      3. Oh no, damn that autocorrect! I had meant to reference the Cazalet Chronicles, a lovely series of books by Elizabeth Jane Howard referenced by HRH on her insta account, but it got changed to Canaletto without me noticing!! I am so sorry to have sent you down a rabbit hole. Having said that, though, the Janet Laurence book you found does sound rather good!! More serendipity xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like a great initiative. We also have a system called “volkstuintjes” where you can rent a surface to grow your own vegetables, fruits or flowers. These grouped gardens are situated mostly in the suburban areas.

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    1. Thank you, Rudi, for this great information. I did a search on “volkstuintjes” and found a great deal of information on this initiative. Food production is evolving and becoming more local. I have read that since Covid19, Canada has seen an uptick in interest for growing our own food.

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    1. I agree, Shey! My mother Frances said that their little garden outside their door was essential during the 1930’s. With the drought in progress, they watered the plants very carefully. I think that you will like this quote: “Gardening is akin to writing stories. No experience could have taught me more about grief or flowers, about achieving survival by going, your fingers in the ground, the limit of physical exhaustion.” Eudora Welty

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      1. Yeah I have his peony rose and in that rather large pot there’s also a shamrock that was a house plant of his. I could never get it to grow indoors so I turfed what I thought was just compost eventually out in the peony pot cos it was needing some and voila!!! I also have his primroses. I brought them from our last house. Indoors I have another of his that must be ancient now. In fact they all are.

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Dave. Vancouver is a beautiful city, but we have issues of affordability, homelessness and small land area. When I was volunteering at the Canadian Mental Health Association, B.C. Division several years ago, I was introduced to the work of Gabor Maté, an expert on addictions. This is a quote from one of his books: “Not every story has a happy ending, … but the discoveries of science, the teachings of the heart, and the revelations of the soul all assure us that no human being is ever beyond redemption. The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists. How to support that possibility in others and in ourselves is the ultimate question.” Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

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      1. I confess Dave, that I am trying to entice you to visit Vancouver once travel comes back. One of my favourite quotes about gardens is by Rudyard Kipling: “Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Speaking as a gardener It is cheering to see the love and dedication put into this garden. Clear evidence people will work cooperatively and communities do exist on a selfless level for the good of all. Especially considering our media narrated world that appears to constantly seek to divide and isolate us from each other.

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    1. How very very well said, Paul. There are so many vital collaborations happening during this difficult time. Humanity finds ways to connect and work for positive outcomes. We have experienced a steep learning curve these past months. It has been a great climb because we have taken each step together.

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  4. Ahh, Rebecca, I adore it when you walk around in Vancouver. You have taken me through many of my old stomping grounds.
    The garden looks lush, more lush, most lush!
    Community gardens are important. There is one several blocks from me that is planned, planted and tended by grade schoolers. (with adult supervision).
    What a wonderful teaching/learning situation.
    I had a little giggle when you were talking about food, and there was a gorgeous close-up of a rose.
    I have eaten rose petals, gently scattered on a salad. There are many other flowers we can eat.
    Considering we are what we eat, I’m all for eating a few more flowers!

    Hope you got my new sketch of you! I just had to redo it! I lost a bit of sleep over the old sketch. Okay, it was probably my cat, Jeep, keeping me awake!
    Sending {{{{{hugs}}}}

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    1. I received your new sketch, Resa. FABULOUS! I am overjoyed with the position of the feathers on the hat. I LOVE hats and find that I can take on new personalities simply when I put on a new hat. I have been practicing standing in the position of the Art Director (that was in the sketch) and feel that I am about ready to take on the immense honour of being the Art Director. P.S. I loved the first sketch too.

      Wasn’t the timing of rose and food great. It wasn’t planned!! I had a giggle too wondering if anyone watching the video would think that roses were a Vancouverite food staple. But I’m with you on eating a few more flowers.

      Sending many hugs back your way!

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      1. LOL! Love this comment, Rebecca!
        The stance…. very important!
        I’m back on Art Gowns working on the post.
        I don’t get Art Gowns comments when I’m logged into GLAM, and I don’t get GLAM comments when I’m logged into Art Gowns, so pardon for the tardy reply!
        {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

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    1. I am so glad you joined me in the garden, Meg. My greatest enjoyment is visiting these gardens, in early spring, when there are gardeners preparing their plots for planting. They have a marvelous joy in digging into the soil, with anticipation that in a few weeks, the seeds will start their ascent to the sun.

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  5. I’m thrilled you like the new sketch!
    I’ve one more to do, then I can make the post, which I’ve already blocked in.

    I’m back over on GLAM. I figured I’d do one more post, before Carnival of Color.
    Once I post CofC, it will be a while until I get back there.

    There’s a young couple at a near by farmer’s market. They do packs of sprouts with petals. I must get there! They are a bit pricey, but there’s nothing to compare!
    So happy I caught the rose of veggies!
    hugs!

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    1. Oh, the idea of sprouts with petals sounds wonderful. I looked up flowers that are edible. I didn’t know that the snapdragon, daisy and marigold were edible? I continue to learn and learn and learn.

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  6. Thank you for this beautiful video and your interesting comments about all the positive garden endeavors in the city of Vancouver. We truly live in a gorgeous and progressive city. I have gone by this very garden many times, but I do not think I have ever been in it. It is truly well laid out and it has so many well designed places for the production of many kind of vegetables and fruits. Thanks to all the gardeners who maintain it so well! !

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    1. I am so glad that you joined me at City Hall. I am very interested in visiting a community garden in North Vancouver. I have passed by it many times in a moving car so I am going to stop and take some photos. Community Gardeners are committed to their plots. It is fun talking with them and I always receive an invitation – except the waiting lists are very long!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am so happy that I encountered this post on this Tuesday afternoon. In the midst of so much chaos going on in the world, it is so affirming to think of all the positive things we can do to make the world a better place. We cannot stop hurricanes in their tracks, or stop a raging virus that has brought so much affliction to the planet, but we can plant gardens and share our food with one another. We can pray for one another. We can celebrate all the beautiful people and places that God has so generously gifted us with.

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    1. Thank you for your heartwarming comments, Linda. We live is a complex world that challenges to participate and engage with kindness and compassion. As you said so eloquently, “We cannot stop hurricanes in their tracks, or stop a raging virus that has brought so much affliction to the planet, but we can plant gardens and share our food with one another.” That gives me great comfort!

      Liked by 3 people

    1. I am so glad you joined at City Hall, Carolyn. What I find so amazing about community gardens is the many flowers that are included – roses, lavender, cosmos – it seems that these are edible. Who knew?

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      1. Coincidentally, Keith and I were at the local plant nursery during the week – we are currently planting a lovely ground cover plant (snow in summer) and need just a few more!
        As we were admiring many of the annuals on show I asked a young attendant about them. Oh, she said, I am one of the cooks at the nursery café, (which was closed). Because of the covid limitations I’m helping out here. She then went on to point out all the lovely flowers they use as ‘edible garnishes’. Isn’t it amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Amazing, Rebecca. The more I learn about Vancouver, the more wonderful it sounds. What a lovely way for a community to come together and what a beautiful use of community space. It feels almost sacred. And how do you get those videos to look so smooth and perfectly paced? Lol. Just lovely.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh Diana – you do have a wonderful way of describing place and emotions. Yes it is a sacred space. As Wendall Berry notes: “Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.” Sending hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

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