Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Community Garden Tour is coming to the Ladner Community Garden

A garden tour is coming to the Ladner Community Garden. I can't wait to join this tour and see all the wonderful community gardens. If you would like to join us, be sure to register soon as the cut off date is September 1, 2013.

Alexandra House Community Gardens Bus Tour – Itinerary and Schedule
September 8, 2013

Register by September 1 to ensure your place! See below

The tour will visit five community gardens in Metro Vancouver on this one day outing. We have selected locations to provide a good cross section of garden organizations in different municipalities. Anyone who wants to learn more about different ways to organize and operate community gardens will have ample opportunity and those who just want to relax and enjoy the tour will be rewarded. Of course, in this season, any visit to a garden brings pleasure. Bring your camera.
 The tour leaves Alexandra Community Garden on Sullivan St. in Crescent Beach at 9:00 AM sharp.   Plan to bring a lunch.
You are encouraged to start the tour by coming at 8:30 and taking a walk through the Alexandra Community Gardens. You will be impressed at what has been done in its first full season. Collene and her fellow gardeners have created some amazing vegetable patches and this year added a new shed and gazebo. The land for the garden is owned by Alexandra Neighbourhood House and as a result, no funding from the City of Surrey was available for its creation.
Alexandra House recognizes how gardens build community and has lent its support in many additional ways and they are committed to expanding the number of garden spaces in the South Surrey geographic area in the coming years.

During the trip to Burquitlam, take some time to introduce yourself to your neighbours, make some new acquaintances and share some garden stories.   

 Burquitlam Community Gardens in Coquitlam have been around for almost 15 years so we can see what can be done with a sustained effort. The garden is on city parkland and has grown to about 65 plots. It includes espaliered fruit trees and a bee garden. Gardeners are encouraged to grow fruit, vegetables and flowers.  Funds are generated through memberships and fundraisers. Four plots are designed for wheelchair access and five are tended for the local food bank.

Our next stop is Richmond. The Richmond Food Security Society administers all the gardens and many food related programs in Richmond under a three year renewable contract with the city. Colin Dring, Executive Director and Lucinda Yeung met recently with members of the Surrey/White Rock Food Action Coalition to share some of their experience. The Food Security website is a good source of information on their programs and some details on the next garden.
 Terra Nova Community Gardens will host us and take us on a tour of their site in Terra Nova Rural Park in Richmond. This location features a store and barn and we will take a break for lunch. You can purchase organic food on an as-available basis. The garden has approximately 100 plots of 200 square feet each plus an outdoor classroom and a number of demonstration gardens so it is a sizable operation.

Gardens built on different types of land (city parks, private land etc.) give rise to different types of garden organizations and now there is even a trend to small scale urban farming, often in partnerships with schools, food banks or other community organizations.
  Earthwise Demonstration Gardens and Farm in Tsawassen will give us access to some knowledgeable people who will share with us their purpose and how they managed the success of these gardens. Learn about their Organic Master Gardener program and see the demonstration of growing techniques for year round crops. Only one more stop, so check out the organic produce to bring home.

Sharing our experience and knowledge about year round gardening, we might find there is enough interest to form a local group dedicated to this practice.
 Ladner Community Gardens – The community gardens, built in 2011 have a total of 70 plots of which 46 are allotments for community members. Nine are dedicated to children’s education and one is operated with the Canadian Mental Health Association. In addition 14 beds are operated as test sites by West Coast Seeds. All food from the 24 school and test beds is donated. Ladner has an active and engaged group of gardeners who are looking forward to our visit to show off their efforts. See what an amazing group of gardeners have done with recycled concrete sidewalks! We are very fortunate to have Kristin Crouch from Lader with us on the tour. 

On our way home, we can reflect on what we’ve learned and what our next garden projects will be.
 How do I register?  Contact Collene Ford at 778-294-7339 or call Alexandra Neighbourhood House at 604-535 0015
Cost: $20.00
 Send cheque or cash to:
Collene Ford,
2780B McKenzie Ave.,
Crescent Beach (Surrey) BC, V4A3H4

8:30 - 9:00 am tour Alexandra Community Gardens, on Sullivan St.
9:00 am Sharp! – leave from Crescent Beach for Coquitlam
10: 00 - 10:30 am - Tour of Burquitlam gardens
11:30 – 1:00 pm - Visit Terra Nova Community Gardens and LUNCH
1:45pm – 2:45pm - Visit Earthwise Demonstration Garden and Farm
3:15 – 4:00 pm -Visit Ladner Community Gardens

Arrive back to Alexandra Community Gardens no later than 5:00 pm