City Farmer History
Four excellent staff are now employed at three sites on a Federal, Section-38 grant, Antoinette Vanden Brink-Spitz at Lord Roberts School, Paula Ford at the Demonstration Food Garden, and Wendy Wallace and Sheila Jones at Strathcona Community Garden.
Antoinette has set up a schedule of classes for the kids Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with a research day on Wednesday. The school garden is neatly planted and the kids are enthusiastic. Antoinette has her own classroom at Lord Roberts where she can teach on rainy days. We will be speaking to Vancouver math and science teachers at a workshop in April as well as taping shows for BCTV and CBC to promote school gardening.
At Strathcona Garden Wendy and Sheila have marked the beds, improved paths, scavenged for materials such as top soil, ladders, plastic, garden furniture, bricks etc. worth thousands of dollars, and will do plantings to beautify the perimeter.
CBC TV Country Canada will include these sites in their show on Urban Horticulture to be filmed in May.
We will soon complete our latest project, a horticulture therapy garden - at the Demonstration site at 6th and Maple. Designed by landscape architect Mary Jane McKay, carpenter Greg Birdsel, occupational therapist Gay Kuchta, Arthritis Society member Barbara Raynor and head gardener Paula Ford, we are very excited about this new effort. Lumber was donated by City Farmer and MacBlo, and soil by the Kinsmen Foundation.
The BC Ministry of Health through their Nutrition Branch is funding us to write a School Garden Guidelines publication, which will be sent to all elementary schools in British Columbia.
This Saturday we will be speaking at the Urbanarium Festival at one of their Community Development Forums. In late October we will be represented for five days at the American Community Garden Association Conference in Seattle. We will host some members of that conference on a one-day tour of Vancouver gardens October 30.
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