Urban Sustainability Tours at City Farmer's Garden
City Farmer's garden has been open continuously since 1982 at 2150 Maple Street in Vancouver. We demonstrate urban agriculture and various "green" technologies, all of which can be practiced by residents in the city. Our garden greenhouse is home to Vancouver's Compost Hotline (604-736-2250).
Visitors from around the world come to see what we are demonstrating. This summer,for example, the Japan Xeriscape Design Association, the Seoul Green Trust Foundation and Vancouver's green architects, Busby and Associates, all dropped by.
Here is a partial list of the subjects we discuss with the public.
Our food garden includes vegetables, herbs and fruit grown using organic methods. Some of our produce is donated to a local hospice. Our staff hold workshops on a variety of gardening subjects (pest control, soils, etc.) throughout the year.
Since 1990 we have promoted rodent-resistant composting and have a display of metal, wood and wire mesh and plastic bins. The City of Vancouver has subsidized bins available.
These food waste composters are designed for apartment dwellers. City Farmer's garden is the site of the largest subsidized worm bin program in the world.
Our front boulevard garden demonstrates plantings that can survive dry summers and wet winters in the Lower Mainland and includes an alpine garden. It contains native plants and other drought-resistant varieties. We also demonstrate low water irrigation systems in our garden. http://www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/engsvcs/watersewers/water/conservation/landscaping.htm
Natural Lawn Care:
Mulch mowing, minimum watering and alternatives to pesticides are the tenets of this citywide program named "Grow Natural". http://cityfarmer.org/grass.html#grass
The City distributes a unique half-barrel rain barrel. One of ours is attached to a sump, which allows rainwater to seep into the ground.
Our compost toilet is housed in a shed made from recycled wooden telephone poles. No water is used for flushing this toilet.
Our back lane is made from permeable materials, i.e. pavers, reused concrete sidewalk and strong plastic grids (Golpla) also known as structural grass. The City has installed this sustainable lane to help reduce water flow into the City's sewer system.
Our cob building is made from local clay, sand and straw. It has a green roof planted with native species. The building's architecture and artistic beauty have attracted many visitors.
Our unique garden gates are made from recycled, metal gardening tools.
Animals in the Garden:
We have taken steps to offer homes to beneficial creatures such as birds, mason bees and bats.
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