Archive for March, 2010

Sad day :(…yet Great!

We just found out that GFW did not get the Evergreen grant. We were encouraged to apply for another grant that comes available on April 9, which “may be more related” to our project. As always, GFW will take this “cold spell” and be creative and “grow” from it…we need to throw this joke in every now and then. Many good conversations with people today that have GFW thinking creatively.

Regardless of the stumbling blocks, we found this great video that all should see.

It’s a GROW-OFF!!!!!

After planting some of the vegetables today, a student started asking if we have plastic cups, and then “can I have a few seeds” and then he said, “doing all this stuff is making me remember growing when I was younger. So I’m gonna grow bigger and more vegetables than the school garden”. So we gave him some seeds, a couple ideas and the challenge is ON!!!!!

This is EXACTLY what it’s all about! I can honestly say that I think we will be beat by our student because he will put a lot of TLC into it.

2009/2010 garden box plans

This is how they sit on our site, just so there is no confusion based on the charts below.

Box 2 Box 1

Box 1-front of box-south-trellace is along this side.                                 Back-against wall

Tomato plant
Tomato plant
basil Tomato plant
parsley-italian basil rosemary Tomato plant
Box 2
arugula arugula lettuce lettuce
arugula arugula lettuce lettuce
bell peppers arugula lettuce lettuce
bell peppers spinach spinach spinach

Worth Watching

After watching this, I guess we are somewhat doing this in a similar fashion, of course on a much smaller scale. This video does add some momentum to GFW and students seem to be getting excited to plant which especially adds some momentum. We are planting Monday and Tuesday.

Rain barrel installed

Trying to make a smaller impact on the environment, GFW went and bought a rain barrel from the city recycling depot($75). There were some minor additional costs for the two elbows for the downspout, and ABS piping but this barrel will allow us to water our garden regularly without using water from the tap.

The barrel is 54″ high and holds 341litres(75 gallons). Our parsley is nice and moist but we haven’t come up with a schedule of how often we’ll report on our plants(pictures etc) so we are going to discuss this Wed. Also, we numbered each box so it is easier to track what we grow each season in each box. This simple step will make it easier to ensure we don’t replant the same crop  in the same spot the following year.

We have lift off!!

GFW students went to get a tour of the Environmental Youth Alliance’s greenhouse. Students reported that it “was pretty cool” and that they think we could do something similar, but on a smaller scale. EYA gave us two Italian Parsley plants that we went and planted. This is our 1st planting and we are excited to start planting more. Plans done up by the students are to plant tomatoes, strawberries, spinach, herbs, peppers and we’re still open to other ideas.

The string on the boxes are approximately 1sq foot and each student will be able to choose a square to plant their choice of vegetable/fruit. This means we will have 24 squares Each square can support one of the following:

  • 1 tomato plant
  • 4 lettuce plants (plant several varieties)
  • 4 herb plants
  • 2 cucumber plants
  • 16 carrot plants
  • 6 onion sets
  • 6 garlic sets
  • 6 chive sets
  • 4 mini cabbages (excellent for coleslaw)

The Dirt is here!!

After a LONG day, thanks to some mishaps, we finally completed putting the composted dirt into the two garden boxes. We called the city solid waste department and with a little persuading, we able to pick up 3cubic yards for free. I must own the fact that I took down the wrong address and sent Brad and some students to Surrey, when they should have been going to Delta(Vancouver Landfill), which added a bit of time to the day.

We were planning on planting some seeds today, but that will hopefully happen tomorrow or the latest Monday. Regardless, this process has been really great and the few students that have taken part in this project so far seem to be buying into the idea of growing our own food.

Waiting for the dirt

We’ve finished filling the second box with drainage rock and the filter fabric. Dirt should be here Thursday. We learned a few valuable lessons this second time around.

  1. We used 40in. x 50ft filter fabric. Next time we need to buy a wider roll so it makes lining the box easier.
  2. make the boxes a bit shorter because we could save some cost that way.
  3. line the box once length wise and then width wise after that. It makes it a bit more fully covered and it will less likely tear when we add the dirt.

Two boxes better than 1

Our second box was built super quick -1hr (not including short supply run). As you can see two boxes look better than one. GFW is ordering it’s composted dirt, FOR FREE, thanks to the city of Vancouver. Next week we are going to do a tour of the Environmental Youth Alliance greenhouse, and see how they are doing things and look at some seedlings that we may have donated to us by them.

Building relationships and ideas

On top of building relationships with B.O.B. and Solefoods, we have tried to extend our network in order to help ensure the at Genesis Farmworks(GFW) will be successful. Today, GFW met with Brent, who is part of CURA(S.O.Y.L.–UBC), Vancouver Coastal Health and VSB. We discussed how we think GFW can be supported by the above groups, help us decide on a vision and discuss possible curriculum ideas as well as job opportunities for our students. There will be a follow up meeting on the 19th when others from the above groups can all be present.

Some ideas thrown around are once we get established and start growing, GFW could support elementary schools with maintaining gardens over the summer. Looking further ahead we could move into either trying to secure a piece of land where we could try a small “farm”. If we are unable to secure a plot of land, then we could follow the cityfarmboy model and poll the neighbours and see if we could put a box or two on their property. Regardless, the mode of transportation which we thought would be a good idea was to use bikes with trailers. This could also be part of the Genesis Yardworks program. Teaching youth to ride vs drive teaches more cost benefits when it comes to their hourly rate, healthier, skill that can be transferred to their lives beyond school and it’s environmentally friendly. Here is an example of what we could use for GFW and GYW.

Look forward to finishing the boxes this week coming.