Author Archive

Grow DIY Manual — Book Launch

Grow DIY Man­u­al A project by Hol­ly Schmidt in part­ner­ship with Oth­er Sights for Artists’ Projects Join us for the launch of the Grow DIY Man­u­al May 10th 2 — 4 p.m. Pub­li­ca­tion Stu­dio – Van­cou­ver 222 East Geor­gia St Van­cou­ver, BC Map From May 1st to Novem­ber 30th, 2011, Oth­er Sights for Artists’ Projects pre­sented Grow, a project […]

Goodbye Grow

Novem­ber 30th came quick­ly, and sad­ly  the Grow project is now fin­ished. The few remain­ing plants from the Bulk­head Urban Agri­cul­ture Lab have found their way to new homes. Our lit­tle anjou pear tree is being plant­ed at the Ever­green Urban Orchard locat­ed at the Great North­ern Way Cam­pus where it will flour­ish and hope­ful­ly bear […]

Featuring Green with Jason Packer

On what was prob­a­bly the worst rainy, cold, windy day this fall, Jason Pack­er, sus­tain­abil­i­ty con­sul­tant with Rec­ol­lec­tive brave­ly took an eager group of peo­ple on a tour through the Olympic Vil­lage to point out the green fea­tures of the devel­op­ment. Many of these fea­tures are inno­v­a­tive but large­ly invis­i­ble unless some­one such as Jason points them out. 

Artists and Gardens: A Growing Concern

Schmidt is an artic­u­late mem­ber of a new tribe of social­ly engaged artists who are com­mit­ted to cul­ti­vat­ing com­mu­ni­ty gar­dens and urban agri­cul­tur­al plots as works of pub­lic art. Their cre­ative roots extend into a num­ber of post­mod­ern move­ments, from Fluxus and earth art to rela­tion­al aes­thet­ics and new genre pub­lic art, and their role is often to co-ordi­nate and facil­i­tate rather than man­u­fac­ture and lec­ture. Excerpt from Robin Lau­rence’s arti­cle in Cana­di­an Art on-line, “Artists and Gar­dens: A Grow­ing Con­cern.” Novem­ber, 2011.

Seeds From Grow

The Grow Seed Exchange brought about some seed shar­ing at the Creek­side Com­muntiy Cen­tre. If you hap­pen to be the hap­py recip­i­ent of one of the Grow seed pack­ages but don’t know a lot about plant­i­ng and grow­ing the seeds look for details below.

Grow Walk

Please join Jason Pack­er, sus­tain­abil­i­ty con­sul­tant with Rec­ol­lec­tive for a live­ly walk through the Olympic Vil­lage. Jason will dis­cuss the green fea­tures of the devel­op­ment and how these inno­va­tions reflect the chang­ing land­scape of sus­tain­able design. How can sus­tain­abil­i­ty be built into our urban envi­ron­ments and enact­ed in every­day life will be explored in this walk­ing dialogue.

Potatoes and Tomatoes

It’s har­vest time at the Bulk­head Lab. While many peo­ple have been help­ing them­selves to the boun­ty there’s still ample amounts of pro­duce to col­lect. This past Sat­ur­day Nigel and I dug around in the cof­fee sacks and were very surprised.


The evening of the Swarm 12 event was pret­ty spec­tac­u­lar. The weath­er was beau­ti­ful and the sun­set on the water incredible.

Alexan­der McNaughton local urban farmer, wild for­ager and cat about town pre­pared and served some fresh sam­ples of organ­ic food from the local foodshed.

Grow Seed Exchange

The nights are get­ting dark­er, the days crisper and the leaves are start­ing to turn. As fall is now here, we want­ed to take a moment to acknowl­edge the hard work and effort of all the peo­ple that con­tributed to Grow with a spe­cial event called the Seed Exchange.

Windermere’s Organic Garden

Win­der­mere’s organ­ic gar­den team joined us at Grow to share their work in aquapon­ics and urban farm­ing. They also helped out with water­ing and gar­den­ing with on site.  They are a knowl­edge­able crew, mak­ing a sig­nif­i­cant impact on the world.                   “Win­der­mere Organ­ic Gar­den was first cre­at­ed by two Lead­er­ship students […]

The Bug Lady

Maria Keat­ing, an ento­mol­o­gist with City Farmer came by for lunch on Fri­day. She brought a bas­ket of car­niv­o­rous plants and her exten­sive knowl­edge about plant/insect/human relations.

The Straight: Two Urban Agriculture Projects

In col­lab­o­ra­tion with oth­er groups and indi­vid­u­als, Grow cul­ti­vates a wide array of veg­eta­bles, herbs, and edi­ble flow­ers in reclaimed and repur­posed con­tain­ers, all sit­ting on recy­cled wood­en ship­ping pal­lets. At the same time, it spon­sors walks and work­shops, and—against a back­drop of high-end con­dos and the non­con­sul­ta­tive hideosi­ty that is B.C. Place—promotes dia­logue around issues of “sus­tain­abil­i­ty, food secu­ri­ty, and col­lec­tive ini­tia­tives in urban areas,” — excerpt from Robin Lau­rence arti­cle Two urban agri­cul­ture projects bring art to Van­cou­ver’s gar­dens, Van­cou­ver Straight 


Plate of tomatoes

Join us at the Bulk­head Lab for SWARM #12.

1 metre to 100 mile organ­ic food sam­ples pre­pared by Alexan­der McNaughton will be served.

Grow is a pub­lic art project sit­u­at­ed on the periph­ery of the Olympic Vil­lage in South East False Creek, Vancouver.

Mason Bees at the Bulkhead

Mason Bees are a native pol­li­na­tor to BC. Unlike hon­ey bees they are soli­tary so they don’t live in hives and pro­duce hon­ey. To nest they seek out holes in wood where they can lay their eggs. Typ­i­cally a Mason Bee would find holes pro­duced by wood­peck­ers, but this form of habi­tat can be cre­ated to attract Mason Bees to cer­tain areas for increased pollination.

Green Graffiti with EYA

Kristi­na Parusel from the Envi­ron­men­tal Youth Alliance met with me on Fri­day to help build a small-scale liv­ing wall at the Bulk­head. The liv­ing walls are part of the EYA Green Graf­fiti pro­gram which takes urban agri­cul­ture ver­ti­cal. Using an alu­minum unit that con­tains 24, 6″ x 6″ cubes, fruit, veg­eta­bles and herbs can be grown. I was sur­prised when Kristi­na told me that they’ve suc­cess­fully grown toma­toes, beets and cab­bages in these small 6″ x 6″ cubes.

Ladybug’s Lunch with Maria Keating

Bulk­head Urban Agri­cul­ture Lab (adja­cent to Habi­tat Island in the Olympic Village)

Bring your lunch to the Bulk­head Lab and explore the macro world of our back­yard ecosys­tems with Maria Keat­ing. Learn about our pol­li­na­tors, proces­sors, native preda­tors and com­pan­ion plant­i­ng, the nat­ur­al approach to pest con­trol for the home gardener.

Grow Workshop: August 13th, 2011

Please join Chloe Ben­nett, a stu­dent of Land­scape Archi­tec­ture at UBC for a live­ly dis­cus­sion about mason bee habi­tat. Mason bees are small blue coloured bees that are impor­tant gar­den pol­li­na­tors. They have spe­cific needs for nest­ing and Chloe will be able to guide you in the prop­er meth­ods of build­ing a mason bee home. She will also share her expe­ri­ence in cre­at­ing the Van­cou­ver round­about project Bees Please.

Upcoming Tour: August 6th, 2011

Please join lead artist, Hol­ly Schmidt on a walk through Bulk­head Urban Agri­cul­ture Lab; locat­ed on the periph­ery of the Olympic Vil­lage. The Grow project has made a light inter­ven­tion into this remain­ing sec­tion of unde­vel­oped sea­wall, pos­ing dif­fer­ent solu­tions for grow­ing in the post-indus­tri­al land­scape while cre­at­ing an infor­mal space for shar­ing knowl­edge and ideas. Hol­ly will share the process of cre­at­ing the project while dis­cussing what is grow­ing on site.

Canopy/Water Collection

Over the past cou­ple of weeks Kim Coop­er and I have been cre­at­ing a canopy that can also func­tion to col­lect rain water. We ini­tially met and looked over the site to see how we could take advan­tage of the nat­ural slope and the dif­fer­ent posts and poles already present.

We sketched out some ideas on how to use some of the remain­ing vinyl mate­r­ial from Eric Deis’s pho­to mur­al “Last Chance” to cap­ture and fun­nel the water.

The Vancooper Hen House at the Lab

Dun­can Mar­tin from Back­yard Boun­ty joined us on July 24th to give an infor­mal work­shop on rais­ing hens in your back­yard. He makes these tidy coops out of cedar and wire mesh. They are made to the para­me­ters set out by City of Van­cou­ver bylaws.

The “Van­cooper” was installed at the Lab on the Fri­day before the workshop.

Kale Chips

O.k, so I prob­a­bly plant­ed way too much kale. I was excit­ed about grow­ing it and had no idea just how pro­lific it would be. I was try­ing to get cre­ative about ways to cook and share the kale and I hit upon kale chips. If you haven’t tried them before, I high­ly rec­om­mend this tasty and healthy snack.

Green Wall/Bird Feeder

Elisa Yon dis­cov­ered an inter­est­ing project by a Mona Hatoum called The Hang­ing Gar­den. For this project Hatoum filled 770 jute sacks with seeds to cre­ate a 10 metre wall. These sacks sprout­ed trans­form­ing this impos­ing barricade.

Bombs Away

We spent this week­end cre­at­ing some seed bombs. If you haven’t made your own bombs before. It’s quite sim­ple, you can use this recipe pro­vided by Andrea Bel­lamy on her blog Heavy Petal or check out this video by UK gueril­la gar­dener, Richard Reynolds. The basic ingre­di­ents are clay, seeds and compost.


Meaghen Buck­ley cre­ated a series of nets along the rust­ed steel ele­ments on the edge of the Lab. She cro­cheted both nat­ural and syn­thetic fibres into large asym­met­ri­cal shapes cre­at­ing dif­fer­ent ten­sion points in the net which allows for the wind to move freely in and through.