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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chelsea Trousdell, one of our regular volunteers at the Lab brought some untreated fir to make homes for mason bees. If you aren’t familiar with mason bees, they are a dark metallic blue/green colour and resemble black flies. They are solitary insects that nest near each other but do not share a nest or hive. Females seek out holes in wood to use as a nest. Once the eggs are laid they will plug up the holes using mud, hence the name mason bee. These active pollinators are great for vegetable gardens and they are non-aggressive.
Join us for some seed bomb making at the Bulkhead Lab. We will form clay, compost and seeds into small “bombs” to be lobbed at The Games are Open, a large-scale sculpture of a bulldozer created by Berlin-based artists Köbberling and Kaltwasser. Constructed out of wheat board this sculpture is intended to slowly decompose over time, eventually becoming a plant nursery. The seed bombs will contribute to this burgeoning ecosystem.
The Grow project has taken up the transitional state of the Bulkhead site, installing a series of provisional platforms for growing herbs, vegetables, fruit and mushrooms. Many platforms have been installed and new ones are being added as the Lab grows and expands over the summer.
Today, we put together a vertical pallet to grow strawberries. We lined the inside of the pallet with a weed block fabric and sealed it with additional boards from another pallet.
After a trip to the nursery, we spent the day planting. When we got on site, we discovered that our friend from the Village had given us a head start and planted some seeds…radishes, lettuce, chard and carrots.
Today we added the palette platforms for the potatoes. We lined coffee sacks donated by Origins Coffee Company with landscape fabric to help hold in moisture and block out light. We hope this method will allow is to get a good harvest of potatoes. We have five sacs prepared for planting.
At the end of the day, after we finished filling the super sacs with soil, a neighbour from the senior’s complex in the Village came by to ask if we would like some tomatoes. She went home and collected a handful of seedlings and gave us a quick demonstration on transplanting. We didn’t have access to water set up just yet so we ended up filling a container at a nearby water fountain. We managed to get them wet enough for over night.
After getting the walkway and demo stage put together. We moved on to building the pallet platforms to support the super sacs. We filled each sac with about 2 feet of soil. The rim of the sacs will provide some protection from the elements.
We are very grateful to Yardworks for their donation of soil to the Grow project. It’s an excellent blend that will provide good nutrition for our plants.
Lamoureux Architect is in the process of remodeling their offices and Brad Lamoureux and Anne Maisonneuve kindly offered their rosemary plant to the Grow project. It was a long journey for this large rosemary.
It was a rare sunny afternoon for our site clean-up. We approached the clean up with a light touch in some places and in others…it took a lot of cutting, pulling and thrashing.
The third Grow workshop took place last Saturday. We managed to plant and hang the last of the pocket gardens on the chain link fence. Many of them are sprouting and filling out.