Great urban gardening and sustainability workshops July 11th

This post originally appeared in the Building Opportunities with Business Blog.

Strathcona proves once again that it’s fast becoming one of the funnest and most forward thinking parts of the city! I read the newsletter from Strathcona & Cottonwoods Gardens regarding their upcoming open house on July 11th and I figured it was so good that I’d just paste it in full into the BOB blog. Please pass the word on about these great open house events!

Magical Gardens in the midst of the city: Sunday July 11th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

From 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on July 11th you can visit eight magical acres, sway to live music with Tambai Marimba, learn from free gardening & sustainability workshops, see one of Vancouver’s oldest off-grid solar houses, eat scrumptious goodies, sample local garden honey, snatch wonderful plants at bargain prices, & celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Vancouver’s first community garden and the opening of Cottonwood’s new garden (the first community garden fully accessible for seniors and people with disabilities!)  Everyone is welcome!

Strathcona & Cottonwood Gardens Annual Open House takes place at

Prior/Hawks * Raymur/Malkin

For more info call (604) 608-0384 or (604) 253-3384 or visit their sites:

info@cottonwoodcommunitygardens.ca

www.strathconagardens.ca or www.cottonwoodcommunitygardens.ca

Open House Events

Live Music!  Tambai Marimba!  Fiddlers!

Sway to the music of awesome fiddlers or dance your socks off with Tambai Marimba, Vancouver’s great youth Marimba Band. Tambai Marimba: Cottonwood Garden, 10:30am to 1:30pm.  Fiddlers: Strathcona Garden, 11am to 2pm.

Free Gardening & Sustainability Workshops

How to Keep Chickens in Your Backyard for Complete Beginners/Southland Farms: Sunday, July 11, 10:30am

Thinking about having your own chickens and fresh eggs?  Jordan Maynard, Manager of Southlands Heritage Farm, will help you understand the basics of keeping chickens in your backyard.  You’ll leave this workshop with the confidence to buy, care for, and enjoy your own backyard hens.  Workshop organized by Village Vancouver.

Permaculture/Vancouver Permaculture Meet-up Group: Sunday, July 11, 10:30am

Permaculture is an important way of letting the earth take care of itself.  Learn basic permaculture techniques from the Vancouver Permaculture Meet-up Group.  Workshop organized by Village Vancouver.

Winter Gardening/Grants Gourmet Gardens: Sunday, July 11, 1pm

Want to have fresh vegetables from your own garden year round?  Certified organic farmer & edible landscaper, Grant Watson, will teach you the basics of what/when to plant, so you can harvest from your garden in the coldest season.  Workshop organized by Village Vancouver.

Corsage Making: Sunday, July 11, 12-2

Learn how to make corsages from flowers and leaves picked that morning at Cottonwood. You can have a corsage custom-made for you, make your own, or choose one that has been made.

Compost Making/City Farmer: Sunday, July 11, 10:30am-2pm

Learn how to make compost from City Farmer’s Compost Hotline Staff.

Birdhouse Making for Kids: Sunday, July 11

This hands-on workshop teaches kids how to make their own birdhouse.  Each participant will be able to make and keep a wooden birdhouse they have made.

Bee-keeping demonstration: Sunday, July 11, 10-2

Bee-keepers from each garden will demonstrate basic bee-keeping techniques and teach people about bees and their needs.

Solar Eco-House Demo: Sunday, July 11, 10:30am – 2pm, Strathcona Community Garden

See Strathcona’s wonderful solar house.  This garden house generates its own power with solar panels, re-uses all its water with a grey-water recovery system, was built with recycled materials, and has a licensed composting toilet.  Built over 20 years ago by teenage women learning carpentry skills, this is one of Vancouver’s oldest off-the-grid houses.

Magical Oasis in the Midst of the City: Garden Tours

Please join us for tours of Vancouver’s oldest community gardens, as we celebrate 25 years of community building, local food production and sustainability.  Recipient of a City of Vancouver Heritage Award, Strathcona and Cottonwood Community Gardens feature eight magical acres with 350 individual garden plots; countless varieties of native and exotic perennials; one of the largest collections of heirloom apple trees in BC; thriving honeybees; a solar house that generates its own power, recycles water, and has a licensed composting toilet; beautiful water gardens, terraced gardens, oval gardens, fragrant gardens, reflecting ponds; an Asian garden, native garden, permaculture garden, wetlands; cherry, apple, plum, mulberry, fig, pear, persimmon & Asian pear trees; blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, currants, Saskatoon berries, gooseberries, grapes & kiwis; eight types of bamboo; nut trees; and many ornamental trees and shrubs.  There are two solar greenhouses; toolsheds; extensive composting; and many species of birds, butterflies and hummingbirds.  A pair of bald eagles nests overhead. Garden Tours: 10:30am to 1:30pm, at Strathcona and Cottonwood Gardens

Cutting Edge Sustainability: Solar House

Strathcona’s Eco-house is a model of sustainable building.  This garden house generates its own power with solar panels, re-uses all its water with a grey-water recovery system, was built with recycled materials, and has a licensed composting toilet.  Built over 20 years ago by teenage women learning carpentry skills, this is one of Vancouver’s oldest off-the-grid houses. Learn how the eco-house was built, principles of grey water recovery, solar power: 10am to 2pm, Strathcona Garden.

Wonderful Plant Sale!  Bargain Prices!  Great Plants!

Strathcona & Cottonwood’s Annual Plant Sale features an incredible variety of plants at bargain prices including perennials, vegetables, heirloom fruit trees & berry bushes, bamboo, flowers, shrubs, native plants, shade lovers, sun lovers & more!  All of the plants are grown by our gardeners or donated by local nurseries.  Prices are awesome and the range is impressive.  Over 600 plants at bargain prices.

Plant sale starts at 10am, Sunday, July 11, at Strathcona Community Garden (corner of Prior & Hawks).

Opening of New Garden Fully Accessible for Seniors and People with Disabilities: 11:30am

Join us as we celebrate the opening of this new ¾ acre inclusive garden that is designed to enable everyone, regardless of age or physical ability, to garden.  Based on the principles of universal design, the garden features raised beds that are high enough for seniors and people with disabilities to garden from a seated position; pathways 3-4’ wide and surfaced with a firm surface appropriate for persons with walkers, canes, strollers and wheelchairs; water taps at a convenient height for people who have difficulty bending and close to raised beds so that carrying a hose will not be needed; a tool shed with easy access and reachable tools; meeting spaces with wide-enough, smooth surfaces.

Official Opening of New Accessible Garden: 11:30am.  This new part of Cottonwood is along Raymur, at the corner of Raymur & William, across from the Food Bank, on the east side of Strathcona Park.

Honey!  Local Bees!

Honey sales from our own bees, who thrive on the diversity of flowering plants in our gardens.  The honey is fresh, local, and delicious.  Come early!  The honey usually sells quickly.  Honey Sales: 10am at Strathcona Garden and at Cottonwood Garden.

Silent Auction
If you haven’t been to our Silent Auction before, you’re in for a visual treat.  Beautiful hanging baskets with fuchsias in full bloom, heritage apple trees, and a stunning Passion Flower vine, to name but a few of the entries we’ve had — all generous donations from local nurseries and gardeners.  Come and check it out and maybe you’ll go home with a spectacular plant to highlight your garden or patio.  Sunday, July 11, Strathcona Garden, 10am to 1pm.

Native Plant Tour
Come to the Native Garden at Cottonwood and we’ll show you which BC native plants you can grow to replace some of the invasive plants that have come into BC.  Sunday, July 11, 10-2.

Location:

Strathcona Garden & Cottonwood Garden are sister gardens located next to each other in and next to Strathcona Park., on the east side of Vancouver, on Prior Street, between Main & Clark.

Strathcona Garden is located just west of Strathcona Park, on Prior & Hawks.

Cottonwood Garden is located along the south side of Strathcona Park, on Malkin, between Raymur & Hawks.

The new accessible garden expansion is on Raymur, opposite the Food Bank (1150 Raymur).

The two gardens host the Open House together

More Information about Strathcona & Cottonwood Gardens

Strathcona & Cottonwood Community Gardens are the oldest community gardens in Vancouver, and are an awesome story of what people in the community can do to transform the urban landscape.  These beautiful eight acre gardens were built on dump sites — a massive community effort transformed the land into a magical oasis & self-help organic food centre in the midst of the city.  Hundreds of volunteers composted new soil, laid water pipes, built a recycled off-grid solar house with grey water recovery & a composting toilet, designed & built over 300 garden plots, built 3 solar greenhouses, and planted an amazing collection of native trees & bushes, heirloom fruit trees, berry bushes, perennials, etc.  There are terraced gardens, oval gardens, fragrant gardens, water gardens, a permaculture garden designed/maintained by young people, a native garden, Asian garden, the largest collection of heirloom apple trees in BC, wetlands, honey bees, and many species of birds, butterflies and hummingbirds.  A pair of bald eagles nests overhead.

The July 11 Open House will be very special as Strathcona celebrates 25 years of community building, local food production and sustainability, and Cottonwood opens a new accessible garden expansion, which will be fully accessible for seniors and people with disabilities.

Strathcona’s 25th anniversary is a watershed for community gardens throughout the city.  When people started Strathcona, the concept of community gardens in Vancouver did not exist and there was a lot of resistance to the idea.  It took a lot of hard work and struggle to get the gardens to happen and to eventually have gardens all over the city.

Community gardens all over the city did not spring out from nowhere, but from the work and support of many people.  Community gardens are now not only accepted, but the City and the Park Board have had to develop policy around it because of the great demand for community gardens throughout the city. We can all be proud of contributing to that.

Cottonwood’s new accessible expansion is the first truly integrated accessible community garden in Vancouver, which will enable seniors and people with disabilities to participate in community gardening and will make a real difference to many people.  Based on the principles of universal design, the garden features accessible raised beds that are high enough for seniors and people with disabilities to garden from a seated position; pathways 3-4’ wide and surfaced with a firm surface appropriate for persons with walkers, canes, strollers and wheelchairs; water taps high enough for access & close to plots so that carrying a hose will not be needed; a tool shed with easy access and reachable tools; meeting spaces with wide-enough, smooth surfaces.

There are hundreds of community gardens in Vancouver, but seniors and people with disabilities are often not able to garden in them simply because they are not properly designed and have barriers.  Paths between plots are too narrow for wheelchairs to pass, beds are in the ground or too low or wide for people with disabilities to reach, water taps are too low, path surfaces are too bumpy or sloped, tool sheds cannot be entered etc.  Seniors face similar issues bending to the ground, to taps, carrying heavy hoses, etc.  Even in existing gardens where there are raised beds, the paths are often covered with inaccessible surfaces like bark mulch or gravel, so seniors and people with disabilities are segregated from the rest of the gardeners.

This special new garden is designed to change that and will enable everyone, regardless of age or physical ability, to garden and be part of all garden activities.  It will thus make a significant difference to many people.

For more information about the marvellous July 11 Open House

Please call (604) 608-0384 or (604) 253-3384

or email info@cottonwoodcommunitygardens.ca

or visit www.strathconagardens.ca or www.cottonwoodcommunitygardens.ca

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