It’s Thanksgiving Day today. While we’re all sitting down to give thanks, celebrate the harvest and eat, it seemed like the perfect time to highlight what to do in Vancouver to get up close and personal with your food. One of the best ways we know of is to get involved with one of the many local community gardens.
Community Gardens: Harvest Time
September was amazing in so many ways. Beyond making the back to school routines more pleasant with little to no rain we had way more sun than usual. With temperatures above normal it also extended what could have been a short growing season for gardens around town. If you happen to visit any of the 75 local community gardens in Vancouver you are sure to see garden plots bursting at the seams with tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers way bigger than normal.
As a novice community gardener it’s fun to check out what the experts are up to. I only have to look a few plots over to see an impressive mother lode of plots still pumping out a variety of vegetables I’m familiar with but have never seen growing. I didn’t have the faintest idea what a broccoli plant looked like, for instance, and I adore broccoli. If you’ve ever wondered how eggplants or brussels sprouts grow, visiting a community garden is what to do in Vancouver this Thanksgiving.
Joining a Community Garden
Since our son was about one year old we’ve looked for ways to make mealtimes more fun and less stressful. He has an aversion to most things on his dinner plate that are new and especially those that resemble vegetables. In order to help him, and to satisfy my desire to have a child who eats vegetables willingly, I decided to give vegetable gardening a go. I joined the Village on False Creek Community Garden Society, in charge of the newest community garden in the Olympic Village near Hinge Park and was assigned my very own plot!
Part of the city of Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan includes helping people grow more food in the city. According to the plan, five to six new community gardens will get the go ahead each year for the next three years. With up to 18 new community gardens popping up with anywhere from 10-50 or more individual plots there’s a chance you can get your kids and your family involved. If you know of a good spot in your neighbourhood you can make a request for a new community garden, like the one I joined.
Growing Food: It’s What to do in Vancouver
Now that the growing season has passed and harvest season is upon us, it’s a good time to decide if you want to have a go at growing food yourself. There are many gardening classes you can take through the autumn months to get a head start on spring. The city of Vancouver’s website has all the information you need for your family to join in community gardening as part of the city’s initiative to become the greenest city by 2020.
Get your kids excited! Bring them to a local community garden this month so they can see what they could grow with a little help. Just please don’t pick! We gardeners worked hard to grow the food. But maybe if you ask, you might get to try something fresh out of a garden and savour the flavours of freshly picked produce.
If you would rather take up gardening closer to home, consider using some of your backyard, sharing with a neighbour or grow vegetables in pots on your balcony. You can even create a garden indoors. Just grow food!
Watch for a follow up article next spring as I take on my second growing season. Happy Thanksgiving!
The City of Vancouver
Leeanne Ekland is a stay-at-home mom of one, who’s on a mission to rediscover love, wellness, and neighbourhood happenings and to have a ton of fun. She's also a lover of wine and yoga and believes that sharing her experiences at www.MomParadigm.com brings her closer to living her best life. Having started the parenting experience much later than most, she offers a unique perspective on the challenges and all that is amazing about being a mom over 40.