Can you dig it? Soil Composition Talk

By Laurier Major

A 30 minute intro session that will cover the average soil situation for most of the PSCG plots, what to look for and how to improve the conditions for your wee seedlings to take off into full bloom.

Bring a chair, park it on the ground or stand while fellow garden Laurier Major outlines what is needed to make your soil good to grow.

Sunday May 14 (prior to the work party). Arrive at 11:15, talk to begin at 11:30 at the Big Yellow Shed

This will be the first of a mini series and will set the stage for a Potato Growing workshop later on this season.

Community Gardeners’ Workshop Series

Members of community gardens in the City of Vancouver are invited to attend workshops on various gardening topics. All events are offered by our community partners, and are free of charge*.

It’s an opportunity for gardeners to share their expertise about community gardening, and to meet members of other gardens and learn from each other. Spaces are limited, so RSVP soon! Ideally, we’d have a few gardeners from many different gardens to broaden representation at each event.

*Cancellation policy: if you have registered but are not able to attend, please e-mail us with 48 hours notice so we can invite other people on the waitlist. People who do not give notice will be asked to make a $5.00 donation to the community organization offering the workshop.


Here’s a list of the workshops below:

Join us at CityFarmer’s Compost Demonstration Garden for a workshop on composting methods and practices:
· Types of composters and where to place them

· Managing pests, rodents and common issues

· Share responsibilities with other gardeners

· Learn from other gardeners!

· CityFarmer Compost Demonstration Garden: 2150 Maple Street

· Session 1: Saturday June 20, 10:00-11:00AM

· Register Online:

· Session 2: Saturday July 25, 10:00-11:00AM

· Register Online:

The Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver is offering advice on dealing with weeds, problem plants and pests:
· Learn what invasive species are, why they are bad, and how they spread

· How to identify invasives, such as Japanese knotweed, bindweed, and fireants

· How to manage and deal with invasive species including prevention, removal, and disposal

· Sharing responsibilities of management and removal with other gardeners

· Creekside Community Recreation Centre:

· 1 Athletes Way (@ Ontario Ave)

· Saturday June 27, 12:30-2:00PM

· Register Online:

Explore the concept of collaborative gardening – with Brooke Oxley of Can You Dig It, and Matt Cooke at Creekside Community Recreation Centre. Find out more about:
· The concept of collaborative gardening and its benefits and challenges

· How it works and setting expectations

· How to integrate collaborative projects into existing community gardens

· Creekside Community Recreation Centre: 1 Athletes Way (at Ontario St)

· Saturday July 11, 1:00-2:30PM

· Register Online:

Join David Tracey of Tree City to learn about the keys to success in growing fruit trees in your community garden:
· Opportunities to integrate fruit trees in your garden and community

· Common issues in fruit tree maintenance

· Sharing the responsibilities and the harvest with other gardeners

· Strathcona Community Garden, inside the Eco-Pavilion

· 857 Malkin Avenue (west of Hawks Ave)

· Saturday July 18, 10:00-11:30AM

· Register Online:

The Stanley Park Ecology Society is sharing their knowledge and experience about urban wildlife. Learn about:
· Species that are commonly found in cities

· Natural History, behaviour, importance of urban wildlife species

· Tactics to address common issues with urban wildlife in gardens

· Mount Pleasant Community Centre: 1 Kingsway

· Sunday July 19th, 1:00-2:30PM

· Register Online:

Be inspired to create beautiful garden projects made with natural materials grown in your community garden with Environmental Artist Sharon Kallis.
During these 3-hour workshops, learn weaving and twining techniques that you can bring into your own garden.

Workshop 1
· Identify weavable materials from green waste

· Demonstration weave for a willow branch column structure

· Tour the pollinator house and earth loom.

· Trillium Park North: 580 Malkin Ave (@ Thornton St)

· Sunday June 28, 3:30-6:30PM

· Register Online:

Workshop 2
· Wood and branch splitting

· Bark stripping, rope-making, and weaving

· Tour on-site of living willow sculptures, woven forms, terraformed steep hillside for gardening

· Means of Production Garden in China Creek North Park: 1001 E 7th Ave (corner of 6th Ave and St Catherines St)

· Thursday July 9, 6:00-9:00PM

· Register Online:

*If you have any trouble registering to the workshops, please e-mail us at

Collaborative Community Mural Call for Artist Project

The Pine Street Community Garden( is looking for an artist to provide services to engage the general public and local community to create a collaborative community mural on a shipping container located in a new city park adjacent to the Community Garden. The park is located on the corner of west 6th Avenue and Fir Street in Vancouver.

The newly created city park is in a neighbourhood with a diverse range of community members. The goal of the collaborative mural project is to establish connections between community members through the design and creation of the mural. The Pine Street Community Garden envisions a mural that will demonstrate community ownership and investment in the new park and welcome park visitors to enjoy the garden space.

Artist skills and experience

The selected artist(s) will have experience with community arts engagement processes and the capacity to build a sense of community pride and ownership throughout the project development and implementation stages. The artist(s) demonstrate through past community art projects that they have successfully worked with community members of all ages to lead creative processes through community input.

Project Scope

Artist fee of $2500.00 to complete the following :

  • Meet with project committee (minimum 3 meetings)
  • Develop a process for building community input into the mural design , submit to projectcommittee for review and approval
  • Participate in public meetings to solicit public input and feedback into mural development (2meetings)
  • Lead work party with the community to complete mural (minimum 2)
  • Complete all noted above by August 30th, 2015 Submit Artist(s) Application Requirements
  • Current CV (maximum 2pages-if an artist collective-1 page per artist)
  • Title Page: Artist’s full name, email address, mailing address including postal code,telephone/cell phone.
  • List two professional references that can speak to your artistic practice and support theapplicant’s capacity to fulfill the requirements of the project.

• In a one page project description outline the following:

  • –  1) Experience related to the project description include: skills and experience in completing aproject from beginning to completion.
  • –  2) Documentation of previous community lead art projects (max. 5 jpeg images)Submit all the application requirements by email to by March 2nd , 2015AssessmentA juried selection process involving community members and staff will determine the artists and/or artist teams awarded for this project.

    Final selections may be based on interviews with shortlisted artists.

    We thank all applicants for their interest. However, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.


Download the .PDF of this info: PSCG_Call_for_Artists


Screening of “A Community of Gardeners” on Food Day

Screen A Community of Gardeners on Food Day!

foodday2014logoOn October 24, thousands of people around the country will celebrate Food Day by organizing events that promote healthy, affordable and sustainable food.  On this special day, consider hosting a film screening of the inspiring documentary A Community of Gardeners. The film, which has been airing on PBS stations throughout the U.S., explores the vital role of seven community gardens in Washington, D.C. and shows how these green spaces are transforming people’s lives, their communities and their environment.  Learn how you can purchase the DVD and host a screening.



Check out their Facebook page for more info:


City of Vancouver to Rescue Arbutus Corridor Fruit Trees-Vancouver Courier

Text from Vancouver Courier Article- Sept 16th, 2014:

The Vancouver park board plans to move trespassing mature fruit trees off of Arbutus Corridor now that talks have broken down between the Canadian Pacific and the City of Vancouver.

“The Park Board has consulted with staff arborists and has identified more than a hundred mature fruit trees along the Arbutus Corridor.  They are in varying states of health.  The trees will soon be removed to a temporary ‘nursery’ where they will live until their leaves fall off in November,” according to an emailed statement from the city’s media department attributed to director of parks Bill Harding. “Once the trees are dormant they can be safely transplanted to permanent homes. These homes have yet to be determined, but will likely be community gardens and parks throughout the City of Vancouver.”

Harding was not made available for a phone interview.

Late last week, Canadian Pacific announced it would resume work clearing Arbutus Corridor after negotiations fell through.

CP temporarily stopped removing trespassing garden plots and structures along its rail line “to discuss the future of the Arbutus Corridor.”

But Friday afternoon, CP said work to return the corridor to operating standards would recommence “in coming days.” An exact date was not specified.

CP released this statement: “CP and the City of Vancouver met [Sept. 12] to discuss the future of the Arbutus Corridor. Despite exploring a number of options to reach a fair market settlement, the parties were unable to arrive at an agreement.

“CP halted all work on the corridor when it agreed to meet the City of Vancouver to negotiate a resolution. However, after meeting today with senior City representatives, CP remains extremely disappointed that the City of Vancouver continues to significantly undervalue this corridor.”

A call to CP on Monday was not returned.

On Friday, the Office of the Mayor confirmed talks had broken off, while adding the city would continue to advocate citizens’ interests along the corridor and that it remains opposed to cargo trains being reactivated.

“It’s both frustrating and very disappointing that CP rail is unwilling to reach a fair agreement for the future of the Arbutus Corridor.

“The city has offered to purchase the land at a fair price, and we came to the table with innovative proposals that would address CP Rail’s concerns. We offered to bring in a third party facilitator to reach an agreement and we brought in experienced external professionals to assist with the discussions,” Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a press release.

“CP’s attempts to clear the corridor are nothing more than a negotiating tactic. The city will not react to this by spending millions of dollars based on flawed appraisals that do not reflect the permitted land use on the corridor. That would be irresponsible for taxpayers and we will not allow that.”

On Monday afternoon, Verena Foxx, chair of Pine Street Community Gardens, which cover two blocks between Fir and Burrard streets at West Sixth, said gardeners recently noticed trees had been “blue tagged,” by the park board although she hadn’t been told much about city plans.

“But it’s exciting because it seems like they want to save the trees, which is what we’re thinking, and re-locate them,” Foxx said. “But our members are curious where they are going to go and whether they will have a say in the matter because some people are attached to their trees. Everybody is glad they’re going to be saved if that’s the case but people are curious what the plan is.”

Pine Street gardens sit mostly on city land, but some have strayed on to CP land. Foxx said gardeners are permitted to use property up to 14 feet from the curb on city land, as long as they leave a few feet for public access along the curb. Each gardener pays $30 a year for plot use.

PSCG asked CP to put stakes in to mark the boundary between city and CP land.

The tracks along the route are covered in blackberry bushes, while the community gardens feature plants, as well as apple, cherry, plum, kiwi and fig trees — some of the trees are on city land and some are on CP land. Many gardeners have already moved their garden plots back on to the city licensed land.

Over the weekend, Foxx moved a fig tree onto the 14 feet of city-licensed land.

“I hope I didn’t kill it is all I can say,” she said. “It’s not a good time of year to move them. It’s better to move them later in the fall. So that is why we are very curious about it because the CP talks, as you know have broken down with the city, and they’ve said the will continue their work on their land so I’m curious what the proposal is, what the timeline is, when is the best time to move the trees — we’re waiting for some direction from the park board because I think they have more information than we do about that.”

Gardening groups along Arbutus Corridor have been communicating with one another as the story has developed. One of their key concerns now is if CP starts spraying their property to prevent regrowth of weeds. CP has stated it uses herbicides approved by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency and that the list of herbicides which may be used in B.C. is outlined in its approved Integrated Vegetation Management Plan.

But Foxx and other gardeners are still worried. She said it’s a “huge” concern if CP starts spraying the blackberry bushes and other vegetation growing on the tracks.

“Obviously if they start spraying it’s not going to be healthy for anyone who walks along here. And it will carry over into our gardens because we know it can be airborne. It’s a whole new set of conversations that need to be had at that point.”


The Arbutus Corridor-A Way Forward? SFU Public Dialogue Sept 4

From SFU Dialogue Website:

You might think that there’s no solution to the conflict over the Arbutus rail corridor. Canadian Pacific Rail wants $100 million for its right-of-way. The City of Vancouver has offered $20m. Neighbourhood gardens, longstanding although trespassing, have been ripped up just before harvest— and election— time. Trains, moving or stored, are coming.
But maybe there is a solution. Seven years ago, one of Vancouver’s most extensive and inclusive public consultation and design processes produced a report that recognized the railroad’s financial interest, the neighbourhoods’ recreational interests, the city’s transportation interests, and a potentially reasonable way to pay the costs without turning the Arbutus Lands into another downtown. That report has been forgotten by almost everyone. On September 4th, City Conversations is bringing it back for public discussion.

To explain the plan, we’ll have Ken Cameron, a member of the distinguished Advisory Panel for the process and report, and Claudia Laroye, Executive Director, Marpole BIA. We’ve invited other representatives of neighbourhood groups, the City of Vancouver, and CP Rail. Our presenters will briefly frame the topic. Then it’s your turn to question, challenge, opine and be part of the conversation! You’re welcome to bring your lunch.

When: Thursday, September 4, 2014

Time: 12:30pm – 1:30pm

Location: SFU Vancouver Campus, 515 West Hastings Street, Room 1600

Cost: Free

For more information on this event, please visit the SFU Public Square City Conversations website.


The Pine Street Community Gardens, established in 2006, runs for two blocks along side the railroad tracks on West 6th Avenue between Fir and Burrard.

Garden Side + Orchard Side

The western block of the gardens, what we call the Orchard Side, is one of Vancouver’s only urban orchards, featuring apple, pear, plum and many other varieties of fruit trees. The east block, or Garden Side, of the gardens is home to over 40 vegetable and garden plots.

All photos and other content are copyright of the Pine Street Community Garden members © 2013