Spring Gillard

Contemplating Pathways

I went for a bike ride last Saturday afternoon. It was a glorious sunny day, so I took the scenic route along the beach. As I rode along the bike path, dodging young children, dogs, stray balls, joggers, oncoming cyclists and meandering pedestrians, I began to contemplate these pathways. The route along the beach is […]

Saving Green by Growing Greens

Community gardens are sprouting like weeds. There are hundreds of community gardens in British Columbia, thousands across Canada and throughout North America and Europe, more if you count school gardens. Governments are increasingly recognizing the social, environmental and economic benefits of community gardens too. The City of Vancouver pledged to add 2010 new garden plots […]

Communities are Really Cooking

I love potlucks. My pocket market team just had one as a windup for the pocket markets we were running this summer. As one of our crew said, potlucks with foodies are always the best. The food was phenomenal, but just try saying pocket market potluck five times.

There is a resurgence of potlucks and […]

The Three Rs Still Rock

We had a fall clean out in my apartment building today. Throughout the weekend, residents dropped off their old paint cans, car batteries, bike parts, mixed cassette tapes, obsolete computers and electronics, furniture, clothing and well junk. The strata council did a great job organizing the event in the underground parking lot. The first time […]

West Side Food Recovery Pilot

As part of a City of Vancouver Greenest City Grant, Kitsilano Neighbourhood House in partnership with the Westside Food Security Collaborative is implementing a food recovery pilot. A food collection and distribution system will be designed to accommodate primarily fresh food drop offs from a number of groups and businesses. The step by step procedure […]

The Final Swim

It is a sad day for me. The Kits Pool is closing. I mark my entire summer around when the beachside outdoor pool opens on the May long weekend and when it closes, the second week in September. And rain or shine, I am there on the first and last days. Today it is pouring, […]

Monsanto Comes Clean. Briefly.

Some time ago an email came through one of the farmer listservs to which I subscribe. It was allegedly from the Monsanto website, a fact sheet on pesticide use, copyrighted 1999. And what followed was a list of surprising statistics. According to the author of the email, the fact sheet was withdrawn from the site […]

Blackberry Rehab

The other morning I caught the tail end of a story on CBC Radio. I thought I heard the interviewer say, “blackberry rehab” and perked up as I was planning to go blackberry picking soon and thought I might pick up a few tips. But turns out they were talking about black bear rehabilitation; orphaned […]

Good as Gold

A few years ago, I was writing an article on why some farmers were farming organically but weren’t certified. I interviewed a blueberry farmer from the Fraser Valley. When he decided to move from conventional to organic, he signed on with a certification body, paid the fees, around $1,700 dollars plus a cut of all […]