Spring Gillard

A World of Rivers

In 1980, a group of volunteers got together to do a clean up along the Thompson River. That was the start of BC Rivers Day and today marks its 30th anniversary. In 2005, our BC Rivers Day went global and is now celebrated beside streams and rivers throughout the world. Mark Angelo, […]

Claremont Ranch Organics

I first met Matt and Molly Thurston in 2007 at a talk I gave on food security for the Central Okanagan Community Gardens Society (COCGS) in Kelowna. The couple had just leased some land on a one-year trial basis from a local farmer. New farmers need access to land, but with diminishing farmland […]

Do-it-yourself Farm Tour

Many of the courses and tours I’ve designed and delivered have included UBC Farm. In the past, I have enlisted one of the UBC Farm staff to join us as they know a lot more about the cows, chickens, bees, the market garden, the public and academic programs, the research… But now, those […]

SSHRC-ing my Responsibilities

I’m working on a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant or SSHRC, pronounced shirk for short. Those of you who have done a Masters or a PhD will know what I’m talking about and will empathize with me. It’s a monster – with many moving parts. And the deadline is this Monday. Or that […]

Dual-ing Festivals

Fall festival season is upon us. I wrote about the Moon Festival coming up on Saturday, September 29th hosted by the Still Moon Arts Society. Our group will be walking through Renfrew Ravine as part of the Simon Fraser University Applications course this year. Turns out there will be a lot of activity in […]

Solar Building Blocks

Over the last few weeks I’ve been sharing photos of buildings and other structures made from solar panels on my Facebook page. Photovoltaic Cells (PV) are being used for shade in large parking lots, as roofs and external walls (seen above on the ECN building) and to construct entire buildings, like Taiwan’s […]

Wholesome Doesn’t Ad Up

Walmart has a commercial running right now that features a young boy at a kitchen table with a giant box of frosted flakey cereal in the foreground, a granola bar and a barely visible fruit cup. The mother is asking him to choose which one he wants in his lunch. The kid […]

Three Hour Tour

The Rivershed Society of BC is hosting a 3 hour dinner cruise on the Fraser aboard the historic MV Native Paddlewheeler. The dinner is the annual fundraiser for a great program, the Sustainable Living Leadership Program. Every year, ten young leaders are chosen for the trip of a lifetime down the Fraser River. During […]

Pool Weather

Every May long weekend I celebrate the opening of the Kitsilano pool. Then it rains til July. I still swim during the rainy months, alongside the triathletes, all cozy in their wet suits. But the crowds don’t roll in til the weather warms. The second Sunday in September, I mourn the closing […]

Haz Mat

In the mid-1990s, I became interested in what was then a relatively new phenomenon, genetically modified foods, an industry ripe with politics. Although it was never directly part of my work at City Farmer, I took the subject on as a side interest. I began to collect newspaper clippings, friends passed them on to […]