Spring Gillard

Leaving Space

Is that all you’re going to plant? Aren’t you planting more stuff? Haven’t you planted anything yet? I survived the many questions from well-meaning friends and fellow community gardeners. The desire (and pressure) to overplant is overwhelming at times, but leaving space has paid off. My plants have room to grow. Everything […]

Worm Wigwam at UBC

I spotted a Worm Wigwam up at UBC this week. A couple years ago when I was doing the Metro Vancouver On-Site Composting Technology Review we were investigating the Worm Wigwam at a co-housing development in Bellingham.

The Worm Wigwam is a small-scale continuous-flow vermicomposting system with interchangeable bottom and lid and […]

Peru Lights the Way

Peru is harnessing the power of the sun to provide two million of its poorest citizens with electricity, free of charge. The project started as a pilot in the northeastern part of the country. The plan is to have 95% of the population hooked up with solar power by […]

Big Splash

I saw this beautiful photo first in a friend’s Facebook post. She got it from Green Renaissance, but the photo and words below are from talented photographer Joel Santos. His website is gorgeous and moving with pictures from his travels around the world. Santos resides in Lisbon, Portugal and is the […]

Welcome Chip

The compost committee at my community garden welcomed a new member today, “Chip.” Our new shredder made fast work of some of the larger woodier materials in the compost corner. As we want to keep Chip in good working order, we will only be shredding at work parties. Garden members must be […]

Leading & Following

I’ve been taking an appreciative inquiry course for the last three weeks. The whole idea of “AI,” as it’s called, is to build on strengths rather than to look for the problems and try to fix them. Our two instructors, Jeanie Cockell and Joan McArthur-Blair have written an amazing and accessible book […]

Asking the Right Questions

Yesterday morning, I heard a CBC Radio piece on the Trayvon Martin case in the wake of the not guilty verdict. I tuned in during an interview with a professor from the Fanning Institute for Leadership Development at the University of Georgia. He pointed out that criminal law is often not just. We are […]

Apple Luscious Organic Orchard

You can probably tell by the name of the orchard, that Harry Burton is crazy about apples. He thinks his obsession may have started back in northern Ontario where he grew up. He and his friends used to raid apple trees. In 1971, he hitchhiked to Vancouver with a buddy and […]

Girls, Miracles and Mobile Markets

A few years ago, Nathan Edelson, former city planner and an instructor at the UBC School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP), approached me to see if I’d be willing to take on a couple of his Masters students. Lindsay and Zsuzsi were both interested in the food movement and Nathan […]

Packing It In

The little retail produce store at the Penticton packing house is closing. The store is operated by the BC Fruit Packers Cooperative (BCFPC). The co-op has approximately 500 grower members from the Kelowna, Summerland and Penticton areas. The store is one of the local secrets in Penticton, but it […]