Britannia School Garden Harvest

All our hard work growing the Britannia Secondary School garden is all worth it when time comes to harvest the fruits of our labour and enjoy the best tasting salads ever.

After a cold spring and late start, the weather heated up quickly and with just, if barely enough rain, we managed to grow a pretty decent crop of food this spring. Harvested green onions, lettuce, kale, radish, carrots, peas, strawberries, raspberries, nasturtium and calendula flowers.

Eating locally grown food freshly picked is a profound experience as compared to our usual habit of buying the food at the store, much of it shipped from thousands of kilometers away. Growing and eating food locally allows us to have a rich discussion with the students about issues including our food system, health, equity, and global warming.

Was really great, when students were asked about what they learned from the garden this year, several talked about how the garden changed their perspective of the school and place, making them more aware of their surroundings and how they felt a sense of ownership and care over the gardens.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – June 15

Held a wonderful community event at Britannia Community Centre celebrating World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – June 15  and serving up a salmon bbq for about 100 people. Along with the BC Community Response Network, REACH Community Health Centre, and Brightside Housing, this event was organized as an information sharing opportunity in the spirit of bringing elders and seniors in our community together through a fun an socially connecting event.

As a member of the Grandview Woodland Community Response Network, we are happy to partner in this effort to build awareness around issues of elder abuse in their many forms  – for example, physical, emotional, financial. Many of these abuses are criminal offences under the Criminal Code of Canada, such as Theft, Forgery, Extortion, Assault, Intimidation, Threats, and Failure to Provide the Necessities of Life.

We acknowledge in our food security work the very important role that food plays in nourishing the whole self, including our spiritual and social well-being. As such, we are happy to bring a wholistic food security and food justice lens to the work of the Community Response Network. Community meals are a great way to build respectful, inclusive, and safe communities.

 

Stone Soup Festival 2019

Another wonderful community Stone Soup Festival with glorious sun and lots of great tables, information, things for sale and entertainment. Big thank you to everyone who joined us Fresh Roots Urban Farm SocietyFarm To School BCEnvironmental Youth AllianceRaise the Rates BCVancouver Fruit Tree ProjectFood Stash FoundationMt. Pleasant Neighborhood HouseChristina MakWild Salmon Caravan, Vancouver Neighbourhood Food NetworksCheck Your Head: the Youth Global Education NetworkGrowing Chefs!FlourgirlBakingEast End Food Co-opSweet Cherubim Organic & Natural FoodsEastVan BeesEternal Abundance, and many more artists and food vendors.

VCH Community Food Action Initiative Evaluation

The Grandview Woodland Food Connection is a recipient of VCH Community Food Action Initiative (CFAI) funding, which provides us core funding to run our many programs. As such, we are very pleased to be a part of this evaluation, which as you will see shows strong impact in the areas of access to local healthy food, community capacity to address food security, development and use of policy that supports community food security, and awareness, knowledge and skills about food security.

This evaluation has focused on exploring and summarizing six key findings that have relevance for the CFAI regionally and are evident across all of the communities that receive CFAI funding. Outcomes were strong in all areas of:

• An Equity Lens in CFAI
• Food Access
• Food Security Awareness, Knowledge and Skills
• Food Policy
• Community Capacity and Social Connections
• Collaboration and Partnerships

In addition, several key themes emerged through the evaluation findings that support further recommendations and future development.

• Articulating the VCH CFAI Framework and Support
• Taking a Systems Approach to Food Policy
• Building Organizational / Coordinator Capacity
• Supporting Learning, Evaluation and Measurement

Check out the CFAI Evaluation Report

Thank You Choices Market

Thank you to Choices Market – Commercial Drive and their customers for their generous donation of $2,000 as part of the Xmas Season of Stars program to help support community food programs at Britannia Community Centre. This money will be used to support our various food skills programs.

Springtime in the School Garden

First, an unusually cold early March, then sudden warming, then back to lots of rain. However you look at it, it has been a bit of a topsy turvy spring. Good news is that the weather (for now) has normalized enough to get planting. And so we have had lots of groups of students and teachers out in the garden in lots of ways.

Up in the Mary Jo garden, a group of Home Economics students help move soil into some of our new garden boxes, while other prepared the bed for planting, and planted various greens. They all seem to really enjoy the physical work, well most.

IMGP0004 3

 

IMGP0013

 

 

 

 

 

IMGP0007 2

 

IMGP0011 3

 

 

 

 

 

IMGP0001 7

 

 

 

 

 

On another day, we  learned about seeds as part of our planting. There is a surprising amount of information to learn just form the seed packs. In another class the students sorted seeds by appearance then packaged some beans that will be cooked up in a chili.

IMGP0002 4

 

IMGP0005 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On sunny days, the gardens can look particularly beautiful. At the šxʷqʷeləwən ct Carving Pavilion garden, spring can look quite gorgeous with many of the native plants starting to flower, including the Red Current and Oregon grape.

IMGP0005

 

IMGP0008 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMGP0003 2

 

IMGP0004 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last week a group of Vancouver teachers visited the Britannia Gardens as part of  the Farm to School Learning Circles. This program is an opportunity for school gardeners, teachers, parents and others to visit various school gardens and learn from experts how to create and develop classroom gardens. This past week we were joined by Megan Zeni of The Classroom Gardener, who shared her wonderful knowledge of teaching in the garden. Her main message – make gardening playful for the students.

IMGP0014 2

IMGP0011 2

IMGP0015 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMGP0013 2

 

 

IMGP0017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And today, the Britannia Latin American youth group who were interested in doing some gardening came down to the garden to start their own box. These are youth from a variety of schools around Vancouver. Most are fairly new to Vancouver with one of the youth from Van Tech Secondary who had participated in the SOYL (Sustainable Opportunities for Youth Leadership) program and has taken the lead in their garden project.