Farmers on 57th: growing living food
It was hard at the start of this season because the weather was rough. The first year we were blessed with no pests. This year was shocking because we lost crops. The hot and then cold weather meant whole carrot crops disappeared. Then the slugs ate anything 1” high. 50% of the bean crop was lost.
This garden is the most peaceful place in Vancouver and any garden is like that. Joy is seeing the miraculous changes every day of something new happening like the radishes coming up. Gardening means being connected to the weather in a different way because I am connected to the entire life cycle of plants. I not only see the effect on myself but on the plants as well and that’s magical.”
Tess and friends preparing lettuce for the boxes
Jen Rashleigh,” I like to wake up every day and be connected to the seasons, to have the weather meaningful for me because I depend on it for food growing. I like to think about how important growing food in the garden is to the health of us all and the planet. In being part of the living cycle of food from seed to harvest, I realize that cycle is part of larger cycles that are critical to our health like the annual cycle of the soil.
I love to connect with families around food because I am only interested in food as part of relationships. I only like to eat food when it involves connecting with people, talking about how things are growing, and swapping recipes. Food is about relationship and culture. The latest addition to this garden is a pathway we are creating that allows the residents at George Pearson Centre to come out in their wheelchairs to be with the garden. (Raised gardens were created last year so the residents could garden.)
The garden gives back in surprising ways. I and others are drawn to it and we relate to each other through the experience. The garden is a place of curiousity and story telling. It is very peaceful. It creates community. We’re living creatures on this planet and we want to feel connected to the planet. We are currently disconnected in so many ways. When we see a living garden and all those different personalities and characters growing together, we’re drawn to it in a wordless way. We all have memories of gardens and, in the garden, we look for what’s familiar to us from our past. We come to the garden and we learn something new every time. People are insatiably curious. I have never met anyone who was not drawn into the garden.
Being around living growth is very primal. The sun shines, the plants grow, the food is created, and we eat it.”
Children learning about raspberries Jen picking borage & nasturtums
Herbs for the boxes: chives, Two complete CSA boxes
basil, oregano, chocolate mint
Ahhh! The best of peas: living food direct from a local garden
Jen starting the garden on 57th with a sod cutter in spring 2009