Archive for July, 2010

Festivals 2010

July 30, 2010 
Critical Mass in Vancouver; Critical Mass is a grassroots reclamation of public space — a bike ride and skate — held the last Friday of every month. You are invited to enjoy the safety and comfort in the car-free space that we create by simply riding together! Bicycles, skateboards, rollerskates, self propelled couches, and any other form of human powered locomotion are all welcomed! We ride around the city wherever people want to go – this is decided collectively – the length of the ride depends on enthusiasm and is also collectively decided. No one who comes is forced to or needs to break the law in order to participate.  Meet 5 to 5:30 at the Vancouver Art Gallery, leave at 6pm; Critical Mass in Vancouver (http://www.bikesexual.org/cm/)

July 31 to August 1, 2010

Spirit of the Sea Festival, White Rock, www.spiritofthesea.ca 


July – August, 2010

Enchanted Evenings Concert Series @ Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.  Enchant your evenings with the critically acclaimed concert series set within the serene, garden beauty of one of Vancouver’s most prestigious landmarks. Complete your cultural experience by following the concert with a trip to the nearby Night Market. http://www.vancouverchinesegarden.com

August 2 – 6, 2010


Harrison Paddlewheeler Tour. The Paddlewheeler from New Westminster comes up the Fraser River into Harrison River, offering tours on Harrison lake for a couple days while it is in town. To book and for trip information visit their website at www.vancouverpaddlewheeler.com .

August 13 – 15, 2010


The Great Laughter Getaway Weekend, A Laughter weekend retreat. Laughter is indeed the best medicine! Get a full weekend dose of lighthearted fun at our summer laughter getaway. Our joyous laughter leaders are sure to tickle your funny bone as everyone joins in playful interactive games and exercises designed to stimulate genuine high-spirited laughter and mirth. This hilarious weekend will be held at delightful Edenvale Retreat Centre in Abbotsford (just a short one hour hop from Vancouver). http://www.laughteryoga.org

August 14, 2010


August 14- Garlic Festival at Limbert Mountain Farm, Agassiz. Come learn about the numerous varieties of garlic, how to grow it, recipes and lots of fun “garlic food”. www.limbertmountainfarm.com

August 14, 2010


Forest Fun for Families, 10AM – 1PM, Bring the whole family for nature fun, tree games, animal activities, and crafts! Stroll down a trail, check out the arboretum, tour the native plant gardens and play in the forest. Rain or shine. Surrey Nature Centre 14255 96 Avenue www.surrey.ca/naturecentre 604.502.6065

August 19, 2010


Discovery Day, 10AM – 2PM, Meet a nature guide who will get you started with your discoveries in the forest. Check out the museum exhibit, create an eco-craft and learn something new with our interactive Exploration Boxes. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy your self-guided discovery through our special places. Surrey Nature Centre 14255 96 Avenue www.surrey.ca/naturecentre 604.502.6065

August 21, 2010


Slow Food Cycle Tour. Meet the local famers, sample their products and tour their businesses on this countryside cycle tour. www.slowfoodvancouver.com Stay overnight and participate in the Chilliwack chapter of the event the following day. Making it a full weekend of fun.

August 29, 2010


Kids Festival at Kilby Historic Site. A full day of entertainment for the kids featuring music, dance, crafts and more. www.kilby.ca

Ongoing to August 27, 2010


UBC Botanical Garden – Young Explorers Summer Day Camp. Send your child on an environmental and recreational adventure at Canada’s oldest continually operating university botanical garden. Young Explorers Summer Day Camp is a week long environmental and recreational adventure for children aged 7-11. The camp will create life-long connections with nature, wildlife, plants, science, and the environment through games, crafts and exploration in our 44.5 hectare (110 acres) Garden, the Greenheart Canopy Walkway, and the UBC campus. http://www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org/kids/summer-camp.php

Ongoing to September 5, 2010


SummerFest.  The North Shores favourite waterfront festival is an eleven-week celebration of music, dance, culture and community. Hop on the SeaBus to experience a spectacular outdoor festival featuring local talent, cultural dance, live concerts, Artisan Farmers Market, and kids activities. SummerFest is a free community event and is in support of local charities; donations will be accepted on site. Please visit www.lonsdalequay.com/events.cfm for complete Festival schedule.

Ongoing to September 6, 2010


Bowen Island Community Museum Microclimates, Gardening and Architecture on Bowen Island Exhibit Now Open! The exhibit focuses on the challenges of building a home and garden on Bowen Island, including ways islanders have coped with the large deer population, summer drought conditions, and adapted to properties that are full of forests and exposed bedrock. The physical geography of the island, as well as climatic factors like wind, sun exposure and temperature affect both home and garden design, leading individuals to use passive solar heating techniques or to choose plants that are drought resistant for their garden. For more information about the Museum, the Bowen Island Historians, or maps on how to get to Bowen, please visit www.bowenhistory.ca

September 17 – 18, 2010


Agassiz Fall Fair and Corn Festival. Awarded the best small town fair in BC, this annual event features a parade, midway, exhibits, music, animal shows and demos, and good ‘ol country fun. www.agassizfallfair.ca

Ongoing to September 25, 2010


Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival. Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival runs June 3 to September 25, 2010 in open-ended tents on the waterfront in Vanier Park, against a spectacular backdrop of mountains, sea & sky. On the Mainstage MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, directed by Dean Paul Gibson plays in repertory with ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA directed by Scott Bellis. In the Studio Stage, Bard will continue with the second year of The Kings History Cycle. In a new adaptation by Errol Durbach, Henry IV, Parts I & II will be blended as FALSTAFF, which will be directed by Glynis Leyshon. FALSTAFF will play in repertory with the third history play, the powerful HENRY V, directed by Meg Roe. For tickets and information, check out the Bard website at www.bardonthebeach.org or call 604-739-0559 (Toll Free) 1-877-739-0559.

Ongoing until October 1, 2010


Arthur Erickson House & Garden Foundation Tours.  Arthur Erickson House and Garden Foundation offer tours of his Japanese garden in Point Grey, Vancouver, every Thursday at 5 PM through October. Cost is $15 and reservations are required by email (see our website) or phone 604-738-4195. http://www.ericksongarden.org 




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Built Green is an industry driven voluntary program that promotes “green” building practices to reduce the impact that building has on the environment. It benefits the homebuyer, the community and the environment.

The Built Green name  adds value to new home construction by promoting and recognizing the use of practices and products that represents resource-efficient and environmentally friendly construction.
The primary purpose of Built Green Canada is to encourage homebuilders to use technologies, products and practices that will:
• Provide greater energy efficiency and reduce pollution
• Provide healthier indoor air
• Reduce water usage
• Preserve natural resources
• Improve durability and reduce maintenance
The program concentrates on four areas of environmental concern:
• Energy Efficiency
• Indoor Air Quality
• Resource Use (including Waste Management)
• Overall Environmental Impact
For more information on BUilt Green BC please visit their site: Built Green

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This list is never up-to-date. Gardens still in the development phase aren’t included, contact people at the gardens change frequently and some contacts don’t want their names listed.

The list will grow over time, and will include more information on each garden, will include gardens outside Vancouver and also e-mail addresses and garden web pages.

BC Community Gardens Up Close – Aerial Photos

We’ve created a slideshow of aerial photos of community gardens in British Columbia; most of these are higher resolution images than can be found on Google Earth. See the Fraser Street Garden in Vancouver, or visit us in the Compost Demonstration Garden next to our neighbours, the Maple Street Community Garden. We’ve also included photos of some of the gardens at ground level for those who don’t like heights.

Fly From Space to Community Gardens in BC Using Google Earth
City Farmer created ‘place-markers’ in Google Earth, which allow you to fly from the sky to different garden sites; that is virtually. You can visit individually chosen sites or you can push the ‘play’ button (an arrow under the Places window) to automatically fly to all the gardens. See Victoria’s Capital City gardens for instance and then fly back to UBC’s Acadia gardens. Simply click on our link to download a tiny ‘kmz’ file (unzip the .zip file first) and then open the file in your Google Earth program.
City of Vancouver
1st and Fir Railway Garden
Contact: Justin – at garden site
6th Avenue between Prince Edward and Brunswick on the South side of the street
15-20 plots
Call Terry 604-876-6259
Cedar Cottage Gardens
Located at Hull Street (close to Stainsbury Ave.) and Victoria Drive (beneath Translink lines)
59 plots, annual members’ fee $5, all 9′ x 3′ plots are $15
Contact: cedarcottagegarden@gmail.com to enquire about a plot
Web Site: http:// cedarcottagegarden.wordpress.com/China Creek
top of Keith south of 8th Ave. at Broadway next to VCC King Edward Campus
30 plots
604-734-4673China Creek South
30 plots
Broadway & Clarke Dr.

City Hall
“The City of Vancouver only issues a garden permit on vacant residential land to the neighbouring property owner. (ie. permits to people wanting to garden vacant land next to their house) Unopened lane or street is also issued on that basis, therefore not available to the City at large. $25 plus GST per year” Call Linda Kemp 604-873-7426.City Hall Childcare/SPEC
10th and Cambie
Collingwood Community Gardens
23 garden plots in community garden by the Joyce Skytrain Station.
Contact person Maja Grip or Heidi Braun at: foodsecurity@cnh.bc.ca
Cottonwood Community Garden
Also at Prior and Hawks Avenue. Runs along the south perimeter of Strathcona Park. Go to Malkin Ave, between Chess & Raymur Avenues.
50 Plots – each $15/year
Contact: Jill
(604) 608-0384
Cypress Community Garden
65 plots. On Arbutus Corridor along 6th Avenue between Cypress and Burrard Streets. For membership information please check our website or send an email to cypress@vcn.bc.ca
Maureen Ryan 604-732-9175
East Boulevard – Arbutus Victory Gardens
East Boulevard from 50th to 57th, also 65th to 68th Avenues which are on the west side of East Boulevard on City property next to the railway tracks. Gardeners must get permission from the property owners across the street from the garden plot and must agree to adhere to the guidelines set out in their garden permit.
For information call Beverly Chew, Greenways Branch of Engineering Services 604 873-7204
Email: greenstreets@vancouver.ca
EYA Garden
Also at the Cottonwood Garden location at SE corner.
Hartley Rosen
hartley@eya.ca or susan@eya.ca
Fraser Street Garden (Mount Pleasant)
8th Avenue and Fraser St.
Gavin Ross 879-3676
Rentals are $10 per year. 50 plots
Grandview  Community Garden
Between Maclean Dr. and Woodland Ave., between 4th and 5th on the school grounds of Grandview/Uuqinak’uuh Elementary School
24 plots 4’x4′
or Christine Boyle 604.713.5008 cboyle@vsb.bc.ca
East Blvd. & 57th Ave
Johnathan Rogers Community Garden
7th Ave. and Manitoba St. In north-east corner of Johnathan Rogers park.
Kitsilano Community Garden
On a city owned lot on 6th Ave. between Maple and Arbutus. 55 plots.
Sign up on garden shed. Leave note.La Cosecha
Broadway & Clarke
Maple Community Garden
On railway right-of way on 6th Ave. between Maple and Cypress
Contact: 604-731-1236
80 individuals maintain plots.
Marpole Place Community Garden
70th and Hudson, communal plot in front of Firehall
McSpadden Park
Victoria and McSpadden (at 4th)
18 Plots
604.720.7908 and 604.290.2756
email: mcspaddengarden@gmail.com
Mole Hill Community Garden
In the lane between Comox and Pendrell, Bute and Thurlow downtown. Half the plots are for residents of Mole Hill and half for residents of the West End.
Expanding to 70 plots by end 2002. Rentals are $10 per year.
My Own Backyard (MOBY) Community Garden
East 11th, east of Commercial Drive under Skytrain. 45 plots.
contact Jason at: 604-736-6457
Nelson Park
e-mail to nelsonparkgarden@gmail.comPacific and Seymour Community Garden
(ONNI Garden) 60 plots
Pacific & Seymour
Contact: Fraser Hall fhall@onni.com
Pine St. Community Gardens
West 6th from Burrard – Pine Sts
81 Plots
Request to be put on the waiting list and all other inquiries, email:
Website: www.pinestreetgardens.org< br>
Portland Hotel Society Community Garden
On Hasting St between Main and Columbia Streets
Robson Garden
13th Avenue and St.George St.
40 plots, rentals are $20 per year.
Contact: robsongarden@gmail.com
South China Creek Park (in development)
N-E of skateboard bowl
20 plots
Strathcona Community Allotment Garden
At Prior and Hawks Avenue
Plots are approximately 150 sq.ft. and cost $15. 200 plots.
604.253.3384 or 604-255-9972
strathcona.garden.info@ gmail.com
Stanley Park
32 plots.
Robson St. & Lost Lagoon
Bonnie Thiele 604-685-6850
Tea Swamp Community Garden
15th and Sophia (1 block East of Main St.) on Park land
20 plots
Mount Pleasant
Niki Westman
UBC Community Garden
Acadia Park Lane /UBC
84 plots for student housing members
Contact: 604-822-6389
Vancouver Community Gardens on Parks Land
This page includes both the Park Board’s Community Gardens Policy and the Community Gardens Contact List.
Wall Street (Cambridge Park)
Cambridge and Wall St.
Jan Robinson (604) 258-4122, membership coordinator
45 plots

Copyright (C) City Farmer

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Island Time

Here’s how you can have 25 unspoiled acres of stunning eco wilderness all to yourself.

Thank you Frugalbits!

THIS CANADIAN LIFE | It’s one for The Bucket List
—or The Buried Life for those who watch MTV. If you live in British Columbia or visit here and do not have an adventure on the water or an island off our coastline, you’ve missed things that are truly original and magical about this place.

Seriously, sailing around the Strait of Georgia or bouncing along in a powerboat on a blue-sky day rivals any experience you could ever have in the islands and waters around Greece. The only thing better would be for your craft to be wending its way towards for your own private island, which it could be if your destination were South Winchelsea.

South Winchelsea Island, one of 19 islands that make up the Ballenas-Winchelsea Archipelago, is a 25-minute water taxi ride from Schooner Cove near Nanaimo. It is 25 unspoiled acres of stunning wilderness that include a rare and fragile Arbutus-Garry Oak ecosystem. Ringed by a rocky shoreline, it is a preferred haul-out area for California and Steller sea lions. It is also the resting and nesting place for many species of migratory birds; three bald eagles call South Winchelsea home.

You’ll call it home too, if you take up temporary residence at the island’s only dwelling, a rental cabin tucked up tight to the water’s edge at the northwest end. Your solar-powered home will sleep six in three bedrooms (you’ll need to bring bedding—and food, of course). It has a skylight, solar-powered electric lighting, a full-size bathroom with a hot water shower, and a kitchen equipped with a propane refrigerator and stove.

South Winchelsea’s cabin is plain modern, not crumbly rustic; it’s in fine shape as these sorts of accommodation go. That’s because it’s managed and maintained by The Land Conservancy (known as TLC), a nonprofit land trust that protects and maintains important properties and landscapes in British Columbia, many of them available to rent.

The cost for a night on South Winchelsea Island from April through September: a surprisingly reasonable $275 with a two-night minimum (you can reduce your rate by 10 percent if you join TLC). For this amount you and five others will be ferried to (and from) your island kingdom by a skipper who won’t leave until he knows that you know how to operate everything in the cabin, including the island’s marine radio.—C. Rule

For more information about staying at South Winchelsea Island (there are still days available in July and August) and other TLC properties, visit http://blog.conservancy.bc.ca/ecotourism/cottage-rentals/

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Indulge your inner child—make gourmet all-fruit popsicles from leftover fruit.


One of the ways I spend smart is to estimate just how much food to buy and prepare for each meal to prevent waste. Sometimes I aim for a little more if it’s a dish I know the family likes left over. But for meals with a definite sell-by date, I like to be bang on.

With summer fruits, it is especially hard to judge how much to buy, particularly if it’s something I’ve picked up at a farm stand or market at its luscious peak of ripeness. That flat of invitingly beautiful strawberries might just be too much for one family to reasonably shortcake their way through.

My favourite way to enjoy extra overripe fruit happens to be the most fun and easy: a quick whirr in the blender, and I’ve got the makings for nutritious fruit popsicles. All-fruit popsicles look (they’re typically textured) and taste nothing like the coloured sugar-water popsicles most of us are familiar with, and they are certainly healthier.

You can buy expensive all-fruit popsicles at the grocery store , but why would you want to when they are so simple to make from scratch? To get started, you will need plastic ice pop moulds. If you don’t have any, consider buying moulds like the ones I got recently at Bed, Bath & Beyond that are the size and shape of traditional ice cream bars. They come with their own plastic handles, which I don’t use because I prefer wooden crafts sticks. If you don’t want to invest in moulds, small plastic containers like individual yogurt cups work just fine.

My Recipe For All-Fruit Popsicles 

To make your ice pops, all you do is wash and cut up fruit, then purée it in the blender, adding liquid if you need to. It’s that simple. As for liquid, any kind of juice is good (I like lemon), and so are milk, yogurt and water.

You don’t need to add sugar (or Splenda or stevia), but I do because sometimes the fruit has a bitter edge. Once your mixture is blended just the way you like it, pour it into the moulds. If you are using store-bought ones, pop on the handles and freeze. If you plan to use wooden sticks (or even plastic spoons), after about an hour in the freezer, insert them into the partially frozen fruit. This method works with pretty much any fruit I’ve tried.—Terri Brandmueller

Plastic popsicle moulds are $3.49 (for a set of four) at Bed, Bath & Beyond in North Vancouver. Michaels has wooden crafts sticks.

Source Frugalbits

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Don’t waste water on your lawn. But if you must water… Lawn sprinkling regulations are in effect from June 1 to September 30. Lawn Sprinkling is allowed only from 4 to 9 am and 7 to 10 pm on the following days:   

Even-numbered addresses: Wednesday & Saturday
Odd-numbered addresses: Thursday & Sunday   

 Lawn Sprinkling
Lawn sprinkling: a key summer reduction
In summer demand for treated water almost doubles in the Lower Mainland (mostly due to outdoor use) at the same time that rainfall is the lowest. These restrictions help reduce the rate of water consumption and lower the risk of reservoir levels being depleted.Purpose  
The regulations restrict lawn sprinkling during the summer months to manage demand for drinking water. The lawn sprinkling regulations have been in place since 1993 and are part of the regional Water Shortage Response Plan that mostly outlines measures to reduce demand for outdoor use.  Exemptions
  Newly-planted lawns will be allowed to be watered outside of restricted times only with a special permit from your municipality
  Watering of flower and vegetable gardens, decorative planters, shrubs and trees
  Filling of pools, spas, water play parks and fountains
  Washing of cars or boats using spring-loaded shutoff
  Sports playing fields and school yards
  Lawns at golf courses and turf farms
  Artificial turf requiring wetting and outdoor tracks requiring hosing for dust control or safety   


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It’s standard government policy to aerial and ground spray wherever gypsy moths are found, despite the fact that a 1994 BC Ministry of Forests (MOF) Report states: “The direct impact of an established gypsy moth population on BC’s natural resources would likely be small.”

The biocide of choice is a combination of 2.1 percent live bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), and 97.9 percent unknown chemicals which are kept hidden by the Trades Secret Act. Not even a physician, who may need this information to safely treat a victim of pesticide poisoning, is allowed to know what they are. This concoction is sprayed three or four times at 10-day intervals, usually beginning in mid to late April.

In 1996, the BC Environmental Appeal Board (EAB) stopped the Bt ground spraying of four blocks in New Westminster because it caused health reactions in other areas. These included skin rash and other immune, allergic and sensitization responses such as dry, itchy skin; red, burning eyes; dry, sore throat; cough and tightness in the chest.

The Board concluded that children were at greater risk from the effects of Bt than the general population. They also noted that no studies had been done on Bt to determine long-term effects. No spraying took place in New Westminster and despite predictions of a major infestation by government officials, the gypsy moth disappeared from the area and has not returned.

Two years later, the EAB stopped the aerial spraying of Victoria due to similar concerns:

“The panel finds that aerial spraying will create an unacceptable risk of health problems among the residents of these densely populated areas. In particular, the panel agrees with the appellants that there is a risk to the health of children, people of all ages who have allergies, asthma and other respiratory ailments, people with immune deficiencies, chemical hypersensitivities and the elderly. It also poses an unreasonable adverse effect to the environment (non-target species).”

Worldwide Bans

When Bt was sprayed in New Zealand in 1997, public health nurses noticed an increase in the number of premature births and miscarriages in the spray area. There were reports of as many as five miscarriages in one street alone. One of the women who miscarried is a registered nurse. She said she began wondering whether the spray was involved in her two miscarriages when four out of five friends who were pregnant about the same time and who lived in the spray area also miscarried.

Since the spraying began in New Zealand, an unusually high incidence of hypothyroidism in children has also been reported. The Ministry of Forestry in New Zealand has confirmed that the Bt spray harmed one in six households.

Any medical dictionary will confirm that Bt is a human pathogen. In fact, it can be fatal to people using anti-ulcer drugs. A few years ago, it was the cause of an outbreak of gastroenteritis in a chronic care facility in Ontario. According to a recent Medical Post article, French scientists called for a ban on Bt after finding that inhaled spores caused lung inflammation, internal bleeding and death in laboratory mice. It also destroyed tissue in the wounds of a French soldier in Bosnia and infected wounds in immunosuppressed mice.

In the Netherlands, scientists have discovered that Bt is capable of long-term survival in the environment. They found that Bt spores reproduced in both dead and living insects. Because Bt is so similar to Bacillus cereus (a bacteria that can cause food poisoning) and Bacillus anthracis (which can cause anthrax), Dutch authorities are calling for mandatory deoxyribonucleic acid testing before the release of this pesticide. Sweden has banned aerial spraying altogether.

The Society Targeting Overuse of Pesticides (STOP) is an international, privately funded research group. Their president, Christopher Lewis, points to government statistics which show that over the past 20 years in British Columbia, 80 per cent of detected introductions of gypsy moth have died out without any control measures. He also points to the 1994 MOF report which concluded that gypsy moths pose only a minimal risk to BC trees and would likely not establish here.

“This insect should be trapped or simply left alone,” says Lewis.

During the aerial Bt spraying of Vancouver in 1992, a 10 per cent sample of emergency department visits found 1,839 patients with discharges from eyes or respiratory tract; 1,352 with respiratory problems; 100 with rashes; 60 with unexplained allergic reactions; and 119 with nosebleeds. It’s important to remember that the potential exists for 10 times these numbers. (There was another health report completed by the Capital Health Region in Victoria following gypsy moth spraying in 1998. However, it was decried by critics as a whitewash and did not go into the number of emergency room visits the way the 1992 study did.)

Under a 1995 directive from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) workers cannot enter an area sprayed with Bt for at least four hours. And, one of the new EPA registration requirements for Bt pesticides is that workers coming in contact with the spores must wear a special respirator.

In the US it’s a violation of federal law to claim that pesticides are safe when used as directed. And, a Health Canada directive has made it illegal to claim that a pesticide is “safe,” “natural” or “organic.”

The BC government insists that it cannot sell BC lumber internationally unless the spraying is done, regardless of human health hazards, because international markets will not accept the lumber. This policy has not been changed in recent World Trade Organization agreements.

For an in-depth analysis of Bt pesticides visit the STOP website at vcn.bc.ca/stop.


Paula Linquist is a writer, particularly interested in environmental issues. She lives in North Vancouver, BC.

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