Building a garden with the Tool Library, Modo, Victory Gardens & an awesome friend

Victory Gardens

Over the past year, we have been meeting neighbours of all ages. Our garden makes many pedestrians pause with curiosity. It sparks some great conversations. We became friends with a 74 year old woman who has lived on our block for 53 years. She has been giving us tips and sharing the zucchinis, cucumbers, and chard that she has grown. 

a1sx2_garden_garden-1.jpg

 

Sometimes they ask questions, share stories…or simply smile. It is amazing to think about the fact that growing food like this is illegal in some cities throughout North America. Why would you ban something that builds community and supports health?

a1sx2_Original1_garden-2.jpg

In the beginning, this garden seemed unrealistic and time consuming. We lacked power tools and supplies. We also knew that we needed some guidance for how to grow food through the winter months. The resources and expertise we tapped into have made this process simple, time efficient, and cost effective.

 

Step 1) Vancouver Tool Library

 

Our first step was to get a membership to The Vancouver Tool Library. This cooperative tool lending library is located at 3448 Commercial Street. They are motivated by a vision of a community empowered by the tools and skills needed to transform their homes and communities into vibrant spaces that reflect a commitment to sustainability.

 

They carry a wide variety of tools for home repair, gardening, and bicycle maintenance, offer affordable workshops, host community events, and offer volunteer opportunities for people who want to get more involved.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Tool-Library-Membership_20130828-060428_1.jpg

Since we had a membership (above), we were able to borrow all the tools we needed for $2 per tool. The next challenge was figuring out how to transport all of these awesome items.

 

 

Step 2) Modo Car Co-op

 

The best thing about Modo is that they have such a wide range of vehicles at over 200 locations in Metro Vancouver. They are the original car sharing organization and they have over 8,000 members with a variety of vehicles. For the transport of our tools and lumber, we booked a Modo Van for a couple of hours.

 

Step 3) A good friend

 

You can’t achieve big unrealistic goals without a little help from a friend like Tom Wynn (below). When we asked him to help build raised beds, he simply rolled up his sleeves and pitched in without hesitation.

a1sx2_Tom_Tom-is-Awesome_20130828-062339_1.jpg

In addition to contributing to EatArt projects, Tom shows up to contribute to numerous local creative events. He has no expectations for personal gain…other than having a good time. We can all learn something from Tom!

 

Step 4) Victory Gardens

 

Since we were starting our garden late in the season, we knew that we needed some tips on building a garden that would flourish through the winter. We also needed winter starts, which did not seem to be available anywhere in Vancouver. The gals at Victory Gardens were a great resource of knowledge and expertise that helped us get set up properly.

 

We first encountered these fine folks when Saul Brown (our Chief Story Officer) spoke at Pecha Kucha last year. When hearing them speak, it was apparent that they have expertise combined with a love of empowering people to grow their own food.

 

It was wonderful to get some personalized coaching from Samantha at Victory Gardens. There are all sorts of little tips that can help make your veggie garden thrive all year. This unique co-op is designed to equip people with the knowledge required to grow food and the services to make it easier to manage.

 

The inspiration for the name -Victory Gardens – plays off the WWI and WWII era campaigns that encouraged the public to utilize residential space around them for food production. People unified around a common goal to work together as a community to become more self-sustained.

a1sx2_Original1_Home1.jpg

Some may argue that the current resurgence of urban gardening was ignited by the downturn in the economy. There are numerous fascinating stories about abandoned residential properties becoming urban farmland in places like Detroit.

 

According to Samantha, there are many delicious things that you can grow through the winter in Vancouver. Check out their website to see what is currently available.

http://victorygardensvancouver.ca/

One of Samantha’s tips: As Fall approaches, she suggests tucking in your veggies under a blanket of leaves to provide extra warmth.