Supporting Urban Farming in Vancouver's West End
Gordon Neighbourhood House has 4 urban farm sites and 10 community herb gardens in the West End! They are on spaces that have been repurposed to grow food, so the farms are in raised beds, generally hidden in pockets around apartment buildings. All of the space is gardened collectively with volunteers on the Urban Farm Team. The produce from the farms largely goes back into programming at Gordon Neighbourhood House (Community Lunches, affordable produce markets). The community herb gardens are open access to the public.
Students will assist the farmer with:
- Winterizing Urban Farms
- Students will visit the four farm sites and assist with planting garlic, harvesting fall crops, watering and winterizing the garden.
Data Collection and Reporting
- Students will measure the impacts of the Urban Farm Program and Community Herb Box Program as the growing season winds down for Fall. This project includes collecting data and impact stories from key stakeholders, which students will help develop into an Urban Farm report.
Community Herb Box Engagement
- Using past and current survey feedback for the Herb Box Program, students will assist the Farmer to implement some engagement tools to highlight and improve the program. This includes creating signage for plants and garden boxes (for those creative types!)
Food Asset Mapping
- Students will help edit and update existing program information for the Vancouver Food Asset Map.
The data and story harvesting will be instrumental to assisting the Farmer with completing our Annual Farming Report, and will help inform program planning for next year’s Urban Farm Program and Community Herb Box Program.
Skills Preferred + To Be Developed
- Interpersonal skills
- Basic knowledge or interest in growing food & gardening
- Experience or sensitivity to working with vulnerable populations
- Willingness to dive in and learn by doing
Preferred Days of Week and Hours
- Gordon Neighbourhood House
- Address: 1019 Broughton St, Vancouver, BC V6G 2A7
- West End of Vancouver
Gordon Neighbourhood House is easily accessible by transit, biking or driving. 2 hour parking is available but extremely limited in the West End. The farm sites are a 5 minute walk from Gordon House, and the 10 herb boxes are spread throughout the West End.
Project / partner orientation
Orientation will be with the whole student group; the Farmer will orient them to the garden(s) that they’ll be working in, and any equipment they will be using. The Farmer will also introduce them to some key stakeholders.
Related Community Service Opportunities for Students
Students can experience first-hand where the farm food goes by volunteering for our Community Lunches (Mon-Thurs 10-1:30pm), our bike-powered affordable mobile market called Gordon Greens (Thursdays 9:30-12:30), or the Produce Market at the Community Food Hub (Fridays 9-12pm).
- A cleared Criminal Record Check (CRC) will be required for working with vulnerable adults and children (this is a specific CRC).
- Students must be comfortable working outdoors in all weather conditions and capable of moderate physical activity.
Mission + Vision
Gordon Neighbourhood House strives to ensure that the West End of Vancouver is a vibrant and active community, where everyone is empowered to play an active role in civil society.
As a place-based community organization, we work alongside our community, sister organizations, local businesses and policy-makers to animate and support dynamic programs, services and initiatives that respond to the needs and dreams of the community.
Guiding Principles + Values:
Gordon Neighbourhood House uses food to nourish our community in a variety of ways, including the facilitation of intercultural exchange and dialogue, community capacity-building, and community development.
Our Food Philosophy is detailed on our [[ http://gordonhouse.org/about-gordon-neighbourhood-house/right-to-food/%7Cwebsite.]]
Our Food Philosophy Principles: 1. An understanding that food brings us together and can act as vehicle for community-building. 2. A recognition that all members of our community have a Right to Food based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, while also acknowledging that we as a community enjoy various levels of access to food. 3. A commitment to sharing fresh, non-expired, healthy, and locally-sourced food whenever possible. 4. A commitment to sharing food that is nutrient-dense, low in refined sugar and sodium, and not overly-processed. 5. A commitment to working toward increased access to food for those who are nutritionally vulnerable. 6. A commitment to providing opportunities for increased food literacy and community capacity-building for our neighbours. 7. A commitment to sharing foods that reflect the diversity of our community, city, country and world. 8. An awareness of the impact that our food choices have on the environment. 9. A commitment to the reduction of our organizational ecological footprint by minimizing packaging and ongoing composting. 10. Support for the development of urban farms and healthy food cooperatives.
- Contact Person(s): Joey Liu
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Address: 1019 Broughton St, Vancouver Coast Salish Territories V6G 2A7
- Phone: 604-683-2554 ext 205
- Website: www.gordonhouse.org
- Best time(s) method(s) to contact: Email, or phone between 10-4pm.
I hope students will learn about: • Urban food production and winter farm management • Community engagement and development
I think students will come to appreciate: • The importance of growing food in the city in a variety of spaces • Challenges around growing food in an urban environment
Organizational Outcomes: • Support in urban farm maintenance • Support with our urban farm planning and data collection