20 – Gordon Neighbourhood House Urban Farm Crop Planning






Project Title

Urban Farm Crop Planning

Organization Name

Gordon Neighbourhood House


Crop planning, planting schedule, urban agriculture, community food programs, community meal programs

Organization Information

Organization Name

Gordon Neighbourhood House

Mission and Vision of Organization

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 website.

Our Food Philosophy Principles:

  • An understanding that food brings us together and can act as vehicle for community-building.
  • 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.
  • A commitment to sharing fresh, non-expired, healthy, and locally-sourced food whenever possible.
  • A commitment to sharing food that is nutrient-dense, low in refined sugar and sodium, and not overly-processed.
  • A commitment to working toward increased access to food for those who are nutritionally vulnerable.
  • A commitment to providing opportunities for increased food literacy and community capacity-building for our neighbours.
  • A commitment to sharing foods that reflect the diversity of our community, city, country and world.
  • An awareness of the impact that our food choices have on the environment.
  • A commitment to the reduction of our organizational ecological footprint by minimizing packaging and ongoing composting.
  • Support for the development of urban farms and healthy food cooperatives.

Contact Information

  • Primary Contact Person(s): Joey Liu
  • Email: joey@gordonhouse.org
  • Address: 1019 Broughton St, Vancouver Coast Salish Territories V6G 2A7
  • Phone: 604-683-2554
  • Website: www.gordonhouse.org
  • Best time(s) method(s) to contact: Email, or phone GNH Front Desk between 10-4pm

Project Information

Project Description

Gordon Neighbourhood House has 3 urban farm sites and 10 community herb gardens in the West End. The farm sites total 30-35 raised beds that are attached to nearby apartment buildings, with the fresh produce going back to Gordon Neighbourhood House programs (ex. Community Lunches, Gordon Greens Mobile Market, Community Food Hub produce market, kids programs). Volunteers involved in the Urban Farm program learn how to plant, maintain and harvest the produce, while meeting new people and making connections with their neighbours.

Students will assist the Farmer with developing a crop plan and preparing farm sites for the 2019 Urban Farm Program at GNH.

Project Goal

Students will help prepare a 2019 crop plan and planting schedule based on these factors:
  • Program & community needs
  • Site assessment and understanding of growing conditions for each farm site
  • Disease, soil and pest management requirements
  • Feedback & metrics from our 2017 & 2018 Urban Farm Program, collected by previous LFS groups
  • 2017 & 2018 crop plan

Student Assets and Skills (preferred or required)

  • Strong 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

Student Assets and Skills (to be developed)

  • Knowledge & practice applying asset-based community development themes to real life environment

Criminal record check required?


Project Location

Gordon Neighbourhood House 1019 Broughton St, Vancouver, BC V6G 2A7 Neighbourhood: West End of Vancouver Gordon Neighbourhood House is easily accessible by transit, bike or car, however parking is extremely limited in the West End.

Preferred Days of Week and Hours

To be determined with Farmer. Preferred days include Mondays or Wednesdays after 2pm, or Tuesdays/Thursdays between 11-5pm.

Project/Partner Orientation Materials

  • Please take a look at our Food Philosophy before attending the orientation
  • Orientation will happen with the whole student group on January 16. The Farmer will orient them to the garden(s) that they’ll be working in, any equipment they will be using, and documents that are helpful for crop planning.

Related Community Service Opportunities for Students

Students are encouraged to help out with our other food programs that directly connect to the Urban Farming Program:

  • Community Lunches (Monday-Thursday 10-1:30pm)
  • Community Food Hub – Produce Market (Fridays 9-12pm)
  • Community Food Hub – Assisting Food Bank (Fridays 11:30am-2pm)

Expected Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

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
  • Seeing how classroom themes can be put into practice in real life with real people (community development, dignified access to food, working with vulnerable populations)

Through this project, students will develop

  • Experience communicating and working with community members using a dignified people-centered approach

Organizational Outcomes

  • Support in urban farm maintenance
  • Support with our urban farm planning
  • Support with various food programs

More broadly, this project advances our organization’s goals by increasing our capacity to welcome the community and provide dignified food programming to participants. Each student is invited to apply their individual skills and interests to make our community members feel at home. For example, during the last project one of the students spoke Farsi and was able to help us connect to and communicate with our Farsi-speaking members in a way that we have never been able to before. They were much more excited to engage with our Food Hub / Produce Market program, which in turn made our program that much smoother and enjoyable for everyone.

source: https://wiki.ubc.ca/Course:LFS350/Projects/W2019/GNH