Hummus, pita chips, baby carrots, and pasta salads from Safeway’s deli. Nothing gastronomically remarkable, but the air was warm and the light beautiful. I think I might count this as my unofficial start of summer. Definitely a moment to appreciate Vancouver.
A few years ago when I first got a plot in a community garden, I was looking for easy ways to build raised beds. I started poking around the various gardens for ideas. Ever since then, I’ve been thinking how fun it would be to team up with a photographer and put together a coffee table type of book that features all the community gardens in Vancouver. The book would be a visual feast and also tell an important story about Vancouver, its community gardeners, and the role of the gardens. I picture a double-page spread on each garden that would include something about its origins and history, and stories or interviews with the gardeners. Something that would appeal to both local gardeners and ecotourist types.
Depending on how you define the term, there are are now about 90 community gardens in the City of Vancouver (according to this list). And I don’t think that includes gardens that are more “guerrilla” style, or boulevards and traffic circles that have been taken over by neighbours. So, it could be quite a thick book – and an expensive one, given the cost of printing full-colour photos. The number of gardens would also make it a time-consuming project.
As an alternative to the book idea, I’ve also thought about visiting each of the gardens and documenting them all on a dedicated blog. Someone did a similar thing for Vancouver Public Library branches a while back, but I think that blog is dead. I would like to see pictures of all the city’s amazing community gardens gathered together. Many of the individual gardens have their own websites, but not all – and there’s something that appeals to me about collecting and presenting the photos and stories together in one place.
So, one part of this new blog of mine is going to be a start on that project, with no firm promises of finishing.
I often walk (and cycle) the Adanac bikeway on my way to my garden plots or downtown. These are some of the things that delight me along the way.
I’ve recently discovered that whoever lives in one of the houses on Adanac (at least I assume that’s who’s responsible) has been creating little tableaus in sidewalk planters. Fun.
They change from time to time. I love this one with the deer.
Raawr! Grizzly, maybe? Reminds me of Rewilding Vancouver, which you should go see before it ends in September 2014.
I’ll be making a point of checking in at this house from now on to see what the latest is. I hope passersby continue to leave these scenes intact.
And then there’s my favourite East Van graffiti. I did an honours B.A. in history, so that’s part of the reason it appeals. I also like to think that whoever made these meant to prompt thinking about the many layers and aspects of history and herstory that created the landscape we traverse when we pass through this rapidly changing part of East Van. Geological, First Nations, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, labour, land use, and more…lots to ponder.
The bikeway has amenities, too. This recent addition provided by a newly opened craft brewery (speaking of neighbourhood change).
More to come in Part 2.