…cultivating community by growing and sharing food… and mulching!


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Orchard mulching 2017Orchardmulching2017Leaf mulching 2017

What a beautiful Sunday for volunteers to move all the leaf mulch! Thanks to everyone who came out and made the day awesome. It was fun to eat pizza, cookies and sip chai tea, and get to know neighbours. See you again soon in the gardens 🙂

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A volunteer gardener’s testimonial

“I have really enjoyed volunteering to do some gardening at Vic West’s Community Garden this summer.

It was fun to meet and garden with some neighbours. I learned lots about the plants and trees growing there, and enjoyed hanging out with Stephanie and Patti, who are both very knowledgeable about gardening and growing food.
I have a chronic illness, but even on a day I was feeling pretty low they just gave me something easy to do, sitting in the sun, so it was still very satisfying to attend. I would recommend it to anyone who would like to spend a bit more time outdoors and connect with nature and neighbours!”

-G.G., Volunteer Gardener – Sept 28th, 2017

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Leaf Mulching Volunteer Work Party!

11am-3pm – Sunday, November 5th, 2017

Location: Banfield Park’s Community Gardens – just south of the Vic West Community Association at 521 Craigflower Road

Join in anytime between 11am & 3pm, meet fellow neighbourhood gardeners for a big leaf mulching day! We have 20 yards of mulch to spread in Banfield Commons and Banfield Orchard. The worms and soil microbes will thank you!

Beverages & light snacks will be provided, as well as pizza for volunteers from Fry’s Bakery.

Please bring any extra wheelbarrows, manure/garden forks and hard rakes, as well as your own water bottle and work gloves. Remember to change your clock an hour back the night before.

In preparation for mulching the garden beds, we’re looking for keen volunteers to help out with chop n’ drop mulching on Thursday afternoons.

For more information contact Stephanie at: foodgardens [at] victoriawest [dot] ca

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Vic West Corn Roast!



Sunday, September 24th Noon to 4pm

Raynor Street at Craigflower Road

Come join the community celebration on Raynor Street with local music, food and fun for the whole family! The corn will be hot and the juice is as local as you can get – pressed from apples harvested by Lifecycles Fruit Tree Project. 
Build a zucchini car at home or at the event and race it down the new track. Racing all day…vrooom!
Time to show off your baking skills by entering your home-baked apple pie to win the blue ribbon. Bring your pie to the Vic West Corn Roast by 1pm, judging is at 2pm. Prizes for the top three pies.
It’s time to get your scary on…get creative and make a scarecrow at home any size or style using any material and bring it to the Vic West Corn Roast by 2pm to win prizes, judging is at 3pm. 
Volunteers are needed to help make the day a big success! Contact vicwestgarden@yahoo.ca
The Corn Roast is hosted by the Victoria West Community Association, Food Security Collective.
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Thursday Weekly Work Parties

20170720_175222_resizedWeekly stewardship of the food gardens in Banfield Park is ongoing throughout September, with more volunteer help needed in Banfield Commons and the Community Orchard on Thursdays from 4-6pm. The Autumn Olive berries are going to ripen soon, and there have been many Goji berries to pick. Last week we started creating tree & shrub ID tags by reusing aluminum pop cans! Come out and learn how to steward a food producing ecosystem!

The food gardens are located just south of the Victoria West Community Centre at 521 Craigflower Road

Please bring a water bottle, work gloves and a friend

Light snacks provided for volunteers

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Watering Trees

gorge water

Coast Salish Territory … full of trees and water that need protection.

Please help any of the trees around you survive this hot, dry summer by giving them water! There are many creative ways to hydrate the landscape.

One of our weekly tasks in the Community Gardens is watering the trees and plants that in return give us fresher air, fruit, nuts, mulch, shade and beauty!

It’s been a wonderful summer – the community food forests have had some great volunteer help, forming new friendships between people and trees!

Weekly work parties on Thursday evenings will keep happening into the fall, stay tuned for more details…
Volunteers are vital to the active stewardship of Banfield Commons Food Forest & Community Orchard, thanks goes out from the Vic West Food Security Collective!

For more information, please contact the Vic West Food Security Coordinator:


Waxing the cob bench

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Happy Lughnasadh

Today is Lughnasadh or Lammas – a celebration of the early harvest.

A few weeks ago I wrote about how much food to plant to feed your family for a year. This is how it’s starting to pile up.

Here’s a look at one bed, and what I harvested today: one savoy cabbage, green and yellow bush beans, the last of the shelling peas, a bowl of basil leaves, purple top globe turnips, yellow, white and green patty pans, two cucumbers, yellow and green zucchini. And some went to the good folks who provide me with growing space.

Wishing everyone a bountiful early harvest. Ava

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How Much to Plant to Provide a Year’s Worth of Food

I recently came across an article from RealFarmacy.com that listed what crops to plant and how much of each one would need  to feed their family for a whole year. As I have 3 gardens in neighbourhood back yards, I wondered how close I was to feeding myself, so I did a quick count and am amazed at how close I’ve come.

I don’t have all the same crops they do and have some they don’t and I will also have winter crops. So, just for fun, here’s their list/Ava’s. Continue reading

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Plant Sale 2017

Join us on Saturday, May 6th, from 2:00 – 6:00pm for the Vic West Food Security Collective’s Annual Plant Sale. Get your organic tomatoes, squash, basil, cucumbers and many other veggie starts. Come early for the best choice.

We’re part of Vic West Fest 2017, which runs from 2:00 until 9:00pm.  There’ll be live music, great food, art projects for kids, ice cream, displays, games, and beer for the grown-ups (ID required).

Note: new start time for this annual event is 2:00pm.

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Miners Discovered a Tasty Superfood

Miner's lettuce

Miner’s lettuce grows in cool, moist places in early spring along the west coast.

Imagine, a nutritious, yummy green that you don’t need to water or care for, that reseeds itself and is native to this area. It shows up in profusion this time of year when we are desperate for something to add to our salad bowls that hasn’t traveled a thousand miles to get here. It’s non-invasive, easy to pull when it’s done, and makes great mulch or compost. And chickens who are lucky enough to have it around produce eggs with a deep orange yolk.

It’s miner’s lettuce, also know as winter purslane, or Claytonia perfoliata. It tastes like lettuce only earthier, and has a slightly thicker leaf, more like spinach. Some call it a superfood: vitamin C, omega fatty acids and chlorophyll assist with detoxification and blood purification, but I like it because it’s green, available and tastes fresh when most other things don’t this time of year.

Miner’s lettuce got its name from the miners of the California gold rush who used it to prevent scurvy. It grows in profusion in moist, shady spots along the west coast right down into California. It doesn’t last long unless the spring is cool and moist, so grab some while you can if you see some!

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