Monday, May 31, 2010

Strathcona Park - Cottonwood Community Gardens

Today I went to my first Work Party at the largest local community garden in Vancouver. Apparently there are actually two - Strathcona and Cottonwood.  Strathcona is located West of Strathcona Park and Cottonwood is at the South-Eastern corner in the park itself.  I'll be spending most of my time in Cottonwood where I have a plot.
The work parties are the last Sunday of every month. Attending these work parties allows you to be placed on a waiting list for the next available open plot. I'm not sure how long I'll have to go to actual get a space but I'll keep going until I do.

I spent the first half hour or so moving potted plants to get them ready for dividing, cleaning up and sale. Then I was on compost duty. I turned a good sized pile of compost and then went on to sift another. I finished up with some horse manure turning. Fortunately it was well decomposed and didn't smell anymore. I also ended up buying some honey, apparently from bees right in the garden area (left over from last year).  I purchased the summer variety which apparently has the most sophisticated taste.  It was the same price as the others.  I would never have splurged on such an item. ;)
I've been relatively sedentary since I got to Vancouver (excluding walks). I'm a little sore now and think I may have over done it. It's worth it though.  I can eat more food.

The pictures at the beginning are from the new area. They had to finish bordering a large number of the new plots with wooden boards. A lot of people aren't visible in this photo (60 to 80 total in the gardens).   I was there from 10am to about 2pm. I would have stayed longer but I have some part time work that I had to have finished for 9pm tonight. It was done just after 8pm so I'm glad I left when I did.

Stevie from Garden Therapy was also there. We didn't end up formally meeting. There were a tonne of people and sometimes it's hard to recognize people from their blog/twitter photos. Especially when they have big sunglasses. :)


  1. That is a cool way of getting on a list for a plot! I have never worked in a community garden before, but I understand West Palm Beach is considering having one in the downtown area, which would be super cool!!!

  2. I'm hoping to get out to their open house in July. Hopefully Stevie will remind me when that is. I have heard such great things about that community garden, I look forward to seeing it.

    Making people work for the waiting list, now that's how you get things done!

  3. @Julie, it is a good idea isn't it? Make sure people are truly interested and it isn't just some passing fancy. Hopefully Palm Beach goes through with it.

    @Laura, there's an open house? You should definitely drop by. There are tonnes of people and it's really inspiring. Love the waiting list. Hopefully there will be some early defectors.

  4. That sounds like so much fun! I hope you don't have to wait too long. Did they mention how many people were currently on the waiting list?

  5. I appreciate the, well, community in such a community garden, but I more enjoy having my own, separate plot--I do the "help another help yourself" thing while volunteering at the Washington Youth Garden!

    I'm excited to see what you're going to do once you do get a plot! Want some seeds? I have a lot of seeds to share!

  6. @Thomas, It was fun! I don't think I'll have to wait too long. There are a lot of new plots. I think just long enough for the new people to loose interest and then I'll have one.

    @Kenneth Moore, I need my own space but a community plot is fun too. Of course I want seeds. I've already got 6 packets sitting here until I have room.

  7. Hi there love your site...

    Great photos of the expansion start up...

    I also have a plot at the new Cottonwood expansion. I can actually see it in one of your photos.

    Just behind the expansion to the South is the original Cottonwood garden. To the West, across the park and playing fields is the Strathcona garden. It is on the West side of Hawkes St.

    Just so you know...

  8. Thanks! I did manage to figure it out but I'll go back an update the post.


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