The Power of Youth

Tyee students sell sprouts, local eggs and carrots at today’s pocket market to fund their school’s garden!

Back in school and I’m reminded that youth leadership is the driving force behind many successful social and environmental movements today.

Today I’m writing from Tyee Elementary, where students are leading a pocket market sale for their parents and teachers. This is part of a garden education program that we are partnering on with Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company. Students learn about the importance of our local food system and work together to create products for the market sale. Proceeds fund Tyee’s garden, which is underway with raised beds in their schoolyard.

Kids ages 7 to 12 lined the market tables today, beaming with smiles and proudly selling their products to parents and teachers, all the while becoming young social entrepreneurs in a movement towards a more local food system. What’s on sale today? Food in a jar, mason bee hives, potato kits, seed bombs, seed sprout kits and more!

We are facilitating leadership training in anti-discrimination and anti-racism for citizenU, a city-funded program. Our crew enjoyed the sun this weekend during training!

These students have demonstrated that you can never be too young to make positive change, or even lead a movement! All over the country, youth are turning their passion for local food into action, working with their communities to create more localized food systems. This isn’t just a movement; it’s a way of life!

I am sincerely inspired whenever I hear about a new initiative or read about a fellow young urban farmer in the newspaper. Emi Do (Yummy Yards), an urban farmer about my age, was recently featured in a front page article in the Vancouver Sun describing a push towards policy changes favorable to urban agriculture. Just yesterday, I stumbled upon an article about two young Americans filming a documentary about urban farms across the United States. And today, just a few minutes ago, I received a notice from an Environmental Youth Alliance coordinator regarding a group of teenage youth (GrassRoutes) who are cycling across Canada over the summer to empower thousands of youth about environmental leadership.

And The World In A Garden? Among other things, we’re partnering with citizenU, a city-funded program that provides high school aged youth with leadership training in anti-discrimination and anti-racism so that we can celebrate diversity and build more resilient communities in this beautiful city!

All across the world, the local food movement has taken root. Its popularity AND success are on the rise. Farm to Cafeteria programs in schools, youth-run gardens, young urban farmers, social entrepreneurs in the making, young filmmakers and more! So can young people change the world? You bet they can- they already are!

Permaculture for the Future

Alicia here, letting you know that May is Permaculture Month! When I discovered this, I was excited to take the opportunity to spread the word about this amazing method of landscape design, and way of living!

What is permaculture? There’s a lot of definitions out there, but here’s what I’ve got: Permaculture is a method of creating ecologically harmonious, regenerative systems of living in cooperation with nature and caring for the earth and its people. Permaculture basically mimics the mutually beneficial relationships found in nature and encourages humans to work with the environment, not against it.

Permaculture is coming alive in our garden!

Permaculture got me passionate about sustainable farming. I watched a fascinating documentary, A Farm for the Future, about a woman who explores different types of farms around the world and stumbles upon permaculture. After that, I was hooked, and got started thinking, “Why isn’t everyone doing this?”

What are we doing at The World In A Garden? We’ve integrated principles of permaculture into our garden and are continuing to do so this season. We want to be not only sustainable, but regenerative, creating new habitats and micro-climates in a small space that welcome all kinds of bugs, critters, birds, bees and humans!

We’ve also created a summer camp for children (Passport to Permaculture) that gets their hands in the dirt and thinking critically about and following the 3 ethics of permaculture: care of the earth, care of all people and fair share (equal distribution). We are creating a new generation of farmers that are conscious about their impact on the earth, excited to grow delicious food for their communities and working with nature to create a better tomorrow for future generations.

If you’d like to learn more about Passport to Permaculture, you can join us for a Q & A session for parents and hands-on activities for kids at our garden on West 57th & East Blvd, on Monday, May 14th, 5pm & 5:30pm. Hope to see you there!

Small Space Gardening For The Food Loving Urbanite

Small spaces are nothing more than an opportunity to get creative with your growing! We talk to people all the time at our community events and urban garden site about wanting to grow more food so we decided to run a workshop about the solutions.

Join The World In A Garden with Bonita Magee of FarmFolk CityFolk to find out how to make the most of your space with edible plants that nourish, feed and excite you! It’s easier than you think, so come out and get growing!

Click here for more information or to register.

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Local Food & Local Community for a Global Celebration (Earth Day)

It’s our biggest Earth Day yet and we’re getting excited!

Make a World of Difference this Earth Day

Make a World of Difference this Earth Day

Did you know that Earth Day was founded in the United States in April of 1970 and is now celebrated by over 1 billion people in over 170 countries world wide?  Wow!

Earth Day opens the door for us to to take positive personal action. It is indeed the personal small actions that create big change.   Making better choices (even small ones)  will inevitably influence those around you and inspire others to take positive action.

So what are we doing to make a positive impact this Earth Day?

For the last few years The World In A Garden has been celebrating Earth day with local food grown free of chemicals, GMO’s and treated soil. We team up with our local partners who also like to tread gently on the Earth.

Each year we team up with Growing City who take waste from your kitchen to compost –  diverting roughly 190 metric tonnes of waste, or 485 metric tonnes of CO2 from local offices in the past two years!

And this year we’re kicking off our Earth Day celebrations on Thursday, April 19th as we team up with our friends at Whole Foods Market at all 4 Vancouver locations to talk about all things organic  (like compost) and make seed bombs. Whole Foods will be donating 5% of all sales back to The World In A Garden. 

Join us and our friends from Patch, Eco-Soil, Growing City and Green Can Program of W.Van. It’s a line up of treats from food samples to soil so save your grocery shopping day for Thursday, April 19th when even your shopping dollars can make a world of difference!

You can also find us at Greens Market on Saturday April 21, 2012 and on Sunday, April 22nd at the garden and Rocky Mountain Flatbread company for more Potato Fusion workshops! Come on out this Earth day and get involved in your local community and join the global celebration!

Do good to create good. It inspires change.

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Learn, Discover & Grow: Kids in the Garden

Kids get their hands dirty this summer!

There’s no question about it; when we spend time outdoors with our hands in the dirt, nurturing other living things, we just plain feel better! The great thing about gardening is that anyone can do it, regardless of gender, race, size or age. Unfortunately, it is now commonplace for kids to be Facebook-ing, Tweeting, video-gaming, texting, watching TV, etc., at a young age, and with that, they begin to lose the age-old connection to the earth, to the soil under their feet. Let’s change that!

There’s nothing more rewarding than watching 8-year olds come into the garden, plant a few seeds, munch on some freshly picked kale and herbs, and then leave shouting, “I want to be a farmer!” Children still have an intuitive connection to the earth that flourishes when we give them the opportunity to experience it. Gardening offers an array of positive benefits and keeps children grounded, curious, active, socially engaged and connected. It helps them bloom into well-rounded individuals.

So get your kids in the garden! This summer, The World In A Garden is offering Passport to Permaculture, an interactive day camp where kids learn about food and ecology following the ethics of permaculture: care of the earth, care of all people and fair share. Throughout this weeklong camp, kids receive stamps in their “Passport to Permaculture” as they complete activities on the topics of nutrition, urban agriculture, biodiversity, local food, multiculturalism, ethical business and more! The camp features local guest speakers, hands-on activities in the garden and a pizza-making field trip to Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company. The weeklong camp culminates in a kid-run farm market at the gates of The World In A Garden!

Registration for the camp is now open. Click HERE to register. 

Questions? Contact Alicia Baddorf: abaddorf@jfsa.ca | 604-257-5151 ext. 1213.

A few Potatoes and a World of Difference

Want to make a world of difference, starting with a sac of potatoes? Stunning Peruvian spuds. Peru just signed another 10 year ban on Monsanto. One of the few South American countries to stand strong.

The World In A Garden & Project Somos, an eco-village for orphaned and abandoned children in Guatemala, are teaming up again for the third annual Potato Fusion!

What is “potato fusion” and why are we doing it?

Potato Fusion is a simple way to grow potatoes in an urban setting (small space). You’ll grab a reused coffee sac, fill it with soil and organic/local seed potatoes, and top it off with an organic lettuce starter plant. While you wait for your potato harvest, watch the lettuce grow and chow down! Watch this video to see how it works.

Tricia teaches children about planting seeds in Guatemala with Project Somos.

There are about 5,000 varieties of potatoes worldwide. With the widespread use of agricultural practices like mono-cropping, in which one variety of a crop is grown, biodiversity is threatened, crops are more susceptible to being wiped out by pests and disease and food security is compromised. TWIAG & Project Somos are educating and engaging communities around these issues, and actively making change so that future generations are part of resilient and just food systems.

Project Somos hit the ground running this past year. They have started construction of their sustainable eco-village in Tecpan, Guatemala, and Tricia had the opportunity to spend some time there last year, literally planting seeds with the children in the village. To learn more about Project Somos, watch this heart-warming video about their vision and work in Guatemala.

TWIAG supports Project Somos because we share similar values. We believe in the power of small communities to make big changes in the world. This is why TWIAG’s vision is to have TEN gardens around the world.

Farmers in the field down the road from Ekumfi Ekotsi, a community in Mankessim, Central Region, Ghana.

This past winter, Alicia spent two months exploring agriculture in West Africa. Making her way through Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo, she spoke to rural farmers, market women, locals, NGO workers, Peace Corps volunteers and more, about the state of agriculture in this part of Africa. The farmers are the hardest working people she met along the way, but because of barriers such as inadequate funds and water inaccessibility, they are often unable to support their families with this livelihood. Consequently, most of them express a desire for their children to abandon farming and get jobs in the city. You can read more about Alicia’s experiences on her blog.

We are changing the lives of people around the world from the ground up. Our vision includes Africa, where we will educate and empower individuals and their communities to create sustainable livelihoods, thriving food systems and a healthier future for all.

So let’s start with our local food system. Produce your own potatoes. Grow your own lettuce instead of grabbing for a bunch from the shelf of the grocery store. Join us for Potato Fusion on March 25th! Read below or click here for more info.

Potato Fusion. Sunday, March 25th, 2012. 11AM & 12:30PM. $20/workshop. Proceeds benefit Project Somos.

Can’t make it? Pick up a potato fusion kit for $15 between 3-7PM on Monday, March 26th or Thursday, March 29th.

Register for the workshop or pre-order your potato kit! Just e-mail Alicia: abaddorf@jfsa.ca

RSVP on Facebook for the latest updates!

Why We Love to Monkey Around – in the garden!

Here is a great video featuring our garden corporate volunteer day with MonkeyMedia – they rocked it while they learned more about local, sustainable food and the values of our garden.

A big thank you to Michael Samson of  Inspire Canada who continuously works with a vision to bring meaning to corporate groups and brought Monkey Media to the garden! It was beyond inspiring, really.

Check out this great video about our garden as MonkeyMedia Software Gives Back for the Holidays.  The Monkeys’ came together on December 15, 2011 to give back to Vancouver’s, The World In A Garden.