Urban Farming

 

Summer’s just around the corner, which means we are fully immersed in the growing season! Our Farmer Joey and her garden volunteers have been busy planting at our 3 urban farm sites and 10 public herb boxes.  

Urban Farm Program 

For the last month, Joey and her Urban Farm team have been busy moving soil and prepping our 3 urban farm sites for planting. Last week we brought back 30 lbs of daikon and beets that overwintered and used it to make veggie soup for 300 of our Food Bank members! 

So far we’ve planted turnips, lettuce, bok choy, flowers, radishes, leeks and a Japanese herb called shungiku (edible chrysanthemum) that is cooked just like spinach. Almost everything we grow comes back to nourish the community in our Community Lunch program. 

Besides taking pride in growing fresh healthy food, our volunteers are also having a great time working in the sun and getting to know each other. We get together every Tuesday at 3pm. If you’re interested in gardening with us, contact Joey at joey@gordonhouse.org 

 

Community Herb Box Program 

Our Community Herb Boxes provide a free resource for West Enders to harvest and enjoy fresh herbs. There are 10 garden boxes located throughout the West End filled with sage, oregano, parsley, chives, thyme, and more! Each box is lovingly taken care of by a Gordon House volunteer. 

This program is different from the Urban Farm program, as the boxes are visible and open to the public…so come and harvest a sprig or two for your dinner! 

Click on the map below to see which box is nearest you: 

 

Not sure how it worksIn the next few weeks, we will be attaching new signs to each box, so you’ll know what to look for and how to harvest: 


Holiday HoHoHoDown

 

With the support of some West End Elves, Gordon Neighbourhood House will be hosting our first annual Holiday HoHoHoDown.

Join us on Thursday, December 20th from 6:30 – 9:30pm for an evening of food, drink and holiday cheer. Take an Insta worthy selfie with a sassy snowman, make friends over mulled wine, and channel your inner Mariah Carey with carolers. There will be an Outdoor Mini-Concert (with fresh, local musical talent), a West End Arts Market (gifts galore), a Kringle Korner for kids to create crafts (big kids welcome) and a Grinch Gala for grownups to sip hot drinks (dressing up highly encouraged). This free event has something for everyone – you won’t want to miss it!


Volunteer Appreciation

On November 1st we held our annual volunteer appreciation event to thank all the community members who dedicate their time and their skill set’s to ensuring Gordon Neighbourhood House is an asset to the West End. Volunteers came out from across all programs to mingle over a selection of wine and appetizers. Many volunteers found themselves meeting new people from other programs for the first time, while others were delighted to catch up with some familiar faces.

Staff at Gordon House were delighted to have the opportunity to thank all our wonderfully talented and colourful collection of volunteers who make this organisation all that it is. Our senior director Siobhan expressed this gratitude in a speech that highlighted the many benefits that come from volunteering, and afterwards our community farmer Joey presented the volunteers in attendance with a bundle of herbs grown in our own gardens. There were also door prizes raffled off and presented by chef Peter at the end of the night.

Already looking forward to next year’s event!


New Programs

Cozy Corners is a new morning program on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am-11.30am upstairs in the Atrium of Gordon House. This program aims to provide a space where people from the community can come to warm up with a hot beverage on comfortable chairs, and chat with other community members or even zone out on their own with a puzzle or an art project. Cozy Corners is open to all and will be hosted by two lovely volunteers who are members of the West End community. 

Chop n’ Chat is a new program which runs three Thursdays a month from 3pm-6pm. This program is an opportunity to hang out and socialize with a group of volunteers while learning to prepare different meals. It is run by our Gordon House chef Peter who guides a group of volunteers to prepare healthy soups and salads for the weekly Friday Food Hub that occurs at Gordon House in collaboration with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. If you are interested in getting involved with Chop n’ Chat, please email Aileen, the volunteer coordinator, at aileen@gordonhouse.org 

Would you like to have a space in the West End where members of your community can gather together to converse in their native language and celebrate a shared culture? We have room space available to host Conversation Clubs. Please contact volunteer coordinator Aileen at aileen@gordonhouse.org if you would be interested in finding out more. 


Food Fiesta Success!

On August 12th the West End Food Series hosted the Food Fiesta, a one day food festival at Gordon House. 31 attendees, 6 volunteers, 4 facilitators, and 3 staff members came together for a day of learning, dialogue, social connection and of course, delicious food!

One person said the Food Fiesta event was “a great way to create connections and community at GNH, and a sense of home base”. We really enjoyed seeing people sharing food tips and recipes, getting excited about taking their DIY kimchi home, and lingering to chat with new friends over summer mocktails.

Thank you to Vancity, Village Vancouver and West End Neighbourhood Food Network for your support and collaboration. We’re now planning fall workshops for the West End Food Series. Sign up to receive updates on the next WEFS event.

Would you like to share your food passion and skills?

Contact us at foodseries@gordonhouse.org or call 604-683-2554.


Season of Bounty: Urban Farm Update

Check out the picture of this huge 4.2 pound siu choy (yes, that’s one individual plant) that we harvested from the garden last week! Siu choy is an Asian vegetable that is in the same family as bok choy. It’s great for chopping up to make stir frys and soups. We ended up using ours to make a turmeric coconut noodle soup for our Meatless Monday Community Lunch.

September is a time of bounty, as we have also been bringing back beans in three colors (yellow, green, purple), as well as peas, salad, edible flowers and zucchini. It’s also a time of transition, as we make space and plant for fall. We’ve seeded spinach, turnips and daikon (Japanese radish), and we plan on planting garlic at the end of the month.

Come get your hands dirty with us! The Urban Farm Team is currently gardening on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm. Contact Joey to volunteer: joey@gordonhouse.org.


Absolutely Fabulous 2018

On August 2, Young Ideas and Black Lives Matter Vancouver hosted the 4th annual and always amazing queer neighbourhood party to kick off Pride weekend!

The night was MC’d by none other than Joy Gyamfi and DJ’d by the amazing DJ Rhonda, with live visuals by Yasushi Harada. Performances included by the always unbelievable Karmella Barr and Pietr.


It’s Harvest Time!

Recently the Urban Farm Team harvested and sold 16 pounds of beautiful Asian greens including bok choy and siu choy at our Community Food Hub produce market, and made mixed salad bags for the Gordon Greens Mobile Market. Our members and customers love the fact that this fresh produce grown with love is located only a five minute walk from Gordon House!

Everyone on the Urban Farm Team has been working hard under the sun to help plant, weed, water, harvest and process all this amazing produce. It’s a humbling experience to know how much work goes into growing food, and also how joyful and nourishing it is for growers, eaters, pollinators and plants alike.

To get involved, contact Joey at joey@gordonhouse.org.


Young Ideas Monthly Meeting

Tuesday, August 14th, 7:00pm at Shenanigans on Robson

Are you interested in meeting neighbours and planning community events? Join us at our Young Ideas monthly meeting!

Young Ideas is a group of neighbours and volunteers who coordinate events, activities, workshops, and learning opportunities for people in their 20s, 30s (and older!) who live, work, and spend time in Vancouver’s West End. These initiatives are kept free or low cost, and are intended to bring people together, and encourage community living. Join us at one of our weekly or monthly events to learn new skills, have some fun, and meet new friends in the neighbourhood!

Appetizers will be provided at the meeting. Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions or accessibility needs that we can accommodate. Email youngideas@gordonhouse.org or call (604) 683-2554 for more information.


West End Food Series Presents the Food Fiesta

On Sunday, August 12, the West End Food Series and Gordon Neighbourhood House is hosting the Food Fiesta, a one-day summer festival featuring a Townhall on food security, DIY food workshops, and an herb-centred cocktail mixer.

You can register for free on our Eventbrite page.

Your ticket allows you to attend the entire day’s events from 1-6pm, and to register you must choose between one of two workshops: Making Kimchi OR the Wonder of Bees.

There are 40 spots available, be sure to register early!

Register here!