This publication is an updated version of the 2018 ‘Composts for Farm Use Survey’ SPEC document created with the purpose of pursuing the issues relevant to the evaluation of local composts for farm use. This guide was created to help agriculture become more locally nutrient self-sufficient, as there is an overabundance of nutrients in this region, that left unused, can cause environmental problems.
On March 2, 2019, SPEC and KPU hosted the 2019 Small Farm Session. The focus of the event was practical information for small scale farmers in Metro Vancouver, and enabling networking amongst farmers. The theme was "Ecosystem Services:" all the benefits that society gets from farming, and how to maximize these services on your farm. There were talks about Integrated Pest Management, Local Composts, Cover Cropping and Payment for Ecosystem Services, as well as a tour of a farm and opportunities for farmers to learn from one another.
We had two volunteers take notes during the event for everyone who could not make it. Thank you to our notetakers Maria Jose and Cagla Buzluk!
On January 21, 2018, SPEC held a Symposium for Small Scale Farmers, a full-day event centered around small-scale farmers in the Metro Vancouver area, featuring workshops and discussions about soil fertility and drainage, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), farmer resilience, and farm-specific issues. The idea was to not only inform farmers but to be a catalyst for farmer-to-farmers networking as well as knowledge exchange, and so within the event there was plenty of time for questions, discussions, and knowledge-sharing.
Here are the presentations from the event:
In 2015, SPEC published this garden curriculum package, comprised of 9 lesson plans for teachers, activity sheets, and 12 colourful posters. The lessons teach children about soils, worms, composting, how seeds travel, seed saving, leaves and how they work, flowers and pollinators, insects in the garden, and planning and designing food gardens. Read more.
The development of the Green Thumbs at School lesson book was made possible by funding provided by the Vancouver Foundation.
In 2017, SPEC published a school gardens calendar designed for educators who plan to do indoor and outdoor gardening during the school year. It includes suggested complementary activities that relate to food and nature.
To help you through the process of creating your community garden, we have compiled a toolkit of information and resources for you. The package contains useful advice from fellow citizens that have initiated and continue to maintain successful community garden projects; and from Vancouverites that are involved in promoting urban agriculture.