Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on an Urban Farm

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Farmers on 57th in 2020 were multiple: loss of reliable access to washrooms, indoor storage and programming space and increases in the cost of agricultural inputs, while at the same time, a growth in CSA membership.

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Bird’s nest in the raspberries

At the Pearson’s residents Garden Club we have a robust thicket of raspberries which brings us great berry joy. One day whilst picking we heard a ‘pip, pip’ bird sound from the bush. Turns out it was the parent bird trying to draw our attention away from its nest, which was balanced in the bushes, about chest height. Such pretty coloured eggs. It is a white-crowned sparrow nest. We all gathered round, and showed pictures and videos to those who couldn’t see the nest from their wheelchair. Sharing such discoveries make them even more special!

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Garden Club grows again

After the unfortunate hiatus in 2020, where Garden Club was fenced off and COVID-19 protocols forced our first break from running the Pearson resident’s gardening program – we resumed in 2021 and the resident gardens are thriving once again. Thankfully the gardens only had a single year of wild growth – not long enough for the blackberries to take over, but certainly long enough for some strange and giant brassicas to have emerged! The below kale plant was planted in 2019 but then skipped going to seed in 2020 for reasons only known to itself. It carried on growing arms…

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Pandemic pivoting

It has been awhile since we’ve reported from the Garden Club at the George Pearson Centre the long term care facility site, home to 114 residents with disabilities (and abilities, such as green thumbs!) As we all know, 2020 was a very different year, after about mid March. It was tough. We at Farmers on 57th were poised to run another glorious season of therapeutic gardening in partnership with Pearson….when everything stopped. Pearson was locked down to outsiders that weren’t considered essential. At first, family and friends could only visit their loved one through the window. In the end, despite…

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Garden Club still grounded

The very popular Garden Club program didn’t start this year (yet), because of the pandemic. We haven’t given up hope that some kind of safe gardening program can serve as Garden Club. Normally we gather together and plants seeds indoors, at the end of March. Every Tuesday after that it is Garden Club from 2-4pm, until the end of September or so.  It is a lively gathering of residents, family members, staff, and volunteers. We marvel at colours, smells, sights and tastes. But in 2020, we have a pandemic with a dangerous virus. Many Pearson residents have vulnerable health states…

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COVID-19 Precautions

Pearson is home to people with vulnerable health states. Some depend on ventilators to breathe. An outbreak of COVID-19 could be devastating here. We hope it doesn’t happen, and VCH is assuring us they are taking all the precautions necessary to prevent it from coming to GPC. They are allowing immediate family members still to visit, thankfully, but to visit only their relative, and not to wander around the facility. We already have hand sanitizer by every door, and all visitors are reminded to stay away if they have any symptoms. Temporary Visitation Guidelines have been established that limit visits…

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Accessible Pathway Renewal Complete!

Hello! Sarah here, reporting from the Therapeutic Gardens at GPC. I’m pleased to share that the pathways around the gardens here have been renovated so they are once again smooth. Farmers on 57th built these gardens in 2009, and the pathways were last renewed in 2015. In 2019 we noticed they were getting reallllly bumpy, and some residents felt uncomfortable and unsafe when going around the gardens in their wheelchairs. It wasn’t exactly an easy job, with our accessible surface being heavy rubber mats that don’t shift when wheelchairs grip them. They were all lifted up, the ground re-leveled, and…

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Hiring Summer Horticulturalist

Farmers on 57th|Assistant Urban Farmer & Horticultural Therapy Program Coordinator Vancouver, BC Name of Facility: Farmers on 57th: A Community Integrated Urban Farm Location: Main location at 57th @ Cambie Street; second satellite location at 7710 Nanaimo Street Start Date: Flexible start date, 8 weeks of full time employment (30 hours/ week). Start by July 1, 2019. Hours offered: 30 hrs/week Compensation: $13.85/hour. This is a 30 hour/week position for 8 weeks. This is a Canada Summer job posting, so the successful applicant must: be between 15 and 30 years of age at the start of the employment be a…

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I just want to grow Flowers

We asked him if he wanted to grow carrots. NO. Beets, NO. Peas, beans, zucchini, no no no…parsley, tomatoes…the list went on. To each he shook his head, almost imperceptibly – but definitely a no. We begin Garden Club each year with a seed starting gathering at the end of March. We try to figure out what each Pearson resident gardener wants to grow from the vegetable and flower seeds that we have. Having exhausted our list of vegetables, I went through the flower options: Calendula, Cosmos, Sweet Peas…and here, the brightly coloured pictures of the promised flowers appeared to…

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Green Monster & Fruit Punch Season at Garden Club

The gardens are in full swing at George Pearson Centre. This week during Garden Club, in the Pearson Resident’s therapeutic gardens, we harvested multiple heirloom varieties of apples, beans, peas, mint, kale, zucchinis, and carrots. We tested out two new harvest smoothie recipes: Green Monster and Fruit Punch. Green Monster won best colour. Fruit Punch? Best taste, hands down! See recipes below. Pearson residents have flowers blooming everywhere in the garden here, from sweet peas to verbena, roses, cosmos, double cosmos, and many more! It’s a joy every Tuesday 1-3pm throughout the growing & harvest season making bouquets, sipping smoothies, and…

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