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  • CELEBRATING COMMUNITY FOOD ACTION WITH GORDON NEIGBHOURHOOD HOUSE

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized // August 25, 2020

    This is the sixth in a series of blog posts featuring each of our Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks.


    Joey Sing Yiu Liu (she, her, hers) identifies as an immigrant settler born in Hong Kong, who has now lived on unceded Coast Salish homelands for 30 years. She has worked as the farmer and community programmer at Gordon Neighbourhood House for 3.5 years.

    Gordon Neighbourhood House envisions a dynamic, diverse neighbourhood where everyone is empowered to play a role in their community. Their mission is moving together to build connection and opportunity in their neighbourhood—for today and tomorrow. As a Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Network member organization, they provide dignified food access to West End residents and use food as a vehicle to bring people together.

    Joey is proud of Gordon House’s commitment to meet people where they’re at and create opportunities for the community to lead and share their creative ideas. She also appreciates how their team and organization are committed to social justice issues and take opportunities to learn and grow with the community. 

    “Gordon House is often described as people’s second home, and that also reflects our welcoming and safe environment,” says Joey. “I’m biased but I think we do really amazing food work!”

    Before March 2020, Gordon House grew fresh veggies through their Urban Farm program, that went back to the House’s kitchen and Community Lunch Program. Their approach to dignified food distribution included the West End Community Food Hub, food asset mapping, community lunches, food skills and gardening workshops , low-cost produce markets, and a Farmers Market coupon program. Twice a week, their resident Chef also taught Out of School Care kids how to make healthy snacks and practice proper knife skills. Food justice advocacy and advocating for Indigenous land sovereignty have also been central to the work of the Gordon House team.

    Farm-fresh Gordon Greens, grown in the West End neighbourhood.

    Gordon House started doing programs and outreach online once COVID-19 began, which included cooking and delivering healthy frozen prepared meals to over 40 seniors in the West End.. Along with United Way’s Local Love Food Hubs, they worked to redistribute needed supplies to community members and partners.

    Although folks couldn’t meet in person, Gordon House posted online cooking recipes and videos to help neighbours feel inspired and supported. In June, they adjusted and launched their urban farm program to focus on connection to land and nature-based learning, at a time when people were feeling increasingly isolated and looking for ways to spend time outside.

    Food asset mapping also became a priority, and the House offered a one-time emergency food distribution to 150 Food Hub members before neighbourhood Food Hubs were centralized by the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. The Famers Market coupon program remained in effect, and Gordon House distributed $60,000 worth of grocery gift cards to neighbours. Throughout these past months, they have remained dedicated to sharing and developing West End food resources.

    Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks

    As one of many Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks (VNFN), Joey describes VNFN as “a supportive network where we can work collaboratively and respectfully around ideas and solutions that help each respective network and the local food system across Vancouver.” 

    “We often talk about how this collective should focus on work that we can’t do as an individual network, and during COVID we saw this more than ever when network coordinators worked closely together around emergency food distribution and other initiatives,” says Joey. “I’ve really appreciated the support and collaboration during COVID when everything was so overwhelming, and also VNFN Coordinator Sarah Kim’s amazing (and magic!) leadership where she funnelled so many resources and contacts between people.”

    “Overall, I appreciate the work that we do around food justice and advocacy, especially when we use a holistic and intersectional approach, because this is how we will truly help change the food system,” says Joey. “It’s also really important to me that everyone who comes to the table is respectful and willing to learn and grow.”

    Neighbours gather at the Gordon Neighbourhood House GBQ in 2018

    What Neighbours are Saying

    When Gordon House distributed packages of Farmers Market coupons and grocery card vouchers to some members, people mentioned how they felt like they were opening a Christmas package. They shared a lot of nice comments about their appreciation, as well as pictures about the produce they bought and meals they made using the vouchers.

    One member in particular said: “This is the only light in my life right now and I sure appreciate it.”

    An image of brightly coloured garden veggies on a neighbour's dining room table
    A neighbour shared this photo of fresh fruit and veggies purchased with the vouchers Gordon Neighbourhood House distributed.

    Future Goals

    Gordon House’s future goals include deepening their process for uplifting community voices and action, and  helping to support community members to make things happen. They aim to provide more dignified emergency food access for the West End neighbourhood via stronger network and community partnerships—while relying less on the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. For Gordon House, deepening the organization’s actions and commitment to social justice issues is centred around decolonization, anti-racism and inclusivity, and these values will continue to inform the work they do.

    Learn more, contribute, and celebrate community food action with Gordon Neighbourhood House


  • SPRING GARDENING WORKSHOPS & EVENTS

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Community Gardening and Urban Farming, Events, Gordon Neighbourhood House, Grandview Woodland Food Connection, Hastings Sunrise Community Food Network, Little Mountain Riley Park Neighbourhood House, Marpole Oakridge Neighbourhood Food Network, Neighbourhood Food Networks, Renfrew Collingwood Food Justice, Seed Library, Uncategorized, Village Vancouver, West End Neighbourhood Food Network // March 12, 2019

    The ground is thawing and soon it’ll be time to start working the soil again.

    Whether you’re a long-time gardener or brand new to growing your own food, the Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks have got you covered this spring. Join an upcoming workshop to learn skills on early spring planting, growing Japanese vegetables, making the most of patios or small garden spaces, how to manage pests, and more.

    There are also opportunities across the city to learn new skills, meet other gardeners, and volunteer in your community.

    Read on to learn more.


    March 16, 2019 // Garden Work Party & Early Spring Planting workshop
    50 East 30th Avenue from 12:00-2:00 PM
    Riley Park Community Garden

    Join Riley Park gardeners to prepare the orchard area and for an Early Spring Planting workshop led by Chris Billion of One Love Farm (starts at 1pm). Gardeners will be planting the bed for the new residents of the Modular Housing unit at 37th/ Main. This will be the first of three seed planting workshops this year with Chris to demonstrate year-round tips to grow vegetables.

    For more info contact info@rileyparkgarden.org.


    Mar 17, 2019 // Community Potluck, Seed Library & Workshop – West End
    870 Denman Street from 1:00-2:30PM
    West End Community Centre, Barclay Room

    Join West End Neighbourhood Food Network and Village Vancouver at their monthly family friendly gatherings. Bring something yummy, share some good food and conversation with neighbours. Each month they present a mini-workshop on a different food and/or gardening related topic. The topic for March is amendments and fertilizers for patio and balcony gardeners.

    Register online or by calling 604-257-8333, reference activity #199941


    March 17, 2019 // West End Urban Garden Club meeting
    870 Denman Street from 2:30-3:30PM
    West End Community Centre, Barclay Room

    The featured activity at this March meeting will be making seed packets. Organized by West End Neighbourhood Food Network, a group which shares information, organizes food and gardening workshops, saves and distributes seed, explores possibilities for creating more gardening spaces in the West End, and engages in other food and gardening related activities.

    Register online or by calling 604-257-8333, reference activity #199951


    March 19, 2019 // Community Gardens Networking and Meetup
    3981 Main Street, Vancouver from 6:30-8:30 PM
    Little Mountain Neighbourhood House

    Community garden organizers and members from across Vancouver are invited to get together, share experiences and learn from one other. Join Riley Park Community Garden and Vancouver Parks Board (VPB) to share successes on how to engage community, what is working in your garden, common challenges, and how to work together.

    Reserve your spot here. For more info, contact Joanne at joanne_mackinnon@lmnhs.bc.ca.


    March 21, 2019 // Seed Swap – Collingwood
    5288 Joyce Street from 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM
    Collingwood Neighbourhood House

    Join us for our first seed swap of the year to trade or purchase new seeds and get your garden ready for the spring season! We will accept cash or swaps of seeds from your own garden in exchange for seeds from our collection. Find Renfrew-Collingwood Food Security Institute in the main entrance lobby of Collingwood Neighbourhood House.


    March 21, 2019 // Garden Volunteer Meeting – West End
    1019 Broughton Street at 6:00 PM
    Gordon Neighbourhood House

    The sun’s out and temperatures are warming up, which means the growing season is just around the corner! Interested in getting involved in the gardens at Gordon Neighbourhood House this spring and summer? Come learn about our garden programs at this garden volunteer meeting.

    For more information, email joey@gordonhouse.org


    March 21, 2019 // Start Your Own Seedlings Workshop
    5288 Joyce Street from 6:00-8:00PM
    Collingwood Neighbourhood House

    Save money, and grow a wider variety of garden veggies by starting your own seedlings! This workshop will go over everything you need to know to start your own vegetable seedlings: From what soil to use, to moisture and light requirements, to troubleshooting, and building your own DIY seedling setup.

    Workshop is by Donation $5-$20 – no one turned away for lack of funds. RSVP to foodsecurity@cnh.bc.ca OR 604-435-0323 x. 237


    March 23, 2019 // Seed Library Pop-up – Grandview-Woodland
    1661 Napier Street from 2:00-4:00PM
    Britannia Branch, Vancouver Public Library

    Get your garden going with seeds for vegetables, herbs, and more. Browse the Grandview Woodland Community Seed Library collection, borrow seeds, and check out the library’s resources on seed saving and gardening. Explore their seasonal goodies and discover new seed varieties! Pick up kale, tomato, and other seeds to start this month and next.

    Seed quantities limited; please RSVP to gwcseedlibrary@gmail.com


    March 23, 2019 // Introduction to Organic Gardening workshop
    2929 E. 22nd Ave from 10:00AM-12:00PM
    Renfrew Park Community Centre

    Village Vancouver presents this workshop covering the basics of planning, preparing and starting a food garden. You’ll learn some simple techniques from Rhiannon Johnson for starting plants indoors and in the garden. Be rewarded with the taste of freshly grown veggies this season!

    Register online or by calling 604-257-8388, reference activity #196424


    March 24, 2019 // Introduction to Early Spring Japanese Vegetables workshop
    2690 Larch Street from 1:00-3:00PM
    Kitsilano Community Centre

    Start the gardening season by growing these early spring Japanese vegetables. Easy to grow, nutritionally dense, yet not readily available, make the most of your garden by growing these wonderful veggies. This hands-on Westside Neighbourhood Food Network workshop led by Tonari Gumi Garden Club will focus on five early spring vegetables. Participants will be offered additional seeds and plant starts, along with a sampling of these vegetables in delicious, yet simple Japanese dishes.

    Register online or by calling 604-257-6980, reference activity #200630


    March 26, 2019 // Pests! Who’s Eating My Lettuce & What To Do About It
    870 Denman Street from 6:30-8:30PM
    West End Community Centre, Bidwell Room

    As anyone who’s ever gardened before knows, pests can sometimes be a real problem in the garden (and can be particularly discourging if you’re a new gardener). This Village Vancouver/West End Neighbourhood Food Network Urban Garden Club workshop will be led by Karen Ageson from Farmers on 57th. Participants will learn various ecologically sound techniques for minimizing damage and disappointment caused by pests in your garden.

    Cost is $13. Register online or by calling 604-257-8333, reference activity #199953


    March 27, 2019 // Gardening and Pizza Lunch
    3096 E. Hastings from 1:00-2:00PM
    Hastings Community Centre

    Come together with Hastings-Sunrise gardeners Lauren and Shayna to work in the veggie garden and make pizza with the harvested ingredients. Enjoy healthy snacks created from the abundance of our community garden while chatting about healthy cooking, eating, and gardening.

    Register online or by calling (604) 718-6222, reference activity #204668.


    March 28, 2019 // Growing Plenty of Potatoes
    6810 Main St from 6:30-8:30PM
    Sunset Community Centre

    Learn how and when to plant, grow, harvest, and store potatoes in this Village Vancouver workshop with Rhiannon Johnson. We’ll discuss the best varieties for our area, preparation for planting, feeding, preventing problems, and much more for growing tasty potatoes! Each participant will take potato ‘seed’ home with them.

    Register online or by calling 604-718-6505, reference activity #202822


    March 30, 2019 // Introduction to Organic Gardening workshop
    1318 Cartwright Street from 10:00AM-12:00PM
    False Creek Community Centre

    Village Vancouver presents this workshop covering the basics of planning, preparing and starting a food garden. You’ll learn some simple techniques from Rhiannon Johnson for starting plants indoors and in the garden. Be rewarded with the taste of freshly grown veggies this season!

    Register online or by calling 604-257-8195, reference activity #192441


    April 4 to September 5, 2019 // Gardening Course: Grow Your Own Food
    700 West 57th Ave from 6:30-8:00pm, every 2nd Thursday
    The Farmers on 57th at George Pearson Centre

    Come experience the joy of growing your favourite vegetables under the guidance of professional gardeners and educators, Karen Ageson and Jess Henry. The learning will be hands-on: you will plan, plant and tend your own garden plot, with instruction and support throughout the growing season. Along the way, you’ll learn about garden planning, soil health, seed starting, transplanting, weeding, watering and organic pest control.

    $300 for 12 instructional sessions, supplies and use of a garden plot approx. 4’ x 8.′ We encourage you to garden with your family—registration cost is per plot, not per person. All supplies are included (except gardening gloves) and the food you grow is yours to enjoy.

    Register online to reserve your spot in the course. If you have any questions or concerns, contact karen@farmerson57th.ca or 778-997-3609.


    April 6, 2019 // West End Food Series: Growing Japanese Vegetables Workshop
    1019 Broughton Street from 1:00-3:00pm
    Gordon Neighbourhood House

    Come learn how to grow and cook delicious Japanese vegetables. In this hands-on workshop, Makiko from Tonari Gumi will show us how to grow and cook simple recipes featuring five popular Japanese vegetables and herbs.

    Free to attend. Register online. For more info, contact foodseries@gordonhouse.org or call 604-683-2554.


    April 16, 2019 // Veggie Gardening for Beginners Workshop
    5288 Joyce Street from 6:00-8:00pm
    Collingwood Neighbourhood House

    Always wanted to learn how to grow your food but don’t know where to start? Have you tried but been met with frustration? This beginners-level gardening workshop will go over all the basics you need to know to start growing your own vegetables: Soil health basics, planting (from seed and transplanting), watering, fertility, harvesting, plant health, and troubleshooting. Learn about the most common vegetable plant families and what they need to thrive!

    Free or by donation. RSVP to foodsecurity@cnh.bc.ca to reserve your spot. For more information, call 604 435 0323.


    April 27, 2019 // Seed Library Pop Up
    1661 Napier Street from 2:00-4:00pm
    Britannia Branch, Vancouver Public Library

    Get your garden going with seeds to grow vegetables, herbs, and more with a collection of seasonal goodies and new varieties! At this Grandview Woodland Community Seed Library event, sign up as a seed library member, browse the collection, and borrow seeds. Pick up bean, cucumber, and other seeds to start this and next month.

    Seed quantities limited; please RSVP to gwcseedlibrary@gmail.com or through the Facebook event.


    May 9, 2019 // Indigenous Plant Walk on Wild & Native Medicinals
    1661 Napier Street from 6:30-8:30pm
    Britannia Community Centre, meet in the school garden at the far west end of the parking lot and skateboard courts.

    Lori Snyder is an Indigenous Herbalist, educator, storyteller, artist and Mother. Lori hosts workshops teaching about our living world, how to access its wisdom and to remember our stewardship. Come out and discover how to identify, when best to harvest & sample products in this interactive workshop. Meet in the Britannia school garden, far west end of the parking lot and skateboard courts.

    Cost is $25. Register by calling 604-718-5800.


    May 22, 2019 // Apothecary Garden Plants for Your Well-being workshop
    1661 Napier Street from 6:00-9:00pm
    Britannia Community Centre, Youth room

    Explore the exciting world of the Apothecary Garden and learn about the many herbs and their power to cure, legends and fairy tales to discover; the science of remedies preparation, and administration routes. Participants will have an opportunity to taste herbal teas and make a take-home remedy with medicinal and cosmetic properties to heal minor skin wounds, cuts and burns, sunburn, red and inflamed skin, and dry winter skin!

    Cost is $20. Register online or by calling 604-718-5800.


    June 6, 2019 // Building Healthy Soil workshop
    870 Denman Street from 6:30-8:30pm
    West End Community Centre

    Learn some rudimentary soil biology and the importance of feeding your soil in building a healthy garden with Karen Ageson from Farmers on 57th. You’ll walk away with some basic techniques, and the know how to help your garden thrive.

    $13. Register online or by calling (604) 257-8333, reference activity #213177.

  • CCEC ARTICLE: TURNING UP THE BEET ON POVERTY

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized // June 15, 2017

    Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks Work Towards a Poverty Free BC

    Lettuce Turnip the Beet on Poverty Reduction Campaign

    Meet CCEC Member, Vancouver Neighbouhood Food Networks (VNFN) and Ian Marcuse, long-time CCEC Member who is one of the sponsors for this group.  Ian works for the Grandview Woodland Food Connection, one of the 14 neighbourhoods across Vancouver who belong to this Food Network.

    The VNFN’s are a grassroots network of people, organizations and agencies collaborating on food initiatives to ensure that all community members have access to healthy, culturally appropriate and sustainably produced food.  Ian says, “We know that food brings people together and help to build connections, but it also divides us as a community.  There are too many people that don’t have enough money to pay for food.”  Financial constraints have been identified as an underlying cause of food insecurity by groups including the Dieticians of Canada.

    (more…)