As the first frost is descending on the city, we reminisce about the warmth of the summer and the coziness of the fall. We are reminded of communities across Vancouver coming alive with a symphony of colours, flavours, and shared experiences celebrating harvest season – a time when the earth’s generosity is on full display, and the connection between people and their food is honoured. As we work on building food resilience and equity, community markets and fairs are an opportunity to join in celebrating unique neighbourhood food cultures. Join us as we embark on a journey through a lively and diverse array of food markets and community food fairs across the Neighbourhood Food Networks in Vancouver.
Little Mountain Riley Park Food Network: Tomato Festival at Riley Park Community Garden
On Sunday, August 20, Little Mountain Riley Park Food Network held Tomato Festival at Riley Park Community Garden. Alex, the garden coordinator, gave a demonstration of how to save seeds from the tomatoes guests got to sample. There were seven main varieties this year – see here. The top two favourites among attendees were Black Krim and Brad’s Atomic Grape. A tomato potluck featured delicious dishes from every cuisine, with almost all of the ingredients sourced right from the garden! The food network is grateful for the support from the community and is looking forward to the next one!
Photo Credit: Little Mountain Neighbourhood House
Westide Food Collaborative: Westside Community Food Fair
The Westside Community Food Fair on August 26, organized by Westside Food Collaborative and Kitsilano Neighbourhood House was a great success! This community event celebrated a local food system in the Westside: from food production, processing, and distribution to food waste and recovery. The Community Food Fair featured local farmers, food producers and food vendors, artisans as well as educational and advocacy resources from local food organizations. WFC is extending a deep gratitude to Niis Miou Travis Angus for sharing the Indigenous Welcome and Teachings, and Peter G-G for the gift of music, as well as a team of staff and volunteers for making the event possible!
Photo Credit: Geoff Manton
Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House: Harvest Festival
Frog Hollow’s Annual Harvest Festival is always a colourful finale to the summer – and this year was no exception! August 31 was a truly memorable day celebrating the abundance of the harvest, the warmth of friendship, and the strength of community bonds. This free community event, featuring produce vendors, information booths, children’s activities and door prizes, is a highlight of the season. And as always, the heart of the Harvest Festival, the Veggie Contest was an astounding success: with a whopping 31 veggie contest entries, judges had the delightful but challenging task of selecting the winners. Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House is extending its gratitude to the incredible team of volunteers and staff who made this event possible, as well as to the 24 community partners for their unwavering support.
Photo Credit: Jennie Yuen
Grandview Woodland Food Connection at McSpadden County Fair
McSpadden County Fair highlights local vendors, information booths on urban agriculture and sustainable living, food trucks, entertainment, various competitions, and of course, the East Van Zucchini Races! The McSpadden County Fair has quickly become a community tradition not to be missed, with an estimated 1250 neighbours getting out to enjoy the event in 2023. Grandview Woodland Food Connection at Britannia Community Centre is one of the key partners of the fair, bringing the legendary Radish Races to the event! The prizes for the Radish Races included the bokashi compost, calendula and yarrow seeds.
Photo Credit: Britannia Community Centre and McSpadden County Fair
Hastings-Sunrise: Neighbourhood Food Week
The third annual Hastings-Sunrise Neighbourhood Food Week took place September 23-30, 2023, organized by VUFFF and funded by HSCFN and the PNE. A total of 450 people attended 17 events in 10 different indoor and outdoor locations. Among the events were a canning workshop at Thunderbird, food warehouse & rooftop bee hive tour at CityReach, a children’s gardening workshop at Oxford Park, a food access chat at MLA Niki Sharma’s office, and a well-attended Orange Shirt Day event at Templeton Park Pool.
Photo Credit: Lisa Patterson
Little Mountain Riley Park Food Network: Apple Day
Little Mountain Riley Park Food Network celebrated all things apple at the Apple Day on Sunday, October 1! Featuring a variety of apple-themed activities throughout the day, including cider and fruit drying demonstrations by Windfall Cider and sampling of different apple varieties, the event was a big success! With apple products available by donation the event raised $632 with the proceeds going toward fire recovery efforts for Little Mountain Neighbourhood House.
Photo Credit: Little Mountain Neighbourhood House
South Vancouver Neighbourhood House: Harvest Festival
SVNH Harvest Festival that took place on Saturday, October 28 was a fun day of activities and resources for all ages! Organized in partnership with Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society, Park People and Association of Neighbourhood Houses of British Columbia the event featured a farm tour, a children’s story time, games, prizes and activities for the whole community!
Photo Credit: South Vancouver Neighbourhood House