Posted by: Rabideye | August 9, 2010

A Peak at the 2nd Annual Edible Garden Tour

It really did all start with a snail... on the driveway at 8:30 am! A sign of good things to come.

Powell River’s Second Annual Edible Garden Tour took place on Sunday, August 8 from 9AM-Noon and 2PM-5PM at 11 different locations. Due to the ‘free range’ nature of the self-guided free tour, it’s hard to know exactly how many people took part in the tour, but we’re thinking that at least 100 people enjoyed themselves and learned a lot from the experience of seeing how our neighbours’ gardens grow.

If there was an official theme that emerged this year, I think it was ‘battling adversity’. We visited many new and seasoned gardeners as they transformed former lawns, parking lots, blackberry brambles or even rock faces into gardens, inspiring us with their ingenuity and enthusiasm. We can’t thank our garden hosts enough for their hard work, hospitality and willingness to share their stories with us!

Below are a series of small slide shows from each of the 11 locations on the tour, which included a food literacy treasure hunt, donations to local food initiatives (see below) and a Haiku-writing contest (goes on until Sept. 20– find more information on the Haiku contest here).

Enjoy the show below, and see many more pictures on our 50-Mile Challenge Facebook Page !
[1] Heinz Becker – Year-round gardening in challenging conditions (Taku St.) For three years I have been trying to feed myself from my garden built on the rocks. I have to work with the available sunlight, since my garden is in the middle of the trees, and I have to contend with bears, raccoons, and other wildlife. I started small, but now I am eating throughout the whole year from my garden. I consider my garden to be a constant source of surprises and miracles.

[2] Will Langlands & Nicole Narbonne— An adaptable organic rural food garden ( Skeena St.) Our garden is planted for a year-round harvest. The focus is on nutritional content, food value, and sustainability. Using a permaculture model we are developing a lush 2500-square-foot vegetable garden. We raise chickens and bees, and cultivate berries and a small orchard. Next: rabbits & ducks.

[3] Doug Brown – Future home of Wildwood U-Pick (Nechako Ave.)
This is a beginning and growing adventure two years in the making. The starting goal was to produce all the veggies and fruit that my family will consume for an entire year. In the future there will be many more strawberries, blueberries and other berries for sale to the public as a berry U-pick. I also enjoy growing some of the more uncommon fruits and veggies.

[4] Jennifer Dodd – First-year raised-bed urban garden (Park Ave.) I created this first-year garden with the thought of providing enough produce for our family for the summer, as well as a moderate amount for canning. Using the principles of square foot gardening and succession planting, we’re hoping to show that it is possible to have a successful garden in a very small space! (Thanks again Jennifer for helping with the Edible Garden Guide!!)

[5] Elaine Steiger – A new garden with all the trials and tribulations (Manson Ave.) A small garden is producing peas, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, pole beans, Swiss chard, kale and Brussels sprouts. The new large garden has a beautiful crop of potatoes, peas, bush beans and pole beans. There is a green manure crop started of oats and buckwheat. People might be very interested in the composting system. Bert Baillie will be present to talk about composting. We also had a new small greenhouse put up. I have gardened for about 50 years and actually grew up on this property which was once a dairy farm.

[6] Carol Engram – Vermicomposting demonstration (Community Living Place, Artaban St.) Westcoast Worms is locally owned and operated. Composting and vermicomposting are demonstrated on-site producing worm castings and compost. Vermicomposting is using worms (red wigglers) to digest kitchen leftovers, coffee grounds, and shredded paper. Worm castings and worm-casting tea are superior organic fertilizers for all land and aquatic gardens.

From 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM

[7] Rosie Fleury – Food and flowers make a beautiful mix (McGuffie Ave.) My garden is a work in progress. This is the second year of the plan. With raised beds and sawdust paths, this garden produces a full season of greens, herbs, vegetables, berries mingled with many varieties of perennial and annual flowers for cut flower bouquets. Harvest is increased by using crop rotation, principles of square foot gardening, and composting.

[8] Connie Thurber – “Growing up” and blackberry trails (Manson Ave.) My main goal is to grow year-round greens, and everything else is a bonus after that. I work with other people to get work done in the garden. I’m using rebar to ‘grow up’ and use space more efficiently, and I have probably put more work into my blackberry trails than into other parts of my garden.

[9] Seventh Day Adventist – Shared community garden space (Manson Ave.) The Seventh Day Adventist garden offers members of the community the opportunity to have a plot of land to cultivate and grow food. As well, the Sprouts program which is run through the Family Place, has been donated a significant space to grow food for their healthy snack initiative. Participants help to plant, weed, and water, and in turn receive a portion of the harvest.

[10] Community Resource Centre – Large, planned, productive demonstration garden (Joyce Ave.) This three-year old large garden produces a variety of vegetables in raised beds. There are compost and vermicompost bins and a new small and jungle-like greenhouse. The garden is maintained organically staff and volunteers. The vegetables are used at the CRC and/or donated to those who need it.

[11] Hana-Louise Braun – Building soil and eating year-round (Redonda Ave.) I have been gardening for many years, but only for ten months in this garden. I am using lasagna gardening, mulching and cover crops like buckwheat and clover to build soil, while planting many different crops. I like to eat out of my garden year-round and save lots of seeds for myself and for others.

2010 Community Food Initiatives

This year, we asked participants in the Edible Garden Tour to support three community projects which help to bring food to people’s tables, to educate about food and gardening, and to bring people together around healthy eating and nutritious food. At each garden you visit, you will see a donation jar. If you enjoy the tour and wish to support these community projects, please donate what you can. All of the money donated will be divided equally among these three projects. Thank you very much for any financial or other support you can offer.

Sprouts Family Gardening Program
This program focuses on teaching parents and young children how to grow, harvest, and preserve food. The group currently has beds at the Community Resource Centre demonstration garden as well as a large plot at the Seventh Day Adventist Church community garden… both of which were on the tour! For more information, contact them at (604) 485-2706 or

Good Food Box
This volunteer-run project is a buying club which provides a monthly box of fruits and vegetables to participants, who pay $12 per box for a selection of healthy produce. Donations will help us provide a healthy meal for the volunteers who help with the sorting and packing each month. For more information, contact Annabelle Tully-Barr at (604) 485-8213. Thanks!

Skookum Community Cider Press

Skookum Gleaners (formerly the Fruit Tree Project) helps harvest and preserve fruit and nuts that might otherwise go to waste. This year, we have bought a cider press, and your donations will help us pay for this press and for other equipment. For more information, see

[11] Hana-Louise Braun – Building soil and eating year-round (Redonda Ave.) I have been gardening for many years, but only for ten months in this garden. I am using lasagna gardening, mulching and cover crops like buckwheat and clover to build soil, while planting many different crops. I like to eat out of my garden year-round and save lots of seeds for myself and for others.


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