Happy August Everyone!
This Summer has flown by for our food justice team and we have made some positive progress in the Norquay Food Forest and in our Anti-gentrification & Food Asset protections work.
Rooftop Garden Volunteer Drop-ins are back
The rooftop garden has been waiting patiently all season for some TLC and we are officially ready to welcome our volunteers back to the space for drop-ins. Our first day back will be Thursday, August 19th, from 4-7pm at the Collingwood Neighborhood house rooftop garden! Feel free to stop by to play in the soil and nibble some kale.
Food Forest Updates
Our team and dedicated volunteers have been busy building a Community Seed and Seedling Library!
This Library will stand at the south-west corner of the Norquay Food Forest and house seeds and seedlings so that everyone can select and share veggie seeds or flower seeds at no cost. We Have added in additional shelves for seedlings and plant starts to get things going for community members who may be interested in gardening but need a little help getting started!
The seed Library should be fully finished by the 10th of August, 2021! Please be considerate of others and take only as many seeds as you need, rather than full seed packets. We will supply small envelopes to assist you with this!
Our team has been so fortunate to receive help from a group of Ocean Wise students to put up a new “Home Mural” at the food forest.
This Mural was created by Aly Dela Cruz Yip, as a reflection of the land’s rich history as a complex system of waterways prior to European settlement and colonization;
It is a love-letter to the community, celebrating the strength and humanity of the predominantly racialized working class. The Mural highlights the presence of non-human animals that share the land with us, acknowledging the ways the land has remained wild.
This mural was put up in advance of our next big build – a 4 Coastal Indigneous-Styled Canoe Garden! This garden has 4 directional cedar canoes that will be our newest garden beds for medicines. We received cultural and design input from Simon Winadzi James and Pat Calihou Metis Artist on this.
Indigenous Artist Simon Winadzi James (Kwak wakw ‘wakw) will be joining us at the Food Forest on August 23rd to supervise installation as well as do some storytelling and a community wood craft activity.
This leads me to our upcoming event, The Creative Garden Party, August 23rd, from 4-7pm. We will be celebrating our accomplishments as a community and these new additions to the space. This event is in collaboration with the J Peachy Gallery and The Red Fox Creative Cafe. There will be art, music, food, and so much joy to share!
So mark your calendars for August 23rd, 4-7pm, at the Norquay food forest.
Anti-gentrification & Food Asset protection Updates
Back in June we posted a blog about The Joint Housing and Food Security Crisis. It was announced earlier this summer that a 32-storey, 293-unit, mixed-use building was proposed to be built on Joyce Street in place of our communities important cultural food assets.
Not only would these cultural food assets be erased, but the new building will contribute to the inapproachable real estate prices that are inhibiting many community members from accessing secure housing. If these real estate trends continue, the Collingwood neighbourhood will be facing the displacement of local cultural food assets coupled with the displacement of local community members.
Vancouver does have policies to protect cultural assets, so why are these stores at risk? Cultural assets are more than just the spaces defined by the city. How the city has identified spaces and places as “cultural” seems to be perpetuating the ongoing displacement of ethnic communities. The map below highlights the designated spaces that the city has deemed to be a cultural space.
However, what the city fails to recognize, and what our team is arguing, is that Cultural spaces can be mom & pop grocery stores that sell culturally relevant foods. They are restaurants that act as community hubs for families, friends, and activists. As it stands, the city data does not consider these intangible interactions within public space outside of what is traditionally seen as cultural work.
City approved cultural assets are overall located in Vancouver’s downtown. These facilities mostly house spaces for artists and performers and are infamously unaffordable. Compare these amenities with a map of where tagalong speakers live in vancouver, as seen below.
Vancouver has defined “heritage businesses” as “a business that is shaped by values from a shared past that is recognized and deemed important by the communities of people who frequent the business and/or the area” (proposed definition by LOCO BC, 2017). The Filipino Community is continuing to vocalize their demands and these businesses are currently still in operation.
There is no date set for the next meeting with the city regarding this application.
We are Hiring !
Are you passionate about Food Justice in our community? Come join our team!
Community Food Liaison: part-time, permanent
Food Hub Coordinator: part-time, term certain