Farmers on 57th began as a ‘seed’ of an idea in 2008, and in 2009 the Community Gardens and the productive Pearson Farm sowed their first real seeds. And the project has simply kept growing and thriving since then, nourished by so many people along the way. Here is a video from the first year, from Sustainable Region TV of Metro Vancouver. Open Farmers on 57th video in new window.
The growing project enters into its 4th year in 2012. After trying a market stand at the Vancouver Farmers Market, the Pearson Farm now has a CSA program where it supplies neighbours with weekly fresh seasonal harvests. CSA stands for Community-Shared Agriculture in Canada (Community-Supported in U.S.). The way it works is that consumers prepay for the harvest seasons — this way consumers and growers share the benefits and risks of food production. For example, if there was a poor crop of potatoes but an excellent crop of tomatoes, you’d get less potatoes and more tomatoes! It helps the farmers decide what to grow, and also means they have a predictable income. Consumers get incredibly fresh, organic and local produce, and get to meet the people who grew the food, a rarity in today’s city.
The Pearson Community Garden is shared by residents who live at George Pearson Centre, staff who work there, and volunteers and community gardeners. Members of the Disabled Independent Gardeners Association (DIGA) also have some plots in the Pearson Community Garden. And if you think it’s a bit early to think about gardening…have you seen the snowdrops bursting out of the ground all over the place? While Vancouver’s weather can be unpredictable, if it stays mild into Spring (no snow, please) then you can start some plants indoors now and even seed peas and marigolds outside NOW! VanDusen Botanical Gardens runs their annual Seedy Saturday this February 25th from 10am to 4pm. Admission is by donation at the door.
Sometimes growing something great starts with a just one tiny seed!