Archive for August 2008

let the rains begin

goodbye, has certainly been a busy one...

Karen, a SPEC director, and volunteers at Burnaby Discovery Day Festival in July

participants from the Sustainable Food Youth Dialogue, hosted by SPEC and the Fraser Basin Council

Our new brochure on the Safe Disposal of Pesticides is now available for free in over 20 garden centers around Vancouver! Find out about Vancouver's pesticide by-law and what this means for you, as well as how to dispose of unused pesticides and empty pesticide containers. Plus, find useful tips on enhancing your lawn and garden eco-system.

Safe Disposal of Pesticides Brochure Display

And finally, more on the rooftop garden.
The wet weather combined with a heavier watering schedule has led to a few more harvests.

The tomatoes seem to have recovered slightly,
but the cabbages have gone to the critters. We might need to look into some critter-proofing methods for the fall.

Time to kick back and enjoy the last of summer-I've had a great time at SPEC, it's been a blast. Have a great long weekend everyone!

-Laura, SPEC summer student

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Oceans Away...

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When you go to the coast, it’s all about the ocean and the flora, fauna and activities there about. Here are the last of the vacation photos.
Above: Houda Point, near McKinleyville, CA.
Sea stars and sea urchins at low tide
Assorted seaweeds bejeweled by barnacles
Bouy collection at Crescent City, CA
The bright blue Pacific between Trinidad and Big Lagoon

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Hot fun in the summer time...

August is turning out to be a scorcher! I love it.....but it sure does make things here in Vancouver pretty dry,

Our carrots are doing well in their containers.

Laura, our summer intern and Christina from the Fraser Basin Council did a great job of moderating a Sustainable Food Youth Dialogue on Thursday night.

People dialoguing at Thusday's meeting.

This weeks cru of rooftop volunteers.

The view of Maple Street Community Gardens from our roof.

A critter in our cabbage? A little something (perhaps a mouse) has been nibbling on our cabbage and some other things.

Its amazing that we are more than half way through August. How can that be?
Over and out,

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We Love to Eat

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One of the fun things about vacationing is eating new and different foods and having them cooked by someone else! One of the highlights of my recent trip was a visit to the Humboldt County Farmer’s Market in Arcata, California, where we bought fresh oysters (and other good stuff), then cooked them on the grill. Fantastic!

This bad boy was only $1.00!!! Humboldt Bay is one of the biggest producers of oysters in the country.
My sister (and hostess), Allison, is a wonderful cook. She introduced me to the world of oyster pairings beyond lemon; pesto, BBQ sauce, salsa, etc. We had quite the feast.

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What's growing on the roof

On our roof the flowers are in bloom; plenty of chrysanthemums and alyssum to keep beneficial insects coming back again and again!


The peppers are doing quite nicely,

and so are the cucumbers...

...the eggplant is trying its best to keep up!

Let's hope we get many more harvests like this one!
basil, nasturtiums, tomatoes, lettuce, parsley

There have been some recent signs of critters munching on our veggies, for now we will just watch and wait to see if they keep coming back.

Watering the plants continues to be an issue since it can get very hot on the roof and dry out quickly. We are going to try giving them more water at a time to make sure the water reaches all the way down to the deepest roots (and doesn't just evaporate from the top of the soil). I'll let you know how this goes!

-Laura, SPEC Summer Student Intern

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Delightful Dahlias

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I’m just back from my vacation and still basking in the memories of beautiful ocean vistas, charming gardens, fabulous local food, and, of course, great company!

My brother-in law, Jonathan (also my gracious host), is a dahlia nut. He digs, over winters, replants, labels and generally pampers his flowers year after year. He’s amassed a wonderful, eclectic collection which I got to enjoy viewing and cutting for big bouquets (did I mention that he’s gracious?) during my stay.

Here are photos of a few of my favorites…

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