Saturday, January 29, 2011

Seed ordering

Ordering from Richter's, Saltspring and West Coast seeds. If you want to be part of the group order, contact Jean before 5 pm, Sunday January 30th.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sun Article

Well, after a long blog silence, we're dusting the cobwebs off the keyboard to share this exciting article on the front page of the Vancouver Sun! The garden tenders look thrilled with their beautiful haul of tomatoes, just in time to be spared from the inevitable monsoon season on the west coast. Who would have imagined that tiny seeds could sprout into such big ideas?!

We are planning to blog somewhat more regularly, so thanks to those of you who are still following and we look forward to a fruitful winter of planning and planning some more.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Clotheslines and Bees

Hello All! My apologies for such slow posting - I have been away the month of May and as always, there are more things to be DONE than blogged about.

Lots of work parties have happened in my absence - anyone with pics and/or short write-ups, please send as it would be great to put up on the site.

This morning's work party was to get clotheslines up and/or fixed in 3 different locations. We managed 2 and hope that if a deck can be replaced, then the 3rd one can go up (now that we are all such pros at the installation).

Kate mentioned in passing that perhaps we can extend our Two-Block "Diet" to include environmental responsibility. We can all help and support one another to install energy reducing systems (like clotheslines!!) and ways to ease the strain we all put on resources. I like it!

I see solar panels and wind turbines in our future. And I don't see how the installation of those could be any more complicated than a clothesline....

During this activity, the BEES arrived at Catherine's house. Yay! Brian delivered a small white hive teeming with Italian Bees. Had we known they were going to be Italian, we would have greeted them with cappuccinos and a celebratory Tiramisu. Instead we came with a camera and a lot of enthusiasm.

We were warned that the bees might be a little angry when Brian pulled the top of the hive off but they must have felt all the love surrounding them because no furious swarming happened. Brian got a wee bite and that was all. The bees must have realized how beautiful of a garden their new home was.

It is official, the Two-Block Diet has its own apiary.

A quick update from Kate:

1. Weve received a neighbourhood small grant toward the Bee hive!!

2. Weve received a neighbourhood small grant for the Compost system!!

3. Rin has written an awesome article about the Two Block Diet that will appear in an upcoming issue of Edible Vancouver

4. Julia did a presentation about the TBD at the Great Turning Un-conference (May 23rd), organized by Be The Change Earth Alliance

Write-up about Rin's amazing workshop that took place here at 35 E. 24th to come!

Monday, April 27, 2009

New House On the Block (Greenhouse that is...)

Another successful work party! This time we were at Jean's house assembling a large greenhouse frame. Tomatoes here we come! We started with the plot of land that the very first work party we had at Jean's helped to clear away.

Then we layed out a mish-mash of tubes that at first glance looked like they were going to cause us nothing but grief. "What does this thingy do?" and "this is a funny shaped tube" and "how come we have 40 of these and only 2 of these...?"

But then Jean pulled out the instruction manual and Armageddon was avoided. All the tubes had corresponding letters and numbers and the manual guided you step by step through the magical journey of greenhouse building.

Instead of trying to piecemeal together a bunch of found glass or spend a fortune buying it, we opted to use vapour barrier plastic for the walls and roof. It was surprisingly easy to drape the plastic over the top and the piece we cut folded out twice to cover the entire roof and walls. The only other piece we'll need to cut are for the ends of the structure.

Midway through construction, Skye provided us with her delicious lemonade. It was getting hot inside that greenhouse and labourers can become quite unpredictable when dehydration kicks in....

A big thank you to all who participated this week. We are working towards a vegetable prosperous neighbourhood!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Making Space for More Mess Projects!

A big thank you to everyone in Sunday's work party. The Beaver Dam is no longer! With many hands making light work of it, the once massive pile of greens is now stuffed into 4 green trimmings bins, headed for a better place (than our back yard). And my oh my, the many tomatoes we repotted! I'm sure they are all very happy in their new roomier accommodations and ready to grow into scrumptious plants that can equal Kate's beauties. So, yay for team work! Community banding together to GET STUFF DONE. I love it. Pictured here is the Beaver Dam in all its snow covered glory. Yes, that's how long our pile has been sitting there..."After" picture to come. At the moment the spot has been filled again. This time with a half a dump truck full of compost and some large branches we trimmed from our tree today. These beavers' spirits cannot be broken...As it is now, there are 2 large piles of compost that Tamara ordered. One is sitting in our back yard at 35 East 24th, and one is sitting on Tamara's front driveway (and her tulips) at 41 East 23. For anyone that didn't get the pricing information that Tamara worked out, I've reposted here:

$25/metre or $19/yard (this includes delivery and taxes)

4-5 large contractor wheelbarrow (6 cu. ft) loads = 1 yard = $19
6-7 homeowner size wheelbarrow (4 cu. ft) loads = 1 yard = $19

Please pay Tamara for your share.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


We now have 2 seedling stations with grow lights set up! Seedlings everywhere, all clamoring for a ray of electromagnetic spectrum to rain down upon their waiting, up-turned leaves. Who could pass up an opportunity to photograph this momentous stirring of life?

Until I can figure out a way to upload more than 1 pic, here is a link to our seedling photos:

Happy planting!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Seedling Station

This past week, we built and seeded an indoor seed station. Arugula and zesty mesclun have already taken the seedy lead and sprouted.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bees, Chicken Dances, and Seed Saving

The EYA (Environmental Youth Alliance) is an amazing group that works on, among many other things, projects like putting bee condos in parks and offering programs to teach people to save heirloom seeds. Check out this link if you're interested in finding out more about them...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Meeting of the Minds

We had our third meeting today, and as always, we had a galloping goulash of ideas and inspiration from every corner. We discussed everything from cedar compost bins to cold frames, chickens to butterfly gardens.

Some things to check back for in the very near future:

-Meeting minutes
-Compost bin plans
-Seed catalog
-Two Block Diet Gardening Handbook with information on edible flowers, green building techniques, small-scale permaculture, bee-keeping, and growings of all sorts.

The snow is piling up outside, but there is plenty of groundwork to be laid before the first seed is planted anyways, so we can enjoy the frozen landscape.

It's really exciting to be involved in such a diverse group.

In the Beginning

The home page for our Two Block Diet experiment is here!
We are a mixed basket of veggies in the Mount Pleasant Area of Vancouver, B.C. who all share the same interest: growing more food close to home, in gardens that are free of harmful chemicals, attractive to pollinators, and a delight to be in for people of all ages. We want our children to learn that food came from the earth before it came from the supermarket, and have a great time doing it. And we aim to support other neighbourhoods to do the same.
We have already met twice to discuss the endless possibilities, and have come up with some pretty solid plans, including a community compost system, a tomato haven, a culinary and medicinal herb space, and oodles more.
This is a good place to keep up on our progress, as I will be posting pictures, notes, resources, and plans for the future here.