Hello! My name is Leah Bedford. I am a student in the Global Stewardship program at Capilano University. For my service learning course I had the pleasure of working with Iha Farquhar on Byrne Creek’s Community Garden. Within the two months I have been there I have seen the community garden grow from empty square boxes to a diverse vegetable garden. Each time I come in it amazes me to see how much everything has grown and seeing what new things have been added. I have helped put together the community garden website, lattice for the peas and was able to do a bit of gardening myself! I have loved every moment of being a part of this project for such an amazing community. Each time I go to Byrne Creek I see students, staff and community members taking in the enjoyment of growing local food. This garden is an amazing addition to such a diverse community at and around Byrne Creek Secondary. I hope the garden expands further to decrease the risk of food security within the Byrne Creek school community. I look forward to coming back next year to see the progress! … and maybe to taste test a pea or two!
Hi! We are Lauren and Leonard, two enthusiastic student teachers from UBC. During our practicum at Byrne Creek Secondary, we have loved working and helping in the community garden. It has been such a great collaborative experience. We spent a few days working with Ms. Pedersen's class. We took pictures, interviewed students, and created a fun animoto video which shows the story of the garden from the student's perspectives. We also set up a water system so that water would be easily accessible for the garden during the summer and school year. It has been amazing to see all the different plants growing over the last couple weeks. I wish we could stay a little bit longer a make some french fries from the delicious potatoes that are almost ripe! What a great experience this has been!
My name is Iha Farquhar. I am the Community School Coordinator at Byrne Creek. Since I arrived at Byrne in Sept. 2012 and fell in love with this diverse, interesting culturally rich community, issues surrounding food security has been a major concern and an important focus for the work that I do. I have helped coordinate a comprehensive foods program at Byrne including breakfast, lunch and after school snacks, including multiple partners; Tzu Chi Foundation, the Burnaby Firefighters, the Burnaby School Board, Cobs Bread, the Royal Bank, The Vancouver Adopt a School Fund, Summit Logistics and our own Byrne Creek staff and students. I sit on East Burnaby’s Interagency, Food first Committee and the Community Gardening Committee.
I believe that community gardens allow people that opportunity to grow food and community partnerships together in an integrated fashion to support overall community heath and resiliency. I started the process to get permission to build and grow a community garden at Byrne.
In February 2013 we were granted approval to create a container demonstration garden at Byrne Creek. We didn’t have a budget but were lucky! In March the City of Burnaby donated used Containers from their Edible Art exhibit the year before at the Burnaby Art Gallery and a local unban farmer Julia Smith helped connect us with organic soil to get started.
April 22- May 10, 2013 four UBC teachers started there 3 week Community Practicum and helped set up the garden and elicit donations from: Dick’s lumber, Canadian Tire, and Wigs. In partnership with our Woodworking students, the garden and website for this project started to come to shape!
On May 4th, 2013, over 100 people enjoyed live music, free food, exciting workshops and took part in helping us imagine the future of our community garden at our first Gardening Fair! This fun-filled event was supported by Byrne Creek's Sustainability Club and Byrne Creek's student government. To make this event happen financial support was provided by Vancity.
In May 2013, Leah Bedford started her internship with Byrne Creek and she started to work on developing the website more fully.