Tuesday, September 6, 2016

2016 Summer Recap

Now that things are slowing down in the garden, it's time to revive this blog! We'll try to post monthly updates of the garden's progress, so stay tuned. I'm really excited about the productivity of the garden this summer, despite struggles with wire worms and aphids, and hope it'll prove even more productive next year. We had an abundance of peas and beans throughout the summer. Our experimental watermelons grew happily under the warmth of the newly-installed greenhouse. 

The new variety of strawberry we planted, "Totem", have also done very well - we've had flowers and fruit since May and they show no signs of stopping. Our apples are almost ripe for the picking; I'm excited to make pie for the club with these Northern Spy apples. Unfortunately, out late-planted tomatoes are still looking very green, we'll see if they manage to ripen before the cold sets in.
- Lianne (President)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Moving On to the 2016/2017 School Year

L-R: Lianne Campbell and Janice Park, the new co-Presidents of the PW Garden
Now that we're nearing the end of the 2015-2016 school year, it's a bittersweet moment for Haske and myself. We're graduating from Prince of Wales and will be retiring from our positions as co-Presidents of the PW Garden Club, yet we're also extremely excited for what Janice and Lianne, our successors, have in store for next year!

Throughout this past school year, Janice and Lianne have been the first Vice-Presidents of the PW Garden Club to go through a new and extensive training program, the result of a massive behind-the-scenes revamp of the training and succession model employed by the Garden Club, the parent organization of the PW Community Garden.

A garden is only as good as its leaders. Thus, the main, overarching goal Haske and I had while we led the garden this year was to establish a new model of sustainable leadership by establishing a new focus on training and mentorship. Janice and Lianne have been familiarizing themselves with running the garden/club and gaining hands-on leadership experience since the fall of 2015, with guidance, help, feedback and advice from Haske and myself; additionally, there has been a slow, gradual transition of responsibility, meaning that Janice and Lianne have in fact been running the day-to-day minutiae of the garden for awhile now! This new model, which was initiated this year, is starkly different from the conventional approach employed by other clubs at PW, wherein next year's leaders are simply chosen at the end of the year.

The full long-term effects of this revamp (and several smaller, related initiatives, like a Facebook group of the garden's former leaders to act as a resource for current/future leaders (former leaders reading this post and wondering why you're not in the Facebook group: contact the current leaders and we'll add you right in!)) will not be seen until several years down the line. However, the short-term effects of this revamp are already evident, because Janice and Lianne are more than prepared to take over the garden.

At our year-end club celebration/party on June 7th, Haske and myself presented Janice and Lianne with ceremonial nametags as a way to "pass the torch" and officially promote them to co-Presidents of the Prince of Wales Garden Club for the 2016-2017 school year. Their Vice-Presidents, and future co-Presidents for the 2017-2018 school year, Jasmine Fung and Alice Zhang, have also been chosen as well, and will begin their training soon. Haske and I are most definitely a bit sentimental to be leaving, but with successors as accomplished, prepared, and ready as ours -- perhaps the most prepared any newly promoted Garden Club President has been -- we're not the least bit worried to pass on stewardship of the garden, and we're in fact extremely excited for its future under such great leaders, who we're confident will accomplish fantastic things next year!

William Li
President, Prince of Wales Garden Club
(Now Retired)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

2016 Spring Update

Sorry for the hiatus between posts, but now that spring has rolled around, we’ve jumped back into gardening!

Thanks to Garden Club VPs Lianne Campbell and Janice Park, who have taken on a significant leadership role in preparation for leading the garden next year, we’re prepared a new system of hose reels in preparation for the upcoming growing season. Club members used to have to store the entire hose in the storage box, dragging it in and out and untangling it each time we needed to water. Needless to say, summer watering was a laborious workout for many!

Now, with our new hose reels, watering has been simplified dramatically. We have two reels by the storage box — one with a hose to the tap, and another hose to water either the immediate beds, or to be attached to a hose reel in the far garden to water the trees. There is now significantly less dragging around of the thick rubber hose through the grass, and hopefully will make watering easier and more fun!

As an added bonus, our storage box looks significantly less cluttered!

Finally, club members have also started planting new plants! Our new watermelons have sprouted under the warmth of our greenhouse cover, our strawberries from last year have started growing again (and look yummy!), and there's some new plants as well. We will also be starting a new initiative soon in dividing the beds into sections for community planting, and sections for individual planting.

More updates coming soon!


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

2015 Fall Harvest & School Year Outlook

Students harvest plants from the garden

In September, students from the PW Garden Club came to the garden after school one day to harvest the plants that have been growing over the summer. This year some of the seeds didn't germinate, but those that did turned into big, beautiful plants.

This year the highlight of the harvest was the kohlrabi (pictured above). We planted these in the spring not really sure what kohlrabi was, and they turned out wonderful. After harvesting, Grade 11 student Lianne Campbell volunteered to make fritters out of the kohlrabi for club members to enjoy. We also tried some of it raw, and it reminded students of cabbage and broccoli, with a subtle spiciness to it. We also harvested some carrots and strawberries.

Several of our trees unfortunately appear to be diseased, with some sort of fungal infection. We will be looking into this more during the winter to see what we can do. If any of you reading this know of experts who would be willing to take a look at them, do let us know!

We've decided to forgo planting over the winter so we can focus on our other projects. This winter, we're going to focus on installing benches, tables and other outdoor furniture in the garden to complement the pathway completed in June. Students have been meeting regularly with PW teachers from art, woodworking, and metalworks to draft designs and make a plan — more details coming soon!


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Thank You to Our Student Volunteers and Financial Supporters

You may have noticed some changes that were made to the Prince of Wales Community Garden. The new pathway in the garden was recently completed in June, and it is stunning. The gravel footpaths provide a structure to the design of the garden, and the mulch accentuates the leafy layout of the garden beds. Previously, it was just grass and beds, so this new design is a bold and refreshingly beautiful update to the garden that not only improves the garden aesthetically, but will also be a springboard for future improvements, such as an amphitheater and picnic tables.

We’ve made some marvellous progress on the garden thanks to the work of many student volunteers, but no two people were more instrumental to the process than Hannah Madden-Krasnick and Stephanie Wu. These two spent countless hours poring over the plans and paperwork necessary to make this a reality. They applied for grants to finance this project, created a beautiful master plan for it, and made some crucial changes to the layout that will allow for the creation of an arresting school garden. Without the initiatives of these two, the garden wouldn’t be anywhere near the condition it is in today. In addition to spearheading the revamp of our school garden, they were also key members of many other facets of Prince of Wales, like the Student Council and Yearbook. We are certainly sad to see them leave, but wish them luck in their future endeavors.

Of course, we'd also like to thank those who made this all possible, financially. The City of Vancouver has generously given us a Green Grant of a thousand dollars to help finance this project. We would also like to thank the Kits Neighbourhood House for their ongoing support in giving us grants for projects like these, and appreciate their continued support for our next garden project this fall: getting more garden beds, and installing tables, benches, and mosaic tiling to improve the garden as a classroom. Finally, the PW PAC has also supported the garden over the years as well; we're very grateful for their contributions in many of our past projects, including the pathway, and hope they'll continue to support us in the years to come. This wouldn't have been possible without the support of the City of Vancouver, Kits Neighbourhood House, and PW PAC, as well as our student volunteers, and we look forward to bringing the redesigned garden to students this fall!

—William & Haske

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Welcome: Year 2015-16

With the school year approaching, nothing could excite us more than the ability to maintain and expand on our shared passion: PW Community Garden. I am glad to announce that this year Haske Sumalia and William Li will be taking over the leadership of  the Garden!

Haske and William have been helping with the Garden for a few years now and are very familiar with the proceedings. We look forward to more exciting posts and photos from their end.

Sheida Naderi-Azad
Director, PW Community Garden

Youtube Promotion

And....We are famous! Former Director Sophia Vartanian has put up a video of our hard-working gardeners on youtube! Please check them out:


Sheida Naderi-Azad
Mentor, PW Community Garden