Life and thoughts from a small-scale organic farm . . . and its farmers

This is a blog that explores ideas around the growing of food and community at Glen Valley Organic Farm.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Growing for Gardeners: Spring Transplants

Here we go with a new idea: We're growing certified organic veggie transplants for home gardeners.

This year we wanted to do something more than just growing veggies for our farmers markets. We're also growing to help our fellow gardeners with their own plots of land.

Every year we grow tens-of-thousands of transplants for our crops. And every year more and more of our regular customers tell us that they're trying out their own community garden plots, balcony gardens or their own backyard. And we always get requests for transplants.

This year we're growing an array of veggie starts for home gardeners to use in their own gardens. We're seeding harder-to-grow crops like broccoli and cauliflower, onions, various greens, herbs and many more.

We're also ready to take custom orders to match your own garden plan.

Our transplants will be available at our Farmers Market stands beginning in May and direct from the farm by special arrangement. We'll also be at some special events, such as the Stone Soup Festival in East Vancouver on May 7.

To discuss your garden plans or to place a special order, please e-mail us at

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Watch Me Grow! Growing food in the city

Being a new parent I am witnessing the incredible experience of raising children with an understanding of where their food comes from. Turns out that many people are looking for a similar experience for their children -- and there's a lot of help to do this.

A new book, Watch Me Grow: A Down-to-Earth Look at Growing Food in the City, is a resource to help introduce children to urban agriculture. Written by Vancouver children's writer Deborah Hodge, the book is engaging. It introduces children to food in the city, asking questions about how the readers experience the growing of food, and suggests activities to help develop a closer relationship to food and growing.

Exploring everything from where food can be grown in the city to how the food can be shared, the book is an inspiring tour of the ways city dwellers can get a bit closer to the sources of their food.

Illustrated with photos by Brian Harris, the book is visually stunning. Brian captures the colour, diversity and beauty of food communities. Anyone who attended the Museum of Vancouver's Home Grown exhibit or who has purchased a FarmFolkCityFolk calender in recent years knows Brian's work.

In his work, Brian attempts to capture the essence of human relationships to each other and the natural world. He is not interested in fetishizing food, but rather celebrates the richness of community built around growing and nurturing our selves and our environment.

This new release is a companion to last year's Up We Grow: A Year in the Life of a Small, Local Farm.

Just in time for this blog post, today it was announced that Up We Grow! is a finalist for the Christie Harris Award (children's illustrated book category) in the BC Book Prizes. Also, The American Library Association has just listed Up We Grow! as one of the Top 10 Books on the Environment for Youth.

Of course, some of my excitement about these books comes from the fact that our farm is featured in some of the photographs and the text of Up We Grow! was largely researched at our farm. We're thrilled to be part of such an exciting, educational celebration of local food.

I have copies of both books available for sale. Just let me know and I can get them to you.