about us

CCFN is an active collaboration of community members, agencies, service providers and organizations working together to enhance the health and well-being in our neighborhoods by supporting and coordinating local food security initiatives and improving access to community health, social services and community-based programs. Join us. It's free, fun and makes a difference! Email the coordinator and receive our monthly e-newsletter.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Autumn Celebration at Cedar Cottage Garden

At Cedar Cottage Garden, we have placed gravel in the pathways between our new garden beds to provide drainage of water between garden beds. On Sunday Sept 21, as the leaves fall and the winter vegetables start to grow, we will be dancing and stomping down the gravel pathways between the garden beds.

Please join us with some musical instruments to get those feet moving in the garden pathways!

Cedar Cottage Garden is located at Victoria and Hull St, under the SkyTrain.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Community Kitchen Success at Trout Lake

There is something new brewing at Trout Lake Community Centre...! A group of 15 people from the Trout Lake neighbourhood have been meeting monthly to develop their cooking skills together, in a social atmosphere. Many of the participants met while using the Food Bank Depot at Trout Lake Community Centre.

Tenny Bache, the volunteer coordinator of the Community Kitchen at Trout Lake, says "we focus on cooking new and interesting recipies that are affordable and healthy. We have cooked all types of food - we choose recipies as a group while we eat together at the end of each kitchen." They have gotten together 3 times and the upcoming Kitchen session will end with a picnic by the lake!

The Kitchen is supported by Vancouver Coastal Health and Fresh Choice Kitchens, and there has been so much interest in the Kitchen that they are looking to set up another one. If you would like to volunteer to start up and new community kitchen in Trout Lake/Cedar Cottage, contact tlccfoodsecurity@gmail.com

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Open Stage at Cedar Cottage Garden

Shadows and shapes make their way
Under the skytrain tracks, to the big Red "A"

Complete strangers coming together

Each with our own reasons to dream

About growing food in this place

We are fighting against frustration
and learning about patience
Understanding that
it takes just as long to build community
As it does to make a garden.

The 2nd monday of each month is Open Stage at Cedar Cottage Garden. Bring a poem, song or story to share: 6-8 pm, everyone is welcome!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

EPiCENTER! A great success at Commercial Drive Car Free Festival

Volunteers served up loving spoonfuls of "stone soup" at the Car Free Festival on Sunday June 15th at Commercial Drive. This free meal was a delicious example of the wonderful creations that can occur when many members of the community contributes something small, like a carrot or cabbage.

There were also demonstrations on worm composting and small space gardening, brought to you by the Trout Lake Food Security Network. Thanks to everyone involved!

The next Network meeting will be on Monday June 23rd, from 6 -8 pm at the Trout Lake Community Centre, in the Boardroom.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Creating Community Gardens Seminar

On Sunday June 1st, the Environmental Youth Alliance (EYA), helped Cedar Cottage Gardeners take a big leap forward in creating our neighbourhood's newest community garden!

We mapped out our community assets and made plans to obtain soil and compost and start planting flowering herbs in the Purple Planter Boxes next Sunday June 8th, from 2-4 pm. Everyone is welcome to join in, and if you have any flowering herb plants to contribute, please bring them along.

Cedar Cottage Garden is located at the Austrian Heritage Plaza under the skytrain line at Victoria Dr. and Hull St.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Work Parties every Sunday at Cedar Cottage Garden!

Cedar Cottage gardeners are clearing invasive plants and cleaning up the garden site.

We are also planting native plants, including salmonberry, red currant, and strawberry.

Work parties take place every Sunday from 2-5 pm.The garden is located at Victoria Dr. and Hull St. below the skytrain tracks. Look for the big red 'A'. Everyone is welcome!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

City gardening grows

Paula Luther visits a community garden site on the corner of Victoria Drive and Hull Street.

City gardening grows

Community gardens provide precious space for urban green thumbs and sanctuary searchers


Gardening isn’t just for your grandma anymore. Getting down in the dirt can be a great way to get some physical activity, grow delicious food and connect with people in your neighbourhood.

The main obstacle urbanites are facing when it comes to gardening is finding land, which is why community gardens are becoming more popular.

“Community gardens are very important for a few hundred reasons, but as our cities become busier, as people’s lives become more stressful, gardening generally is a really good way to feel better, de-stress and you get the added benefit of exercise and some healthy food,” said Mike Levenston, founder of cityfarmer.org, a website that promotes city farming and urban agriculture.

According to Levenston all you need to begin farming in the city is a bit of land and sunlight. “If you want to start a community garden, first find a vacant piece of land and second, find out who owns it and go and see if you can get permission,” Levenston added.

Paula Luther is a coordinator at the Trout Lake/Cedar Cottage Food Security Network. She said that another way to begin city farming is to join a local community garden, particularly if you’re inexperienced.

“It brings people together and we get to share our knowledge and learn from each other and it crosses those cultural and social barriers,” Luther said.

According to Luther, community gardens have the power to lighten the burden on emergency food provisions such as food banks.

“They can also transform neighbourhoods,” she added.

Gardening volunteer Christine Boyle said that an isolated sports field at Grandview Elementary School was used by drug addicts and sex trade workers before a community garden began there in 1999. And although their garden gets raided and vandalized periodically, Boyle believes that it has brought their community closer together. “It’s really neat to have these intergenerational connections around something as important and vital as food and the earth,” Boyle said.

Visit cityfarmer.info to find gardens in your area or log onto the City of Vancouver food policy website to find all the tools you need to start one.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

happy spring equinox!

asatoma satqamaya
tamasoma jyothir gamaya
mrithyorma amritam gamaya

like a seed moving from darkness to light
lead us from ignorance to truth
and from death to eternity
let peace prevail erverywhere

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

It has been proven once again: Food brings people together

On a dark, cold night in November, the Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House filled with the aroma of hot drinks, fresh fruit and other snacks, and the sound of excited voices. More than 40 people attended a community meeting to discuss our concerns and ideas about local food security.

Interests within the group included swapping surplus garden produce, cooking together in community kitchens, starting food projects for children, and building on the local food culture through public art and an upcoming magazine called Edible Vancouver… Many people were interested in the connection between medicinal plants and health care, and almost everyone in the room expressed interest in supporting new community gardens.

Facilitated by the Trout Lake Cedar Cottage (TLCC) Food Security Network and the Vancouver Food Policy Council , the community meeting was successful in identifying the many strengths of existing food programs, the gaps that need to be filled, and opportunities for community members to take action and get involved.

The TLCC Food Security Network continues to meet each month to move forward on the ideas initiated at the community meeting. An area of land near the Nanaimo SkyTrain station has been identified as a potential site for an intergenerational, cross-cultural garden with native plants, fruit trees, public art, and beyond.

Partners in the network, include Vancouver Native Health, the Environmental Youth Alliance, and the Vancouver Community Agriculture Network, Your Local Farmers Market, community members, Vancouver Fruit Tree Project, Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House, Trout Lake Community Centre. EYA & TLCC Food Security Network are partnering in a workshop series for the 2008 growing season:

February 16 – soil, compost and planting apple trees
March 29 - garden planning & seed starts
April - bed building & planting
June & July - winter gardening
September - seed saving & putting garden to bed

There will be a Community Meeting scheduled for the end of February for community members to discuss engage & actively participate in the creation of the garden, and to grow & evolve the garden. Join in as we grow together, eat together & work together.

To register for any of the workshops, or to get involved, contact Paula Luther, Coordinator – tlccfoodsecurity@gmail.com To stay informed check out our blog – tlccfoodsecurity.blogspot.com

Jill Dalton
TLCC Food Security Network member
local resident
keen gardener