The Steveston Educational Garden is a volunteer-run initiative where children, youth, and older adults can learn how to grow produce from master gardeners. It’s yet another feature of the amazing Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market that sets it apart from other destinations in Vancouver.
“To continue our market theme of ‘Make it, Bake it, Grow it, Catch it’, we are working together with the Steveston Community Centre to open the educational garden to market goers,” says Market Committee Chair, Johanna Stewart. “On Mother’s Day, the children’s garden will be open for the kids to plant a sunflower seed in a pot for mom, and it’s free for participants.”
The learning garden began in the spring of 2013 run by volunteers with the support of the Steveston Community Society. Located on the lawn “east of the martial arts centre and beside the parking lot”, the garden is connected directly to the Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market.
“The garden was designed for accessibility,” says Johanna, noting that the firm paths in the garden are wheelchair accessible. “Older adults have a bed where they grow lettuce and other kinds of produce. Every month they get together and make a big salad or a bunch of sandwiches using the lettuce they grew.”
The garden begins with a border of ornamental cherry trees on the north side and a spiral perennial garden just beyond them. South of the perennial garden sits the amphitheatre, tent and benches, and past the tent are raised garden plots where you can find produce like kale, shallots, radishes, squash and pumpkin.
The children’s garden, beside the raised garden plots, is especially enticing as the ingredients for pizza—sans meats, of course—are grown in a pizza-shaped plot!
“Local youths are involved with Stir It Up, which is a year-round initiative,” says Johanna. “The participants make healthy meals once a week from local and sustainable food sources. They then enjoy a sit down meal and get to take any leftovers home!”
Located in the Steveston Community Centre parking lot, the Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market opens this year on Mother’s Day, May 8th at 10 a.m. Keep up with the market on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or Pinterest,or connect by email or phone at 604-729-7326. For more information about markets dates, volunteering, or vendor applications, visit www.sfam.ca.