The season in review

In the spirit of the season, the team has been reflecting back on our year at the Farm. It was the first year with EGP for all of us, and it was full of learning, problem solving, and appreciation for the Farm and the community in which we grow. Read on to hear our individual reflections, and what we're looking forward to next season.

 Always Growing,

     - Claire, Michael, & Haydn

In this Issue

4. Winter Growing Tips
5. Is the egg toast?
6. Get Involved!

Michael's reflections

What a year it’s been for the Edible Garden Education Program (EGEP)! We worked year-round with 6 schools and over 1000 children/youth, and had another 1000 students visit Loutet Farm this year. We made over 50 salads, dehydrated more than 500 leaves of kale, and had a whole lot of fun! It’s been a joy to witness the changing of the seasons through the children’s explorations of their gardens, and our farm.
As I’m walking through the halls in the morning, I see faces light up as the students deduce that they have “Edible Garden” today. It’s those expressions, and knowing how fun education can be, that get me out of bed in morning. These students will be leading conversations about community, food sovereignty, and climate change in no time!
Our program continues to grow and I want to take a moment to thank all the people that make our programming possible. We wouldn’t be able to succeed without generous funding from NSERC, Neptune, United Way, and support from our committed group of volunteers, teachers, parents, and the willingness of the children to try all sorts of vegetables that they grew.
Looking forward, we’ll be working with 2 new schools in 2019, and we’ll also be launching an exciting new Climate Change in Agriculture program! Keep an eye out at Loutet Farm for some new signage, and a seed-saving zone. For now, we'll take the winter to get curriculum developed and activities prepared for another year of growing. If you’d like to get involved in EGEP as a teacher, student, parent, or a volunteer, please contact me at

Claire's reflections

One of the first things I did when I started working at the EGP was to help organize the Seedling Sale in May. As the whole team was new, none of us had any idea what to expect: would anyone come to our market? And if they did, would we have anything to sell them? We spent the week before the sale frantically potting up hundreds of tomato plants, anxiously watching our salad mix grow, and worrying if we would pull it all off.
The day arrived, and somewhere along the way, I forgot to be worried. Volunteers showed up with smiles, ready to be put to work. Vendors brought their treats and crafts and were excited to set up their tables. Community members and neighbours started strolling by, and couldn't wait to pick out plants for their gardens. By the end of the market I was tired, but energized by the realization that I was a part of a project that meant so much to the community it was built in.
The summer passed in a haze of hot days, gorgeous flowers, and colourful produce. Before I knew it, it was October, and time for our next big event: the Pumpkin Patch. This time, I wasn't worried. The day went so smoothly, and once again, community members, vendors, and volunteers came together to celebrate the season and enjoy the Farm. I left feeling grateful and fulfilled.
It's easiest to remember the big events, because the sheer volume of community support was so overwhelming. But the smaller moments meant just as much to me. Seeing my favourite dogs and their humans, and exchanging a wave. Connecting with our neighbours at Gerry's garden and sharing flowers and weeding woes. Getting into extended discussions about sage-butter pasta with market regulars. When I reflect on the last eight months, and think about the season ahead, I can't wait to do it all over again.

Haydn's Reflections

The markets are done, the fields are tarped and final farm winterizing is coming to a close. Rainy days are perfect for planning next year's motions and the sunny days are spent cleaning out the corners. Finally a moment to reflect on this wonderful first year with the EGP.

I was floored with the community support both in the field and at the markets, not to mention the endless stream of kind words coming over the fence. Where else do people constantly thank you for the work you do? What other job can offer days in the glorious sunshine playing in the dirt with beautiful vegetables while hanging out with awesome people, turning everyone onto the essential joys of growing food? To make matters even better, add hoards of kindergardeners playing with worms and demanding more salad or community volunteers looking to help any way they can because they love the farm and what it has to offer.

Getting your hands in the dirt and your face in the sun is one of the simplest forms of self care, but sadly it is not available to everyone. Providing a welcoming, safe space for healthy engagement for individuals from the HOpe Center, Cascadia Society, the Steps Youth Program and the Foundry has been a personal highlight and I can't wait for more farm time with all of you next year! Thanks to all of your vigilant weeding, there won't be the same weed pressure next year, so we will get to do a lot more than just weed! I promise! (Unless of course you love weeding, in which case I'm sure we can find some weeds for you).

The winter is already over in my mind as I plan for next season. Hope to see you out at the farm next year for more volunteer opportunities like harvesting and processing vegetables or at one of our monthly GardenSmart workshops to talk about all things garden and more. Look forward to seeing you! Come say hi! This farm is here for YOU!

Winter Growing Tips

What's up with all the plastic? If you've walked past the farm lately, you'll see we've put it to bed in a big way. We are using construction-grade tarps for several reasons. During the rainy winter, the physical barrier of the tarp reduces the amount of soil lost through rain erosion. In the spring, the black plastic captures sun heat and warms the soil earlier, which in turn will encourage the first weeds of the spring to germinate. However, the lack of sun means that the weeds quickly die - this leaves us with a cleaner soil bed to plant into. Once we pull the tarps off to transplant our first seedlings, the soil is prepped and ready! If you're wanting to use tarps to protect your garden over the winter, make sure to purchase ones that are high-quality. Otherwise, they'll tear quickly and you'll be finding little pieces of plastic in your garden for years. If you want to avoid using plastic, consider covercropping in late summer or using organic mulches (leaves or straw).

Is the egg toast?

Proposition 12 requires all Californian eggs to be produced in cage-free facilities. Read on to learn about about the future of your breakfast and baking staple!

Get Involved

We are always looking for volunteers at Loutet Farm and for our Sharing Gardens!
  1. Internships with EGP
  2. Volunteer with EGP
  3. Become a Community Market Vendor
  4. Book a Farm Tour
  5. Help Grow Edible Garden Project

Upcoming Events

March 9th: Save the date for Seedy Saturday! More details to come.

Stay tuned to our website calendar or our Facebook page for other upcoming events and workshops!


Loutet Farm Volunteer Sessions are over for the season. Check back in the spring! 

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North Shore Neighbourhood House
225 East 2nd Street
North Vancouver, BC V7L 1C4
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