radicle beets

Foraging Workshop with Camille!!! by radiclebeets
September 18, 2014, 11:20 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Wednesday September 24th 2014 from noon-3, Camille will be taking us on a rad tour of the east van area, sharing her mad skills in foraging and plant identification!! 

Join us for this FREE workshop, and learn how to find food in the most unique places.

Camille says:

“I was a strange child. I loved mushrooms since I was a baby- not so much eating them, but rather the vibrant colours and shapes they manifested in. I grew up on acreage in South Surrey so was always mucking around in the bush, but mushrooms are what drew me into the world of collecting and identifying wild things. I also grew up gardening and my mother taught the names of plants, while my dad instilled an ethic of working with and for food. Although there was inspiration to forage everywhere I looked, the skill is self-taught, DIY, and continuously growing.
Mainly, I will probably be answering questions- that is what I have found the most interactive and efficient learning module. Besides that, I will be talking about food: how it is manufactured, and how eating the weeds is such an important part of responding to our harmful monocrop culture. Also, a fun topic is how foraging is also kind of like scavenging, and that people are either fascinated or pissed off by it. I like to use the crow as a figure in teaching us how people may view the scavenger. Of course, I want to give everyone a few hints on how to better identify plants and the families to which they belong. The point is to encourage people to take food security into their own hands. “
Here’s a link to Camille’s blog: www.meelsmeals.blogspot.com
This sounds so awesome to me, I hope to see you there!!

<3 sun setting on the gardens. by radiclebeets
September 14, 2014, 9:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The sun sets behind the bright Mergatroid building that houses the Thistle, birds on power lines sing and preen. Bicyclists coast by on uneven pavement and give a smile or a wave, looking on with wonder, joy, sometimes even excitement at the thriving greenery. Medicinal herbs such as chamomile, calendula, mullen, sage, comfrey, fennel, and mallow, shift comfortably in the breeze. Tomatoes ripen, peppers fall off their stocks, onions seed, and the vines on the fence compete for the last moments of sunlight. The boulevard on the corner of Parker and Vernon is extremely alive and providing food for many.

But no one is there.

When the garden was imagined years ago, it was in response to a strong need. A desire to feed oneself, to create community in an otherwise seemingly bland and lifeless landscape. A group of people, thistle collective members, took the idea and ran with it- bringing in boards and bricks, shovels and strong wills, and built a beautiful space for growing vegetables and herbs for the people involved and those walking by. There were no fences but the neighbour’s, no walls or wait-lists, or signs saying “No Trespassing”. No security, no owners, no property. The plants were respected by all, and they thrived. I wasn’t there, but I saw the pictures, and damn, that was a nice space. Vegetables for everyone with some to spare – folks would deliver the extras to collective houses and friends, or leave them in the garden for the people in the community to help themselves.

The garden grew, soon became it’s own ‘pod’, and people were coming in three times a week to water, hang out and eat, and the food forest was born. For three years the food forest and the parker gardens thrived – gaining hand dug irrigation systems, signs, bee hives, and a reputation for hands-on learning. Mistakes were encouraged and everyone was a member, newbie or not. Gardening collectively meant anyone could do anything, and that was extremely liberating for many, myself included. Learning with dirty hands, friends, and experiments was fun and rewarding.

The destruction of the food forest was tragic. Not only for the plants and the land, but for the people involved. Hearts were held there, people invested their love into that space. It’s hard to understand where someone is coming from when they hurt so many people with one action, and it’s even harder to accept that people see the world differently all the time, all over the planet, and it’s not so silly to think that two neighbours could think radically differently. It’s even harder to have sympathy for your oppressors, even when you know they believe they are right, and you believe you’re right.

The following year, this year, in the gardens was tough. There were four core members, then two, then one. People came and went, often excited and with good honest intentions to keep coming back and helping out. So why not? Why is there no one left, why is the food left for the crows, rats, raccoons, and starlings?

Because the project worked.

The success of the guerilla gardens of the purple thistle was never dependant on the actual space; the plants on the boulevard across the street. It was successful because people have moved on. The knowledge gained and the friendships cultivated among the greenery started movements all over the community. Little guerilla gardens have popped up at the sides of roads, under bridges. Seed banks, food shares, home and shared gardens thrive. Social remediation and permaculture is alive and spreading because people saw how it could be, how it works, and how to make the changes within themselves for a more collective life.

I know for me, I learned how to meet people where they are and how they come. How to accept when i’m learning a hard lesson (like when the beans all died at once, or when suddenly the whole bed of lettuces bolted), or when I’m trying too hard to control other living things. The plants taught me a ton this year and I am so excited to start my garden fresh next spring, but I know it won’t be on the same corner.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is when to see and accept an end. The end of this season marks the end of the purple thistle gardens, not because I say so, not because of someone’s decision, but because it’s just over. Everyone is busy doing their own thing, starting or continuing projects elsewhere, and that’s so exciting! I still get teary (and currently am), yet I can’t help but smile because I have the memory of the gardens, the shared experiences, and the love I deeply felt while among friends.

The decision of what’s happening with the land is still up in the air, and the season hasn’t ended. There are tons of seeds and herbs for drying, and everyone is still extremely welcome to the space and all that is there. Weekly meetings and garden parties are no longer happening, but we will have a wrap-up in october.

Thank you to those who started and carried the garden this far. I am forever thankful I was a part of such a life-changing and exciting project, and will never forget how you turned me from an observer to a curious gardener. I will always value the love I found in the gardens.

Mulch Love and Peas,


Why do I garden? by radiclebeets
August 3, 2014, 4:05 pm
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Garden Love by radiclebeets
July 8, 2014, 2:18 pm
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Hey folks! Just a friendly reminder! We’re in the gardens Wednesday evenings 6-9, and Sunday afternoon 1-4. We recently harvested some beets, radishes, swiss chard, lovage, blueberries, and lettuces, and are excited to put some more in the ground! Come help out! 😀 ❤

BioRemediation Workshop TOMORROW!! by radiclebeets
June 28, 2014, 4:45 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This Sunday, June 29th from 12-3pm Emeraude Bonard will be running a workshop as a follow-up to Leila Darwish’s bioremediation workshop, in hopes of reconnecting with the community around polluted sites. Yay community action!

This workshop will go over the life of the Parker Gardens & together we will decipher how air pollution affects community gardens. There will be a powerpoint presentation inside, followed by a garden and community walk. Please dress to be outside! There will be snacks and hot tea provided.

Come one, come all this Sunday to step into a hands-on introductory course to bioremediation & take community action.


Transplantin Beans, Harvesting Bamboo, Supporting Tomatoes, and New Hose. by radiclebeets
June 25, 2014, 4:16 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sunday was certainly full of “new”. We installed a new little hose on our tap, so it’s much easier to fill our watering can, there now are new little bean plants in the bed, and we harvested some of our bamboo for makeshift trellis’ for them to climb. The bamboo is so beautiful! And the beans look so happy to finally be outside.
We picked up and installed some tomato cages, and good thing because some of our shimmery plants are getting pretty big.
Just a reminder of our new summer collective garden times, wednesdays, 6-9pm and sunday 1-4pm. If you want to come join, just drop by! We welcome everyone, especially youth, and have a no-pressure, no-initiation, no-waiting-list, no-hierarchy approach to growing food.
Mulch Love!








Pot Luck Party and Exciting Futures by radiclebeets
June 14, 2014, 3:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Wednesday’s pot luck was a great time. We had some new faces in the group, and we all shared a great meal. Sayuri even brought some vegetables cooked with the fennel from the garden. Yum!
We talked about workshop ideas, and threw around ideas to learn more about permaculture, bioremediation, mycocultivation, wildcrafting, beekeeping… And are excited to bring in some mentors to expand on these subjects.
For the immediate future, we have Car Free Day on Sunday June 15th, where we will be hanging out on the Thistle block, making seed bombs and plant markers. We’ll be there all day so come say Hi!
Next Wednesday we’ll be in the garden, transplanting all our lovely bean and tomato plants. We have so many!! Come help us give these plants their new homes, and build guides for them to grow on.
Happy growing!!

Successful Transplanting! by radiclebeets
May 31, 2014, 4:22 pm
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On Wednesday we prepped the nightshade bed and got our lovely tomato plants in the ground. Sayuri, John, and I had a great time in the sun!



The beans we planted indoors are coming up strong, and are going to be a lovely addition to our healthy and thriving garden!


Sunny and Rainy, Lovely Garden Days. by radiclebeets
May 27, 2014, 12:31 pm
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The garden is bursting with wonderful flowers, figs, fennel, ferns…. the bees have been buzzing around us as we weed and find new treasures.

This Wednesday, we will be in the garden from 1-4, transplanting tomatoes, basil, maybe some peas, eggplant… whatever is ready! Come down and join us, there is always room for another helping hand.






Beautiful Sunday by radiclebeets
May 18, 2014, 7:35 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today we had a great time out in the sun, weeding and digging out blackberry vines, chatting about bioremediation, and learning about the plants in our garden.



We found a bunch of self-seeding carrots among the comfrey and buttercup, so we pulled and mulched hard around them to help them grow. We also found a bunch of self-seeding lettuces in the mushroom bed, and pulled them out for salads, and threw down some myceliated woodchips. It’s amazing what can grow on our little patch of land, and what kind of plants want to be around us. We sure have a lot of Lemon Balm, Chocolate Mint, Spearment, and… well… unknowns!! The bees were happy to be with us too, making their way around the purple comfrey flowers.

Our fig tree is even starting to grow little fruits- which we are all so excited to harvest when the time comes!




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