radicle beets

Earth Repairing with Leila Darwish! by radiclebeets

When: Saturday, Feb. 2nd 12pm – 5pm
& Sunday, Feb. 3rd 10:00am – 2:00pm

Where: Purple Thistle 975 Vernon (corner of Parker)

Cost: Free Free Free!!! (even more free if we can bring tasty treats to share with all the new friends we are going to make!!!)

****Please RSVP if you are attending! We want to make sure there will be enough space for all participants****


From remediating abandoned and contaminated city lots for urban farmers and gardeners, to responding and recovering from environmental disasters such as oil spills and nuclear fallout, how can we work with the power of living systems to heal and transform toxic and damaged landscapes into thriving, nourishing, and fertile places once more? This workshop is an introduction to the evolving field of earth repair and grassroots bioremediation, and we will explore some of the DIY ways to work with the many micro-organisms, mushrooms, and plants that are the planets finest and oldest disaster responders, alchemists, and healers.

The workshop will cover different grassroots bioremediation techniques and tools, and how they work together, including:
Microbial remediation – using microorganisms to break down and bind
Phytoremediation – using plants to extract, bind, and transform toxins
Mycoremediation – using fungi to clean up contaminated soil and water.

We’ll take a walk down to the Purple Thistle Food Forest site and brainstorm healing remedies for the land and our wild hearts. We’ll share stories about different innovators, community healers, and rad projects that are doing the real work of grassroots bioremediation and the different challenges they face. Other topics that may be covered in the workshop (time and collective interest permitting) include contaminants 101, soil testing, oil spills, protective gear, and self care, detox, and herbal medicine for grassroots remediators, frontline communities and disaster responders.


About the Workshop Facilitator: Leila Darwish is a community organizer, urban gardener and permaculture rabble rouser with a feisty commitment to environmental justice and sweet DIT (Doing it Together!) grassroots action. She is the author of the upcoming book “Earth Repair: A Grassroots Guide to Healing Toxic and Damaged Landscapes”, which will be released by New Society Publishers in May. For more information about the book, please check out: http://www.newsociety.com/Books/E/Earth-Repair .

Please let us know in advance if you are able to make it.

Much Love and Respect,

The Purple Thistle Guerilla Gardeners!


Letters to City Hall about the Malkin Connector by radiclebeets
January 14, 2013, 3:17 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Hello Folks,

A few months ago I mailed a hand written letter to city hall regarding the Malkin Connector. Soon after I received a letter in response saying that my letter would be distributed to the mayor and all of the city councilors. I thought I would share with you what I wrote. I have transcribed the letter below.

Mayor Gregor Robertson,
3rd Floor, City Hall
453 West 12th Ave
Vancouver BC
V5Y 1V4

October 2012

Dear Mayor Robertson and
Honourable city council members,

I am writing to you regarding the plans for the Malkin Connector that you are considering and how it will effect me personally, as a resident of Vancouver, and my community.

Recently there was a survey done with the residents of Vancouver, by the Vancouver Foundation, to find out how people feel about community and connectedness in this city. The results showed that most people living here feel very isolated and a severe lack of community. I found these results to be very surprising, because I find Vancouver to be a place with a huge potential for connection and where community is in abundance.

The first time I visited Vancouver I felt completely at home. It is one of the few places where I feel that way and it is the strong sense of community that keeps me living here. I don’t have a difficult time meeting people because I volunteer a lot of my time and get involved in a lot of different projects.

One of the groups that I am a part of is The Purple Thistle Radical Gardeners. This group has been working to turn unused and unproductive spaces into food producing land. The gardens are situated in a part of town that is full of warehouses and is a mostly grey and lifeless area. During my time with the Radical Gardeners I have gained a lot of hands on knowledge about growing food and plant medicine. I have also been learning beekeeping skills by working closely with experienced fellow gardeners.

Our largest garden project is the food forest situated at the end of Charles Street, just off Vernon Street, and it is a project that has been supported by the city so far. Over the last two seasons we have been putting a lot of work into setting up the site, planting fruit trees, building infrastructure, and getting the garden growing. Most recently we installed a water irrigation system.

During the week this forgotten cul-de-sac is usually full of parked cars from the people who work nearby. It is also a favourite spot for people to dump garbage and old broken furniture.

With the presence of a garden it has now become a gathering place where people lay in the grass and bonding happens over picnic lunches. And we’ve turned the garbage dump into a wetland restoration area. I meet at least one new person every time I go there. The people living nearby have been enjoying it and watching over the garden. The taxi drivers that work around the corner have also come over to tell us how much they appreciate our hard work.

This lovely little garden, where community happens, in now under threat from the Malkin Connector. The new road is going to pave right over this garden as well as two other community gardens. It would be a shame to lose this community space that we have put so much time and resources into.

I do not really understand what exactly the Malkin Connector is supposed to be connecting, but if we choose roads over gardens, I think it is going to result in more disconnection than anything else. Please reconsider this plan and take a closer look at what you will be destroying.


Jennifer Tigchelaar

East 4th Avenue
Vancouver BC
V5N 1J7

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