radicle beets

About Us


What Are We?
– We are a collective of youth and people from a diversity of backgrounds actively engaged in healing our relationships with and the earth and with each other.

– We are an urban farm, based out of the Purple Thistle Centre – located in the industrial lowlands of East Vancouver on Unceded Coast Salish Territory – growing food, medicine, and materials

– We are an educational hub, providing space, resources, and mentorship around urban sustainability to our community.

What Are We About?
Our goals can be as varied as the people on our collective and in our gardens.  Here are a few core objectives we strive for:

– Creating space, providing resources, and offering mentorship for urbanized youth to grow their own food and engage with urban agriculture, permaculture, and land and food justice issues

– Modeling a collective structure for urban agriculture – working together, organizing horizontally (non-hierarchically), and sharing the harvest

– Learning by doing, by making mistakes, by sharing skills and knowledge

– Serving as a laboratory for urban permaculture and creative approaches to growing food and creating habitat – for people and wildlife – in devastated environments (in other words, cities)

– Functioning as a springboard, and organizational platform, and a networking tool for young people pursuing right livelihood

– Promoting local food, environmental stewardship, land justice, and ecological activism within our community

– Playing together, making messes, and having fun!

How Did We Get Here?
Beginning with the desire to grow food on grassy boulevards in the heart of East Van’s industrial district, the first Purple Thistle garden was established in the spring of 2010. Since then, our group of inspired thistlers collectively grow food, build, keep bees, experiment, play, dig our hands into the earth and learn. Some of us have background and experience in gardening… but many of us start with only the interest and desire to learn. If we don’t know how to do it ourselves, we find someone who does. We are interested in learning about how things grow, about the many different organic methods of growing, in being creative, recovering and reclaiming the land, building things, making medicine, learning the skills we want by doing… by making… by asking questions… by experimenting and arriving at answers – together.

pumpkin love



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