Sunday, July 25, 2010

Open House August 10th, 7 pm

A Community Garden? In Fairfield…

Join us for an Open House regarding the proposed community garden in Robert Porter Park

August 10th, 7 pm at the Garry Oak Room 1335 Thurlow Rd

• Listen to a brief presentation on the gardens
• Voice your concerns and ideas
• Give your input into the design of the gardens
• Discuss the gardens and their place in the community

Please contact us with any comments at

Friday, July 16, 2010

design for cob bench:

Here are the designs for the cob bench structure that we're looking at for seating space in the gardens.

Cob building is a traditional European technique of building. It is being revived by cultures all over the world due to its universal availability, accessibility, modifiability, insulation value, structural strength, health benefits, and appealing aesthetic.

The materials that comprise cob are sand, clay, and fibre; in North America, the fibre is typically straw. Cob structures have endured for hundreds of years with minimal maintenance as long as they have a good foundation and appropriate roof overhang. Archeologists have discovered earthen buildings on every continent with the oldest dating to 10,000 years ago.

The cob bench design for the Fairfield Community Gardens incorporates wheelchair accessibility, pamphlet holders, a map board, community posting area, and seating for ten. The community can come together with their personal material offerings to take part in the artistic creation inciting a sense of collective belonging.

What is the Community Garden project?

The Food Security Branch of the Street Life Committee of the FGCA is currently working on creating a community garden in Robert Porter Park in the Fall of 2010. This project has been ongoing since the summer of 2009, and will include a commons garden for public use as well as a portion of the gardens devoted to allotments.

The commons will include various nut- and fruit-bearing trees and shrubs as well as native plants and herbaceous perennials, including an herb garden and medicinal plants. The commons is designed using permaculture principles that mimic the ecosystem creating a supportive natural environment for plants to grow and thrive.

The goal is to increase food yield over time while decreasing maintenance needs. The allotments will serve community members who wish to garden yet do not have access to garden space. The allotment holders will bring sustainability to the project as they will be required to work a few hours a month maintaining the commons area.

The project also includes a seating area that will be crafted in a traditional 'cob' style. The bench area will be made using natural materials of clay, mud, straw, and wood. This project has been successfully undertaken by various other communities in Victoria, such as the Banfield Commons in Vic West and the Michigan Street Allotment gardens in James Bay.

Currently the group is doing outreach with the community and in contact with Parks Victoria to establish a suitable agreement. The proposal will then go to the City of Victoria for final approval.

An Open House is scheduled for public input at the beginning of August; stay tuned for this date. Community members are also welcome to give input and state any concerns or ideas to

The Community Gardens hope to enhance the current use of Robert Porter Park and offer a place for community members to gather, share, and learn skills. The group also wishes to increase Fairfield's food security for future generations.

Do contact us with any questions, concerns, or ideas, or if you're interested in participating in the project in any way.

Acceptance of Matching Grant!

A 2010 matching grant for the Fairfield Community Gardens project has been accepted by the City of Victoria. The group is now developing the design, proposal, and agreements with the Parks Department and the FGCA.

Thanks to everyone who has been doing amazing work on this!