Thursday, December 17, 2015

Goji lives on...

This week our Moss Rock Preschool helpers discovered a Goji hidden in a jungle of grass. They carefully weeded, then covered the area in layers of newsprint and finally tucked the Goji in for the winter. Thank you Moss Rock!

In other news, we were hoping to have a leaf mulch delivery but the ground was too saturated to hold the weight of the truck. We'll send out an email for a work bee early in the new year that will focus on moving mulch by wheelbarrow instead. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Frosty mornings, sunny afternoons.

What a difference a few hours can make. The Food Forest at 8:30 am and again at 11. Thank you Geoff Johnson for the consultation in the garden on Saturday. The plants are thriving and we have more to come for 2016!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Meeting notes

After a successful meeting last Thursday, we are feeling inspired for 2016 at the Fairfield Food Forest! We are looking forward to evolving the role of the forest as an educational tool, as well as increasing community engagement through group workshops, building on last years work party success, and working on infrastructure with benches and a tool shed among the top priorities. So much to look forward to in the upcoming year. Thank you to everyone who attended, and who is interested in this project. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Meeting- Fairfield Food Forest November 19th 7-9pm

Please join us November 19th from 7-9pm at the FGCA for tea and dessert, and help us dream up plans for 2016. Whether you’re new to the group or have been before, this meeting will be a valuable opportunity to meet and discuss ideas, ask questions and get to know each other. If you know you can make it, we’d love to hear from you. Please email to RSVP, or just show up- either way, we’d love to see you there.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Inspired by Nathalie

Last night's Food For Thought presentation featured Nathalie Chambers, author of "Saving Farmland: The Fight for Real Food". She spoke passionately about food systems, food security, bees, and community as well as her journey with her husband David, to take over Madrona Farms. To say her presentation was inspiring would be a understatement. So often these discussions can leave you feeling boggled and helpless, but this was not the case. If you have a chance to read her book or speak with Nathalie, do it! The discussion that followed amongst the Fairfield Gonzales community was insightful and shed light on food security issues we can tackle together. Interested in the topic of Food Security? Stay in the loop with Streetlife's Food For Thought Series. The next event will be on December 6th, 7-9pm.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Moss Rock in the Garden

Another successful Monday work-bee took place this week, thanks to the eager participants at Moss Rock Preschool. During their first work party, I asked if there were any plants they'd like to have more of, and strawberries came up. Kids have the advantage of being able to easily reach through the deer cages and clutch fruit ripe for the pickings. No strawberry goes uneaten in this garden, and it looks like it will stay that way. On Monday, we planted a couple of strawberry plants, tidied up the mulch, pulled weeds (though the ground was a bit too wet after the downpour on the weekend) and observed mushrooms of every shape, size and colour. Thank you Moss Rock!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Food For Thought- Sunday Nov 8th

Interested in food security in our community? Check out "Food For Thought" on November 8th (7-9pm, Garry Oak Room) with Nathalie Chambers, local author of "Saving Farmland: the Fight for Real Food". I happen to have this book on my nightstand at the moment, and it is a gem. You can read more about the book here. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Moss Rock in the Garden

On Monday I had the pleasure of working with a group of Moss Rock Preschool children in the garden. A spontaneous work party was born as I set out to plant a few herbs we decided were better off in the ground than overwintering in pots. This work party saw the planting of another Lemon Balm plant, as well as 3 Nettle plants. Not only were the children able to dig, collect worms, pull weeds and mulch, they were able to learn about plants that need to be handled with care. I was delighted by their enthusiasm and curiosity, as well as their knowledge of the space gathered through daily treks to the nearby playground in Porter Park. To top things off, the final crop of Evergreen Huckleberries was gleaned by these helpers- well earned, to say the least. Thank you Moss Rock!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fall Fair glimmers in the background… it was a lovely afternoon. Thank you to FGCA, all of the hard working volunteers for hosting this event and the community for showing up and celebrating. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Fall Fairfield

Could there be a more perfect day for Fall Fair? Stop by and say "hello" and pick up a scavenger hunt egg carton while you're at it! The festivities run from 1-5 today. We hope to see you there!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

What a productive afternoon at the garden. We managed to trim the grass, continue our sheet mulching journey, prune the Olallieberry and tidy up the place. A heartfelt thank you to our volunteers who worked so hard- you spent the driest part of this Sunday lending a hand! We managed to pack up just in time for the big rain (which will help settle the mulch) and made it home in time for dinner. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Fall Fair Volunteer Opportunity

The Fairfield Food Forest is looking for help at our Fall Fairfield booth on September 26th. We'll be collecting emails, making connections, mapping local food production and sharing information about the garden. We're looking for booth help in the afternoon from 1-2, 2-3, and 3-3:30. 
If you are interested in helping out, please let me know:

Thursday, September 3, 2015

I Spy...

A sunset stroll through the garden revealed this fine specimen, resting on the Goumi. Not the only thing looking lovely and green after this rain...

Monday, August 31, 2015

Work Party- September 20th 1-4pm

With the highly anticipated "Fall Fairfield: Harvest Fete" scheduled for September 26, we'd like to host a clean up party at the garden on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20th from 1-4 pm. The goal of this party will be to have individual plant signage refreshed, grass cut and mulch freshened up. 

Delicious snacks and beverages will be provided, along with a tasting of dried King Figs (which we'll hopefully have in abundance in a few years). 

There will be jobs for everybody, including little friends. Come one, come all! We hope you can make it.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Strawberries & Tomatoes

Look down next time you wander by the garden and you might find a juicy strawberry or tomato!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Have your say!

You can have your say in the future of urban gardening and food production in the City of Victoria. Visit  There are two surveys available- a short version that will take you about 5 minutes, or a long version that will take 10-15 minutes. Additionally, you can look for the "Growing in the City" booth at the Moss Street Market July 25th, where they will be looking for input on our local food system. Hurray! Share your thoughts before July 31, 2015 and be a voice in the future of Victoria. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Evening Work Bee- Sunday, July 12 6:30-9pm

Please join us for a work bee this Sunday July 12 from 6:30-9pm. We'll tidy up the gardens & then rest with a handful of berries and a bedtime story at 8! We hope to see you there…

Friday, July 3, 2015

This week at the garden...

The goumi berries are positively dripping off the tree just begging to be eaten, the blackberries are coming around and a there are a few currants are ripe to pick. Look further afield and you'll find saskatoon berries. The cultivated bush isn't really producing much this year (looks like a pest beat us to it) but the wild ones at Porter Park are delicious. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Goumi Love

A delicious afternoon snack in the food forest. These Goumi berries just keep getting sweeter! 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Fresh Berries

This week on my daily walk home from preschool, my daughter proclaimed that she had tasted a Goumi berry, and if I'd like she could show me how to tell a "perfect yummy berry" from a "not ready berry". To my delight, she led me to a bush and proceeded to point out the various characteristics that cue us to a berries optimal ripeness- colour, size, sheen, etc. I was delighted at the pleasure and pride she took in educating me, and excited to try one myself.  They are delicious!

When picking Goumi berries, look for translucent red fruit. Patience is key here as the berry plumps up just before harvest for a juicy, slightly tart berry likened to a pie cherry or black current. 

Also ripe in the garden is the Haskap berry (also known as 'Blue Honeysuckle', or 'Honeyberry'). I have yet to try this berry, but according to Haskap Canada, this fruit boasts a "sweet tangy zing flavour that most people say is a cross between blueberry, raspberry and black current". This fruit is high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, fibre and potassium.  When picking this berry, look for a dark blue hue. 

It's so wonderful to have these plant producing. Next time you're enjoying Porter Park, look for ripe Goumi and Haskap berries and have a taste! 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Thank you

What happens when you mix hard working volunteers with a few yards of mulch, cardboard, happy plants, pizza & sun? A super productive and fun weekend in the garden. Thank you to all of our volunteers who helped out. The garden is looking very well cared for, and the additional plants have filled out the space beautifully. Stay tuned for the next work party!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Work Party- this weekend!

May 23rd & 24th from 11-4 at the FGCA Community Garden (on Thurlow)

Please join us this weekend as we plant another 16 or so fruit trees and bushes. Snacks and refreshments will be provided, as well as tools and gloves. We encourage you to pop by any time to lend a hand or say "hello".  Tasks will be available for all ages and stages of help- experience is not necessary!

This is an exciting time to be in the garden- we hope to see you there.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Luscious Gardens

The community food forest is looking pretty lovely and lush these days. Stay tuned for an upcoming work-bee. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Earth Walk for Peace and the Planet

On Saturday, April 25th from 11-1, gather at the BC Legislature and walk together to Centennial Square in support of "a peaceful world that respects ecological systems and the communities they sustain". Visit the Earth Walk for Peace and the Planet Facebook page for more information. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

Attention FGCA volunteers! On Sunday April 19th from 6-8pm, FGCA will be hosting a Volunteer Appreciation dinner in the Garry Oak Room. If you can come, please RSVP (asap) to Something tells me this is going to be a delicious celebration…

Saturday, March 14, 2015


Look who decided to join our brainstorming session. This morning's meeting proved to be very productive. We covered grant writing for this years funding, infrastructure improvements (so exciting!), work party coordination and how we can communicate with the rest of the world all of the good things that this garden represents. Signage will be coming to the garden in time, possibly integrated into any infrastructure improvements that are approved.  An open house will take place in the near future to continue the dialogue surrounding the gardens and any new infrastructure plans. Please stay tuned for details regarding the open house, work parties and garden news.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Spring Brainstorming Session- March 14th

Join us March 14th at 10:30 to brainstorm 2015 in the Fairfield-Gonzales's community garden. We'll meet at the FGCA building, unless this brilliant weather continues as we can meet on site at the garden (if this is the case a notice will be posted at FGCA, or look for us at the garden). We hope to see you there!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Seedy Saturday

It's that wonderful time of year again! Seedy Saturday, Victoria's Spring Seed & Garden Show will be held 10-4 at the Victoria Conference Centre (770 Douglas) on February 21st. This annual community event is not to be missed. Visit the James Bay Market Society website for information and make sure to check out the Gardening Talks - they fill up fast so it's worth planning ahead.