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(Text from Ander!)

There is lots of work to be done, and we’d love your help and company!

Since our boulevard was removed without any notice, and all the dirt put in the front yard … well … let’s just say we can’t get into our front door anymore. All that soil must be sorted and placed onto existing garden beds.

Also, all the city hoopla has caused us to fall behind in our planting schedule. Come dig, plant, and play with soil with us! We are also looking for someone who will come and cook for the hungry workers. Vegetables and other ingredients provided (some improvisation required).

When: Wednesday, May 5 from 11 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. … or whenever we are too tired to work any longer.

Where: The Farmhouse, 470 E. 56th Avenue

Please bring if you can:
-empty wine bottles
-cardboard with low amounts of ink
-a vegetable to contribute to lunch

Thanks, friends! See you there!

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This post brought to you by the colour yellow and the letter kale. Wait, kale's not a letter ...

Our phone has been ringing off the hook with calls from people enthusiastic about the garden and wanting to help. We’ve also had many, many curious people just stopping by (or driving by slowly), including a woman earlier in the week who came all the way out from UBC with her little baby on an adventure. So much love.

To that end, we’ve arranged some times that Ander and Sara will be available to give tours, drop off donations, or just talk permaculture. Tour the garden! See the greenhouse! Meet Garden Buddha! Make an offering at the fairy alter! Play with our decrepit cat!

Farmhouse Open House

Friday, April 30 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday, May 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Address: 470 E. 56th Avenue (between Fraser and Main)

 


Here are some supplies we’d love for the garden if anyone has them lying around. Please keep in mind that we do not want money or anything bought new; we’re simply hoping these are things you’re looking to rid yourself of anyway!

Farmhouse Wish List

    • cardboard free of inks and tape
    • woodchips
    • old bricks with which to edge beds
    • a decent wheelbarrow
    • someone with a truck willing to donate a couple of hours of time to collect woodchips and/or go on a dump run (we can supply gas money and dump fees)

Hope to see you there!

Love from the Farmhouse Animals

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Wow. After all that, our landlord has sent a crew to rip up the boulevard right now. So awesome.

My home is no longer my home.

UPDATE (11:36 a.m.) This sucks so much because we’ve always had an incredible relationship with our landlord. Always been supportive and kind and patient with our hippie ways. The Farmhouse is so appreciative of our landlord.

The City of Vancouver has been communicating with our landlord on this issue without including us in the discussion and I have no idea what was said between the two parties. It totally feels like the City has completely sabotaged our relationship with our landlord and it’s a punch in the gut to know he’s angry with us.

I can understand our landlord’s position 100 percent but we still have until May 15 to negotiate with our neighbours … and we only had one more to talk to.

We were so close to winning this fight.

Ander called to let me know that there’s nothing left of the boulevard garden anymore. They managed to save some of the plants but they might not recover.

And now I am broken.

UPDATE (12:13 p.m.) Max called to let me know Ander spoke to the landlord. Managed to smooth things over somewhat. Landlord did leave some poppies growing in the boulevard next to the tree but the rest is levelled.

However, the rest of the yard will NOT be touched. That in itself is a massive, massive victory.

Damn, I wish I had photos right now. So glad I took pictures last night.

Also, the Museum of Vancouver mentioned us today in their blog! I’m totally stoked that the issue is out there and other people are just as interested in food security issues as we are. Greater good has come from this. We’ve found new community. We’re raising awareness. And in a few months, we’ll have food.

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The Garden is the unflinching look at the struggle between urban farmers and the City of Los Angeles and a powerful developer who wants to evict them and build warehouses. Mostly immigrants from Latin American countries where they feared for their lives if they were to speak out, we watch them organize, fight back, and demand, “Where is our ‘Justice for all’?”

Thanks to Siobhan for the heads up on this film. I really want to check it out. Kind of makes me want to do a Farmhouse documentary … well, if I knew anything at all about filmmaking!

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So this weekend’s work party was a resounding success! We had five or six people stop by over the course of the day and Ander did a fantastic job educating passerbys on our yarden. We had a bunch of people sign our petition to keep our yard exactly the way it is and we’re so much closer to getting a block party organized!

It was really nice to connect with the neighbours, actually. One told us tales of how people would come by our house with empty strollers and steal our pumpkins. One guy who works as a landscaper was fully in support of us and promised to bring us clean grass clippings, plants from other sites, tools he doesn’t need, and topsoil as well as offering to help fix the tools we have. So much love!

Kiko was a total jerk and did not help at all.

Fun story: The tenants previous to us used to use the front yard as some sort of trash can. I made the champion decision to tackle the one bed we’d never bothered to dig out previously because it’s full of trash. Ander pulled out two baby carriage frames from it weeks ago. I managed to dig out a garden hose, three bags of garbage, a fully-inflated basketball, a used diaper (ewwww), an army man, a plastic Viking figurine, and numerous pens and pencils. Seriously. Disgusting. Who buries trash in their yard when we have a weekly trash collection service?

Max was a champ and not only fixed up the greenhouse and finally (FINALLY!) got all the Christmas lights off the house but he tackled organizing our garage. We have cleaned that bastard out at least six times in the past two years, and yet it magically accumulates stuff. I think there’s some sort of vortex in there which allows for remote garbage dumping for aliens or perhaps time travellers. But it’s more organized now. Just need yet another dump run.

Sara was fantastic as well, hauling woodchips and tackling the out-of-control back beds. The whole yard is really starting to come together!

And … OH GOD we totally terraformed the boulevard. Now it has five nice neat ordered rows for planting. We’re going to put yarrow, flax, borage, and … I can’t remember what else in there. Should be neighbourhood friendly.

I definitely need to spend more time in the garden. I hauled dirt and dug weeds for almost eight hours on Saturday and my poor body is still aching today.

Special thanks to Razan and Erik for playing in the mud with us all day and to Tristan and Lina for bringing us much needed nourishment.

Photos to come whenever Ander gets them to me!

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So, t’was Ander’s birthday last night and all through the house, Miranda was snapping pictures to put on the blog.

Click photos to enlarge.

My bedroom door.

Kiko, looking as handsome and blurry as ever.

Oh, we are so closed for the Olympics.

Farmhouse at night.

Who loves graffiti in the kitchen? We do!

The Farmhouse Safety Officer cautions you to only operate under the safest of conditions.

Phire photo phun!

You think that fire magically appeared? Heck no. Love the Farmhouse elves!

The famed Farmhouse Family height chart. Plus, bonus pic of me during my bald phase.

And one more piece of housekeeping: I’ve changed the blog settings so you can now post comments without needing to log in or even leave your name. But please do leave your name; we love to connect with family, friends, and fans!

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So, I’m in the kitchen of the Farmhouse right now with a slowly growing group of cohorts for a night of dinner and music in celebration of the equinox and, you know, life in general. We just talked to our beloved former roomie Caterina, who’s chillin’ out in California right now. Rin’s going to visit her soon-ish and I’m extra jealous. She promised to give the Goose lots of pets for me!

All’s well in Farmhouse land. There are little plantings growing in the yard, despite the horribly unseasonable snow that seems to keep falling in our fair city. Rin planted some mushrooms today (a first for her) and a perfectly timed thunderstorm watered the patch after. I picked some chickweed and corn salad for dinner and it always amazes me that food grows out of the ground. I’m so accustom to foraging for food at the grocery store that when it comes from my own yard, I’m not quite sure what to make of it. Miracle in action, obviously.

Mmm, fennel is getting roasted and Margaret has affixed bells to her hat. I see Margaret scooping tahini and Rin is making something; she informs us that she’s just making it up as she goes along. I just show up and eat. I’m also a world-class stirrer.

Alright, it’s time that I stop being an antisocial crab and maybe play some bass? I’ve got a new (and unnamed) acoustic bass to play and many ridiculous songs to sing. Happy equinox!

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