Posts Tagged ‘Photos’


I have a feeling that Jesus and Garden Buddha would be great friends.


If you get time today, please read through the Special Report: The Right to Food Is A Basic Human Right. Food is a right. Complaining about the aesthetic of your neighbour’s yard? Not so much.


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Boulevard on Wednesday night.

Boulevard this morning.




And here’s a video of the chaos, complete with snarky commentary from yours truly.

R.I.P. Boulevard. We hardly knew ye.


Although we requested it be put in the side yard, all the dirt from the boulevard was dumped in our front yard.


We can't even access our front steps now. Sorry mailman.


Only solace? Our lack of dirt problem is solved.


But my poor daffodils are ruined.



In explanation of the location of the dirt, I directed the laborer to place it there when our landlord said he didn’t want to pay for it to be lugged into the side yard (does make financial sense). There isn’t really any other spot in our front yard to dump that much soil, because the whole thing is garden beds.

It’s just too bad that we didn’t get to do the excavation ourselves, because we could’ve removed the dirt on a day when we were prepared to sort it and place it directly where it needs to go in the rest of the garden. We also could’ve transplanted all those borage and poppy sprouts on a day when we were prepared to carefully move them directly into their new homes in other beds. Instead, we dug them out in a rush and right now they are wilting in the green house because Sara and I are working the next few days and can’t replant them right away. Le Sigh.

I looked out the window this morning and someone has laid down sod on all that dirt. Ouch. Pricey. It does look nice though. I am able to appreciate a dark green tidy lawn. In my opinion our six rows of over four varieties of edible flowers would have been more than just nice, but a stunningly gorgeous display in less than a month. Admittedly, that is purely my tastes and opinions. I wish we’d had the chance to prove it to be true to our neighbors, the city, and our landlord.

RIP boulevard garden. I will always remember that summer you gave us so much zucchini we couldn’t give it all away. I hope the remaining worms find their way across the sidewalk to find friendlier soil and deeper root systems. May the grass grow healthy and strong and be free from attack from chafer beetle seeking crows.

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This is the yard after this weekend. Still a work in progress but the foundation has been laid.

Anyone down for another work party this weekend?

UPDATE FROM MAX: Vancouver Councillor Kerry Jang dropped by because his office has been getting a huge volume of calls about the yarden. He seems very sympathetic and in support. He gave me some business cards to pass on if you guys want to talk to him.

It’s working, it’s working!

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Ah, yes. I’m being negligent again about the blog. But I’ve got lots for all you animals today!

First up, Rin was featured in the Powell River Peak this week!

There’s a new farmer in town and she’s uber urban. Rin Innes is offering the community seasonal shares of her urban farm harvest. With pre-season commitments she plans and plants to fill members’ weekly bins with fresh, organically grown produce through the entire harvest season. Everybody wins and everybody eats.

This quote is also from the article. Keep it in mind. It’s entirely relevant to the next part of this blog post today.

Innes believes healthy communities need healthy farms. Aside from the obvious benefits of eating locally-grown food, such as freshness, taste, nutrition and the knowledge that the food has not been sprayed, irradiated, waxed and transported great distances, she believes that when people make a direct connection to their food they build strength in their community. Supporting farmers means stronger food security… [emphasis mine]

Got it? Good. Hold it in your mind, then read on.


So, there’s a lot of stuff going on at the Farmhouse right now. I’m too weary of the subject to get into all the details, so here’s the gist: Neighbours complain about the state of the yard. Neighbours call city. Bylaw enforcement office threatens us with a huge fine if it’s not cleaned up by May 1.

But … it’s a GARDEN. We grow FOOD. It disgusts me that Vancouver touts itself as some sort of green leader—a model of sustainability—but as soon as someone tries to live that way, it gets shut down for being an eyesore.

Seriously, the rhodo is beautiful. I suppose if we planted only flowers our neighbours would be okay with it?

New smoking area. I'll concede we need to move that pile of bricks.

This? Gorgeous! But it's within two feet of the sidewalk so it's got to be moved. Ooh, and I should sweep the sidewalk and tidy all that up.

As Ander put it: 'If the city bylaw says all yards must conform to the prevailing standards of the neighborhood, and your neighbors all have square, manicured lawns, then it is simply not possible to grow your own food in most parts of Vancouver.' I'd like to point out that the house to the left of us currently has nothing but dirt in their front yard. And the yard beyond that gets covered in chemicals on a semi-regular basis.

I just don't see how anyone can find this ugly.

A bed all ready to be planted.

See, we use the leaves for mulch. Like in a forest. It's called permaculture; look it up.

One of the complaints levelled at us was that we have a number of plastic buckets laying around. Guess what's in them.


Two feet. We've got to move the garden two feet from the sidewalk. Also, the boulevard can't be planted without city approval. Apparently.

The city also complained about the palettes we have laying around. You know what we're using them for? Firewood and building compost bins.

Oh, look. More buckets full of dirt! And that tarp? Covering more palettes. Aren't we just the worst?

All I know is that Garden Buddha is not amused.

I don’t want to direct my anger towards all of my neighbours, since it seems like the majority are supportive of the garden. We have lots of curious people stopping by and asking about what’s going on. Despite a language barrier, an older man was trying to give Max gardening tips last week. One of our neighbours thinks we are awesome because we drink and play guitar on our porch sometimes. And several have been open to Ander’s idea for a block party.

Here’s to hoping we can do some serious community building in the face of opposition.

Since there are some things that must be done for us to avoid this fine ($250 minimum, up to $2000 plus an additional $50 each day past May 1 that we don’t “adhere to the prevailing standards”), we are having a yarden work party on Saturday. We’re going to clean up what we can, collect mulch and woodchips, clean out the garage, and whatever other yardening that needs to be done. Feel free to stop by our little hippie house to lend a hand or just to chat. We can’t pay you but there will be beer to drink!

Location: The Farmhouse (470 E. 56th Avenue)
Date: Saturday, April 24
Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


And now some links.

1. Urban seeds promote more genetic diversity and City of Vancouver aids the planet by collecting food scraps—a couple of excellent articles from the Georgia Straight‘s Earth Day issue.

2. Photo gallery: 420 marijuana celebration in Vancouver—a bunch of photos I took at the 420 rally on Tuesday. Yes, I’m an egomaniac. Now go look at my pretty pictures! I also wrote this: Vancouver’s 420 rally sees thousands gather for marijuana. Read it too.

3. Edible Geography—all sorts of interesting facts and history about food in interesting locations.

4. And thanks to the magic of WordPress, I found this blog: Fairview Gardens CSA, a community supported agriculture project in California. The recipes are making me drool right now. Also, they’ve got a killer blog layout ;)

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Tuesday links

So I don’t have a bunch of new pictures or really any huge Farmhouse news but in the interest of not losing momentum on this here blog, I am introducing Tuesday article links. I’m going to try to focus on articles about living off the grid, doing stuff yourself, ethical and green living, and general societal mayhem.


After Katharine Hibbert lost her job and apartment, she decided to live a life without money.

This was more than enough – the longer I went without buying things, the fewer things I wanted. Four months after I left my job and flat, it was my birthday. Friends and family asked what I wanted. I struggled to think of anything.


Vancouver designer Natalie Purschwitz is spending the next year only wearing clothing she’s crafted herself.


Making a Living in MakerCulture—how DIY folks make their way in modern society. Part of an ongoing series at the Tyee.


Also, if you’re into Twitter, you can follow me (@charenton_). I suggested to the house that we start a Farmhouse Twitter account but all I got in response were eyerolls.


Oh, I lied. Here’s a picture for y’all, inspired by the Farmhouse Dictionary.

That is indeed what she said.

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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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Just some pics from around the garden. It’s looking pretty spectacular these days, thanks to our resident farmer!

I hold no responsibility for any of it, except for maybe the missing peas. I can’t help it; they are so damn tasty.

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