Sad News On The Pandora Community Garden Bees

Pandora Park Community Garden, which the GWFC helped to develop has always had a couple of beehive, which have always remained fairly strong despite wasps, mites, and other challenges facing bees. Sadly, I just received the email below. Hopefully the gardeners will be able to find another colony to replace this one.

Ian Marcuse


Bad news. I’m sorry to say that the queens helpers were just too old. They were unable to make it to produce a viable spring colony. They have all passed away and the colony is done. The winter was just too long and too cold. Nothing could be done to save them. They had plenty of food, just not the numbers. It was just unfortunate timing. If only spring and sprung sooner and warmer and less rain. Oh well. These things happen. ūüė¶
On Sunday, April 9, 2017 at 9:11:55 PM UTC-7, ……wrote:

I saw the queen in there today! She only has a very few helpers left after this hard winter so she has only laid a few brood. Maybe 20 or 30 because she just doesn’t have enough helpers to help feed them and keep them warm. That is my theory so very very small slow start for that hive but give her a month or two and I bet it will be way better as the weather warms up. I guess she knows what she is doing. so I thought about giving them a bit of sugar water so they would not have to forage too much in this poor weather but I’m thinking it will be best to leave them alone for a month as every time the hive is opened one or two can get squished when the lid gets put back on. I’m glad to give the news she is laying but just in very very small amounts. ūüôā amy

Stone Soup Festival 2017

22nd Annual Stone Soup Festival: Growing Food in our Community

Saturday, May 13, 2017 Noon – 5pm
Britannia Community Centre Site/Napier Greenway
1661 Napier St @Commercial Drive

Spring is just around the corner and planning is in full swing for another great Stone Soup Festival. This is our 22nd year of brining the community together in celebration of spring, food, and the environment. More than ever, people are aware of the issues of food security, food justice, the benefits of sharing resources and eating sustainably. Stone Soup will celebrate the global diversity of food and its importance to the ‚Äėculture‚Äô of our community. Included this year are local growers, workshops and demonstrations, prepared food vendors, artists, community groups, free soup, music and more!

We look forward to seeing you at this festival.

Newcomer community kitchen

Started working with the federally funded Community Action Plan – Children and newcomer parents and children at Britannia Community Centre in a once a month food skills sharing kitchen. Lots of fun learning for the women and interesting food so far from Iraq and Vietnam, plus the GWFC signature sauerkraut.

Pictures below from Thoa showing us from decorative ways of preparing a vegetable platter.

Britannia Renewal

The Grandview Woodland Food Connection is very fortunate to be working at Britannia Community Centre as our host agency. Working through the community centre – the social, learning, and recreational hub of our community, provides us unlimited opportunities to collaborate with childcare, youth, seniors, the library, the two school, and others. In doing so, we greatly leverage our capacity and outreach to various communities and individuals that we seek to work with.

Britannia Community Centre is now the next community centre in Vancouver slated for redevelopment. The most recent City plebiscite allocated $100 million to this development.  This is very exciting, as Britannia has for a long time now, outgrown its space.

For the next 8 months Britannia and consultants will be conducting community consultation, reaching out to the many different communities to seek input and ideas for what we want Britannia to become. As a food programmer, I will be advocating for improved community food infrastructure and resources Рincluding improved and more accessible kitchen space, food storage,  green space and food growing area, and opportunity for improved social spaces.

Please join us in this next consultation phase and help voice your wishes to see a strong community food hub incorporated into the Britannia renewal.


Grandview Woodland Food Connection 2016 Highlights

It is always satisfying to look back on the year and the meaningful work that we have accomplished. As each year passes, awareness of the importance of food access and justice continues to grow. Everywhere in the media is talk of food security and the Grandview Woodland Food Connection along with our host organization, Britannia continue to lead the effort at the neighborhood level. This year at the GWFC was marked by an increased focus on reconciliation and the importance of addressing Indigenous food systems. We left 2016 looking very much forward to a few exciting new projects in 2017. Here a few highlights from the past year.

Wild Salmon Caravan РThe GWFC was excited to partner with the Indigenous led Wild Salmon Defenders to help organize the 2016 Wild Salmon Caravan, recognizing the critically important cultural and ecological value of protecting wild salmon. Ensuring access to salmon, especially for Indigenous communities is a food justice priority.



Britannia Carving Pavilion Garden РThe creation of the Carving Pavilion Garden is providing a unique opportunity for a class of Britannia Secondary students to learn about traditional and contemporary Indigenous foods, medicines, and other material plant uses.



Wild MindsThe georgeous 4.5 acre Strathcona and Cottonwood Gardens, with their wide diversity of spaces and species, provided the perfect two week Wild Minds youth summer gardening internship. A group of 10 youth got hands-on experience growing food, learning about ecology, and rewilding a garden area.



Britannia Bulk Buy РThis food distribution program continues to expand and now serves over 60 low income households, improving their food access to healthy fruits and veggies at a cost savings of up to 40% over retail prices for participants. Additional food donations from the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and Choices food rescue help supplement this program.






















Grade 3 Potato Farm – One of our favorite programs is the Britannia Elementary Potato Farm, which teaches the young students about the full food production cycle, including planting, watering, harvesting, cooking and eating a healthy roasted potatoes and veggie lunch that they grew themselves. Imagine the fun the kids had digging for buried spuds.



Britannia Day of Reconciliation РBritannia Community Centre has amended its constitution to better address reconciliation. Twice yearly, Britannia and the community recognize and celebrate achievements and work towards reconciliation. Food too can bridge difference and the GWFC was proud to help cater to the close to 400 people in attendance at this event.



Off the Grill Youth Meal Program РAn wonderful group of Britannia youth help prepare, cook, and serve food as part of an outdoor warm season meal program serving youth and community members healthy dinners. The program builds food literacy, nutrition, and community. 724 meals were served with youth eating for free and community members paying $5.






















Food Skills Workshops – A total of 16 food workshops, in addition to our community kitchens, were organized this year with over 100 people participating in a wide variety of workshops, ranging from sausage making, canning, fermentation, healthy vegan, tamales, sushi, kombucha, kefir, and more. All made for a healthy eating year.



Britannia School Garden Fundraiser РThis year saw our most successful fundraiser, raising over $10,000 for school gardening as well as the Eastside Family Place Little Sprouts program and SEGA Girl’s School in Tanzania. The event drew over 100 supporters for an evening of music, dinner, large silent auction, and 27 amazing homemade desert pies.



McSpadden Park County Fair РWas great to participate in the 1st annual McSpadden Fair here in Grandview Woodland where we set up an information table and won 2nd prize for our Britannia garden basket. The featured highlight was the zucchini races, lots of fun for the kids, and which saw some very creative zucchini racers and a few mash ups.



Stone Soup Festival РBritannia and the Grandview Woodland Food Connection carry on the two decade old Stone Soup tradition in the sprit of celebrating healthy and sustainable food in our community. Despite a very wet spring, we were blessed with sunshine and around 2000 community members came to check out the food education, sustainability, and arts and culture.



WIld Minds Summer Youth Garden Program

For 10 glorious days this past summer, a group of youth came together with WILD MINDS and experienced a deep connection to nature where they had the unique opportunity to help re-wild an urban space, once a garbage dump and now an ecologically rich and diverse ecosystem.

The Wild Minds partnership brought together the Environmental Youth Alliance, the Grandview Woodland Food Connection, and Evergreen Foundation each providing youth mentorship and expertise in ecology, gardening, and youth engagement. The spaces to explore, the learning opportunities, and the simple beauty of these gardens are providing the youth a new persective of the city

Thank you to Evergreen Foundation Seeds of Change for their generous funding of this project.