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Bridging generations through shared learning at Le Chou community garden

Published on June 26, 2013

A young child harvests herbs from a garden with the help of an adult. Photo: Evergreen.Learning to harvest herbs in the garden (Photo: Evergreen)

By Nicole Jahraus

With the official start of summer only a week behind us, food growing in Vancouver is in full swing. Within the city limits there are more than 75 community gardens breathing life into underutilized railroad lines, bringing food into parks and adding greenery to empty lots and parking spots!

Building a community garden is not just about the food. It is way to transform a space around a community of people passionate about getting outside, growing and eating with others in their city. As well as being an enjoyable past-time and a way to ensure a year-long supply of fresh local food, gardening also has a host of health benefits that help to make cities more livable!

However creating a vibrant, new garden is not just a walk in the park; it takes lots of passion, persistence, time and effort to transform a space from bare land to a working, flourishing and sustainable community garden space.

Through the Seeding Healthy Communities program, Evergreen is partnering with a number of dedicated groups to provide support, expertise and funding to speed the creation of new community garden spaces in the city.

A particularly unique project is Le Chou, nested within the emerging Woodland Community Garden in East Vancouver. Le Chou is both a physical space and a concept to bridge intergenerational divides by bringing together youth and seniors to learn about growing healthy and organic food in the city.

Bi-weekly work parties throughout the summer will bring together local seniors and youth groups within walking distance to interact and build skills around local food production and healthy eating in a way that builds community, cultural exchange and social connectedness.

Intergenerational learning is common to cultures both locally and worldwide, and experiential learning across generations has been shown to build character, purpose and stability for youth through positive role modeling and mentoring. For seniors, engaging with youth can decrease feelings of alienation by providing a greater sense of worth, purpose and community.

Le Chou and the Woodland Community Garden will also host a summer workshop series for the public on various garden topics ranging from Organic Gardening 101 to Winter Gardening and Preserving the Harvest.

Keep in the loop on the latest happenings and to find out when workshops will take place through our online Events Calendar, the Le Chou website and the Grandview Woodlands Community Food Connection newsletter!