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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lower Lonsdale Community Garden

The beautifully designed ceramic "Friendship Gate" creates a warm and friendly welcome to the Lower Lonsdale Community Gardens. This was a North Vancouver community public art project in 2005 created by Connie Glover a well known Vancouver ceramic artist.

Hidden away, off the beaten track in these beautiful gardens we can see evidence of Spring at last

Barb's Blooms provided a splash of colour as I strolled down the paths of the well designed area.

History of Victory Gardens as written by "St Catharines Neighborhood" During the Second World War, the planting of Victory Gardens was encouraged by the Canadian government. Early attempts to foster home growing were nearly quashed by nervous government officials who worried that novice gardeners might fail and consequently waste scarce fertilizer, soil, tools and water. Emily Schofield and Elizabeth MacKenzie disagreed, and they wrote to the Minister of Agriculture, J.G. Gardiner urging “every citizen to endeavour to grow more vegetables in order to make an appreciable difference in the situation that confronts us,” and claiming this war effort to be “of primary importance.” Finally, the Canadian federal government threw their support behind these community gardens in the growing season of 1943. Booklets were published by the Ministry of Agriculture with step-by-step instructions on the care and cultivation of gardens. This propaganda literature noted that the increased production of food at home would help to reduce the price of produce required by the military. These savings could then be used on the purchase of arms and other equipment necessary for the war effort. By the end of 1943, there were more than 200 000 victory gardens in Canada, producing about 550lb of produce each! During the war, the United States instituted a poster campaign with slogans such as “Plant More in ’44,” and even the first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, planted a Victory Garden on the grounds of the White House. In the United States, there were as many as 20 million Victory Gardens which contributed about 40% towards the domestic consumption of fruits and vegetables. In The United Kingdom, a similar poster campaign urged civilians to “Dig for Victory.” Today, the basic concepts behind “Victory Gardening” are one again experiencing a resurgence in popularity although for entirely different reasons. With a growing concern over the environment, more and more people are becoming aware of a sustainable local food culture. “Slow food” is becoming a popular catch phrase, and community gardens are springing up all across Canada.

Location:2nd and Lonsdale, North Vancouver, BC

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