Thursday, November 7, 2013

Fall Fun Flying Leaves

A great time was had by all 17 people who came out to help.  All done in an hour!
Some of the leaves had a more dramatic path than others to the piles… we literally were raking in the sunshine this day :-)

If you have a leaf trimmings bin, feel free to fill it up with the leaves stockpiled behind the benches.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Blanket for winter...

Cover crop roots keep the soil intact in the winter rains.  They put nutrients back into the soil.  And, they look good until its Spring planting season.  Thanks to the Grade 3's who came and planted winter wheat, fall rye and crimson clover.  Yellow flags mark where the different varieties were planted.  Check it out at recess!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Autumn Rake & Prune party

Everyone welcome

Sunday October 6th

Time to put the garden to bed... Tidy up Wolfe's 11 Green Street Boulevards. 

If you have them, bring Pruners, rakes, gloves.  Wheel on over your leaf trimming/compost bins!

No green thumbs required, just enthusiasm for being outside and taking care of our gardens!

Kids encouraged to help... garden group members will be there too.

BTW new garden plans have been reviewed and will be presented at Tuesday October 8th PAC meeting. Exciting!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Whole Lot of Thanks!

Thank you Whole Foods Whole Kids Foundation!

This year's garden activities will be possible in part by a $2000 grant we applied for from Whole Foods.  The focus is on growing local, organic food and teaching kids where their meals come from - the ground!  Customers at Whole Foods for the past couple weeks have been making donations at the four Whole Foods throughout Vancouver to support these agricultural initiatives at many schools:

Monday, September 2, 2013

Super Local Spud Salad

Welcome Back to School!  Eat Wolfe-grown potatoes on Thursday!

We're going to dig up the potatoes that have been growing by the gym.

The Welcome Back BBQ is on Thursday evening, and we hope to have dug, washed, cut & cooked our very local potatoes to serve to everyone.  These are potatoes from Wolfe gardens grown near the gym.  In previous years, we usually plant a few different varieties to teach about biodiversity.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bee Friendly Main Street

Honey sticks, propolis, pollen, honey, frozen treats and more - all in the neighbourhood.
They have books, good photos, sample bee hive boxes and suits to look at.
If you keep your garden watered, the bees will get their nectar.
They have the HoneyBee Centre in Cloverdale, and are now just south of King Ed on Main Street.

BTW if you need wasp nests removed, Joe Wasp is your guy!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

5 Summer Watering Tips

For the Bees, please!
You can get a flower, but if it doesnt have enough water, there won't be enough nectar (the bee's food).  
We owe 1 in 3 bites of food to a pollinator.  So water your plants and feed the bees at the same time!

1.  Water timing - in the early morning or the late evening - water will evaporate quicker in the daytime

2.  Water thoroughly for a long time every few days - if you only do a light watering, it won't penetrate the soil.  Roots will move to where the water is and you want deep root growth so the plant can survive drought conditions.  Not sure?  stick your finger in or dig down 4 inches to see if anything has gotten wet.

3.  Good Soil Soil - Keep your soil full of organic matter that helps absorb and slow release moisture.  Sandy soil drains quicker and won't retain water so more frequent watering would be needed.  Adding compost annually helps.

4.  Mulch - if you can't get to every area - use bark mulch, wood chips, even cardboard to help keep moisture in.  Bonus:  less weeding.

5.  Build irrigation dams.  If soil is super dry, water will just run off or away from your plant.  Build little moats to keep the water in a specific area, even around one plant.  Be patient as your water ssslowly finds a way to get absorbed by those ultra dry particles!

Household tip:  Containers and raised beds dry out quicker than in-ground plants.  Move containers if you are going away to shady spots that are less stressful.  We are near setting a record for longest days of sunlight and the least amount of rain.  It's a good thing we have those West Coast mountains and reservoirs full of H20 (as opposed to a desert ecosystem where the water is way way way underground!)

Thanks to the Wolfe Watering crew - keeping our gardens alive in the heat!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Watering

Hi all,

Our easy breezy schedule of summer watering has begun.

No green thumb required!

If you want to help out, please email

We all do a little, and everything will keep growing until the students are in their new grades.

Happy Summer Everyone!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

School Gardens all over town

Together we'll grow healthy foods for the school community and engage students in experiential learning.  We'd love for you to come and join us in building this new farm!
When: June 1, 2, 3, 4
Where: David Thompson Secondary School map here
Time: 9:30am - 1pm, 1:30pm - 5pm each day.
What to wear: Clothes you can get dirty in! Long pants! Closed toed shoes! Gardening gloves, Rain-Gear: we'll be working outside rain or shine.  RSVPs to

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

30 x 30 Challenge

Get outside!  The David Suzuki Foundation interviewed on CBC radio, Queue, Jian Ghomeshi
Challenge your family to take the challenge to be outside for 30 days in a row for 30 minutes.

Excerpts from the CBC radio interview:

Kids spend an average of 6 minutes outside a day and 6 hours in front of electronics (computers, TV, cell phones).  This is the reversal of 99% of human existence was outside, or even 100 years ago when most children were left outside to play.  With the explosive growth of cities, we need to be surrounded by other species - plants and pets.  Canadians spend an average of 9.5 hours sitting down.

He gives the example of taking a walk around and breathing in the greenery and reflecting on the reliance we have on plants.  We would not be here if we don't have plants, even though we are now largely an 'indoor species'.  The evolutionary history we have changes our physical needs to be active.
Vitamin D from sunlight and obesity are markers of this, and we work against what our bodies require.

If we only love our technologically created recent habitat, we won't take care of our environment.
Nature is our home, we are born out of it and we go back to it when we die.
Humans are disappearing from the outdoors at a rate that would have us on an endangered list!

We need clean air and clean water for our survival.  We focus on economy more than our atmosphere.  We forget our fundamental biological fact.  Without clean water and air, we can't survive.
We are not separate from nature, we are a part of nature.

The interview quoted above with David Suzuki interviewed by Jian Ghomeshi, CBC radio Queue;

'We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it"  - George Eliot

Take It Outside - a good teacher reference

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lupines! Grown from seed

Those starry petalled leaves are none other than native lupines - and the beginning spikes with many purple flowers.  The bees will be pleased... these are behind the northernmost bench on the boulevards.
These were started indoors in a classroom 2 years ago and just take time to really establish themselves.
The hollyhocks grown from seed in a class are bi-annuals, they bloomed last year by the annex.  It looks like we are going to get another year from them - tri-annuals?

We have corn, pumpkin, calendula and butterfly vine seeds that will soon need help.
You can volunteer even without a green thumb!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Trunk Sale May 4th

Sunflower Seedlings for sale!
$1 buys you tons of happiness :-)
but don't buy them all... we will plant them around the school too :-)

CBC Radio's Jian Ghomeshi on Wed May 8th, 10am on the Q
David Suzuki talks about how "helicopter parents" are raising a generation of kids that are disconnected from nature, and as a result, oblivious to the plight of the planet.
Last weekend's paper had some interesting info

Not sure this link will work, but there's a video on it

On the topic of videos, if you really want some inspiration, watch Ron Finley's TED talk

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bon Voyage my little fish!

Those salmon fry sure know how to fly away...

Thank you Mr Smathers for an 'OSM' experience!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sunflower Planting Party

6:15-7:15   Tuesday April 16th

Come plant seedlings that will be for sale at the Trunk Sale on April 27th.

'Many hands get things done, half the work and twice the fun!'

contact seedgarlic@gmail if you're interested in helping

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Nice Hyacinths! Tupper Plant Swap

In the wet days of fall, we collected free bulbs from Queen E Park and City Hall, through our Green Streets Program Connections.  Thanks to May, Shera, Andrea, Lisa and Jennifer, we are now witnessing our efforts - Look on the Boulevards for pink, white and purple hyacinths.
Be SURE to get your nose up close - they are super sweet.

If you are a K parent, check out the daffodils in the annex boxes and garden along the annex on 27th.
The bulbs they planted last year are blooming.  And their sunflower seeds are already showing their seed leaves!

Green Street Plant Swap

Saturday April 20th

Tupper Greenway is located on the north side of Tupper Secondary School.
Some Wolfe students are in the Tupper catchment.
Wolfe PAC is a  member of the City of Vancouver Green Street Program, and we have access to free compost and we can trade plants!  They have info tables for you to ask questions (about anything plant related), and the students participate as well.  Even if you are not a gardener, but your child is considering Tupper, its a way to see the school spirit in action.

If you feel like digging beforehand, we have some short Oregon Grape to give away (an indigenous spreading shrub).  Tall Oregon Grape in the back gardens (flowering yellow now) makes purple berries in the fall which make great jam!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Moving a Little Mountain in Little Mountain :-)

Sunday March 24th

moving soil
transplanting bronze fennel and sorrel
a bit of pruning...

An Ontario home north of King Ed donated some soil - we will be in between the house and the school. We have wheelbarrows and wagons and pruners and trowels. 

Bring a shovel if you have one - and some muscle and sunglasses!
It's free, fun and a great way to work up an appetite for Sunday dinner

Pick up trucks welcome!


Friday, March 15, 2013

The Sun is Coming...

The Vancouver Sun, that is... to do a story on happiness and our sunflower project.

Now, that's something to be happy about :-)

That, and our new 'Money Penny' plant had about 3 dozen babies.  
And we found a 'snail grotto' of 14 snails in the bee and butterfly garden.  
Build it and they will come!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Take the Challenge

Have you noticed the hallway near Ms Collin's class?

April is be Kind to the Environment Month at Wolfe!

Hopefully you can see their iPad video they made about their apple a day challenge.  
Apples come in their own 'wrapper' = No garbage, makes compost, locally grown in BC!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Heroes of All Ages

From Tupper to Wolfe 
With the help of Grade 11's at Tupper and many Grade 7's from Wolfe, we unloaded wood for our garden bed design.  
Well done, everyone!

Thanks especially to Russ Evans and Cyrus for suburb rope tying teamwork :-)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Snowberry on Ontario @ 26th

Not for humans to eat, these white berries are one of the few bright spots of winter interests in our gardens at this time of year.  You can see this indigenous plant growing under forest canopies near Squamish and in many places other than General Wolfe Elementary.  Ours are located in our Bee & Butterfly friendly garden - so I guess it could be a Bird Friendly garden too, as some ground birds will feed on them (however, I have yet to see a quail, pheasant or grouse in our urban habitat :-)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Winter Planning

We are working on a plan for the back garden by the annex and tennis court areas.  This would be better for growing food crops and improve the existing naturalized play spaces.  Anyone is welcome to help with the design and comments are welcome.

We are also hoping to join the Master Gardener Community Project list so we can have some hands-on experts for our spring seedling plantings, helping in classrooms and of course, helping our Green Streets garden and Green Team.

There are inspirational books in our library - the Edible Schoolyard and Ashphalt to Ecosystems.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Frozen Ground!

Well, finally the sun came out, but the free soil sits, too cold to dig!

Winter is a quiet time for gardens, but soon the new green shoots will start to poke up.

Last fall the Kindergarteners all planted a bulb, so we look forward to their sleeping plants waking up.

Bugs also sleep in the leaves, stems and trunks, and when the weather warms, they will emerge.