A Day in the Life of Earthwise Farm in Tsawwassen, BC

Earthwise Society is a non-profit, charitable organization cultivating sustainable communities through environmental education and stewardship. The society runs the two acre certified organic farm, one acre garden, and heritage orchard, along with a farm store, out in Tsawwassen/Boundary Bay. In addition, they have an educational program for school-age children to foster their connection with nature and show them where their food comes from, as well as being the lead agency for the Delta Food Coalition, a network of community groups collaborating on food security. Their Harvest Box and Shared Harvest programs bring fresh produce to at-risk local populations. My friends P & C volunteer their time at Earthwise once a week, doing whatever needs done each time.

The Boundary Bay Earthwise Garden is the Lower Mainland’s only comprehensive demonstration garden showcasing ecological landscape practices.The design of the one-acre garden was created to highlight ecological themes and includes a Native Plant Garden, a Habitat Hedgerow, a Dry Garden, a Rain Garden, a Bee Garden, and a Butterfly Garden, all designed to attract beneficial insects and birds and sustain them.

This day was sunny and hot, just like most of the past four months have been, and the garden is an oasis of greenery and beauty.

In addition, the Farm has allotment plots for those who would like to garden but have no access to land.

Dave, another very active volunteer, has created a bee sanctuary at the farm and lots of honey bees can be seen on the flowers.

A retired couple originally from New Zealand come to the farm every day and are single-handedly responsible for two large greenhouses full of heritage tomatoes, all different beautiful colours and exceptionally tasty.

The farm also has mason bee and insect hotels, refuges for native species.

One of the barns is home to barn swallows and nesting barn owls; the latter can be watched on a webcam screen viewable in the farm store.

This day P, C & I were sent out to the fields to pick runner beans, not an easy task since the plants are quite low to the ground in a very sunny and unshaded area. My back wasn’t up to the full task; I had to bail out when it started to complain but P & C carried on until the task was done – I was very impressed!

After a tasty lunch in a shady grove, the three of us picked blackberries from the many wild bushes.

As a reward for our time, we came home with the fruits of our labour, blackberries, beans, pears, and peaches. See more pics here. More info about Earthwise available here.

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