Gardens to visit: Terra Nova

Terra Nova entrance

My family and I visited the Terra Nova Rural Park in Richmond today. Despite having being told about the awesomeness of Terra Nova over a year ago, today was our first visit.

Spelt in the Daily Bread section of Terra Nova

Spelt growing in the Daily Bread section of the Schoolyard Society garden mixes wonderfully with other edibles. The original ornamental grass!

In addition to a thriving community garden, the Terra Nova lands are used by organizations for the benefit of the community. The Tzu Chi Foundation Sharing Farm and the Richmond Fruit Tree Sharing Project (Terra Nova Sharing Farm) grow food for the Richmond Food Bank.

Buckwheat and nasturtium

Then there’s the Terra Nova Schoolyard Society garden – a non-profit, community-based garden project that connects elementary and high school students with the earth. Students grow, monitor, harvest, and eat from the garden. For example, last year, they planted wheat, harvested and threshed it – then baked bread using the flour. The project, run by chef Ian Lai, integrates the complete food cycle – from seed to table, and from table to soil (in the form of composting).

I loved the way so many light, airy grains were integrated into the Schoolyard Society garden. Did you have any idea that buckwheat (above) was so pretty?

Terra Nova, community garden section

Terra Nova hosts a hugely-popular event called Chefs to the Field, coming up August 8. You should go.

Sign in the community garden

The community garden section of the park is divided into individual plots, which form a colourful patchwork of edibles and ornamentals. Gardeners were busy harvesting and tending their beds – but not too busy to tell me about what they were growing.

Sunflower

If you go: Terra Nova Rural Park is at 2631 Westminster Hwy, Richmond – about 30 minutes drive from Vancouver. Entrance and parking is free. The Richmond Food Secure blog lists upcoming workshops and events (such as “Beescaping” and “What can I plant now?”) held at the park. Combine with lunch on the wharves at Steveston (only a few minutes away) and you’ve got yourself a fabulous summer daytrip.



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