Cowichan Valley Edible Gardens Tour

I’m always trying to peer over garden fences and pry holes in hedges to peek at the amazing veggie gardens in my neighbourhood.  So when I found out that the Cowichan Valley Green Community was putting on an Edible Gardens tour for the first time this year, I knew I had to go.  What better way to spend a fall Saturday afternoon?!

The tour had 10 properties scheduled for viewing over 4 hours–not nearly enough time to do all of the gardens justice.  The properties ranged from a 37-acre farm that a colleague of mine is trying to set up over the next few years as a permaculture teaching farm (woot!) to the tiniest of city lot front-yard veggie plots.

It was inspiring to see so many folks using the simplest and cheapest techniques to create productive spaces.  And so much fun to see all the different plants and combinations being created.  I’m particularly interested in the ways that people mix vegetable, fruit and flowers in beds and borders.  I know this is the way to go, but I haven’t quite been able to make it work to my satisfaction in my own gardens.

I’m actively planning my garden structure for next year, including re-building the raised beds and re-conceiving a large perennial flower bed, which could become a mixed area of the garden.   I’m also keen to acquire some chickens and/or ducks next year, so we’re pondering how these might impact the property in the best possible way.

Inspiration and goodwill abounded at every turn on the tour.  Here are a few images that capture the fun…

This roadside garden bed outside the front gate was the potato patch! Note the grapevine planted at the base of the telephone pole...
The front-yard garden on the other side of the gate: raised beds, scarecrow, rebar-polytunnel frames, and reusing asphalt shingles between the beds to suppress grass.
Spectacular and tasty 8 ft tall Amaranth! I'll definitely find a space for this next year.

One thought on “Cowichan Valley Edible Gardens Tour

  1. Wow, fancy! That’s not what I was picturing when I thought of Amaranth. Mine was always just Pigweed… 2 feet tall max and a major garden pest. Can you still use the seeds from these for flour?
    Hoping those people with the grape vine on the hydro pole aren’t planning to eat the fruit… Looks like the pole’s been treated with something anti-bug.

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