Mole Hill Community Housing Society was the lucky recipient of a Vancity Community Project Grant, which was used to provide landscaping upgrades and increase the edible plants in the laneway. New additions to the laneway include new “Duke” and “Blue Crop” blueberries, snowberries, saskatoon berries, huckleberries, strawberries and a variety of herbs. Goji berries and a persimmon tree will be planted in the spring.
We began this project by soliciting input from some of the tenants at Mole Hill who are involved in gardening. David Tracey, eco-urban landscaper attended on more than one occasion and joined a walkabout of the area, while hearing everyone’s concerns and ideas. David completed a comprehensive landscaping plan, compromised of an aerial view of the area, which he divided into numbered sections. Raegan Olmstead, an employee of Silent Gardener who provides landscaping services for Mole Hill augmented the plan by recommending specific plants for this year’s planting. Raegan and her crew started working on the area in mid-October, once we were assured the rainy season had begun.
In the spring, Spring Gillard, another fan of Mole Hill and a Vancouver composting expert will do a workshop for Mole Hill tenants, neighbours, and members of the West End Neighbourhood Food Network. Mole Hill is still considering the best composting system for the community and will purchase equipment after the training sessions are complete. Long-term goals are to build on the concept of a native, edible landscaping area while increasing the eco-urban approach. Investigating other gardening concepts such as green walls, roof-top gardening, enhancing natural irrigation systems, educational signage and other concepts are all being considered for on-going projects.