This section of the LifeCycles website came was developed in response to the dozens of telephone inquires we receive everyday asking questions like, "How should I take care of my apple tree?" and "How can I encourage native bees in my garden?"
These learning resources provide useful information that will help you to follow the principles of sustainable urban agriculture in your own backyard. (Regardless of the size of your backyard)
We have also included curriculum guides for teachers, general information on RoofTop Gardening, and waterwise gardening tips.
Fruit Tree Pruning Intensive - Jan 25, Feb 1 & 8
This 3 part intensive is being offered to stewards of the Welland Legacy Park to support the community in gaining the skills and knowledge to adequately prune and care for the 200 heritage fruit trees at the Welland Orchard.
Fungi Garden Workshop - Feb 9
Learn how to inoculate wood chips with fungal spores and grow edible mushrooms alongside more traditional crops in an exciting backyard polyculture. Session will include a demonstration on how to turn a grassy lawn into a productive food garden using fungi. Mushroom spawn will be available for sale to interested participants.
CLICK HERE for more details and to sign up.
Victoria Seed Library Member Orientation
The Victoria Seed Library is a new project created by LifeCycles and the Greater Victoria Public Library as a way for hobby and beginner gardeners to share seeds and other gardening resources. By offering community members free access to the tools and knowledge they need to grow locally adapted vegetable, herb, and flower seeds we hope to encourage and support local food security and the increased stewardship of our region’s biodiversity.
Check out the GVPL Events Calendar to sign up for a member orientation or come visit us at Seedy Saturday for more information.
- Semilla a Mesa - A Sustainable Agriculture & Global Food System Learning Resource
- Where in the World Does Your Food Come From? - Our global food system and local food alternatives.
- Teacher Gram - Sustainable Agriculture Guides for Secondary Schools
- Patterns Through the Seasons - (download) Lesson plans and activities that relate to the BC Prescribed Learning Outcomes for kindergarten to grade 7. Developed in conjunction with Evergreen and the Learning Grounds Program.
- The Food Security-into-Drama Handbook: Workshops for the Classroom and Community contains a series of four dynamic workshop models for teachers/facilitators to engage with children on the topic of Food Security. The workshops are targeted for children ages 9 through 13, in grades 4 through 6 living on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Though geographically specific, the workshops can be easily modified for other geographic areas (both provincially and nationally).
- For more environmental education resources, check out http://www.ecolearninghive.org/
Program Manuals were created to fully document the decade of development of community food security and youth programs that have been developed at LifeCycles. They can be used as a "how-to" for other organizations to set up their own programs.
- Mapping Our Common Ground - A community and green mapping resource guide.
- Creating an Outdoor Classroom - How to create and build a school garden program. Based on lessons learned through our Growing Schools program.
- Youth Hands! Youth Voices! - This manual looks at youth engagement in policy making at the local level.
- Harvesting Abundance: Fruit Tree Project Manual - The Fruit Tree Project works to minimize the waste of tree fruit by harvesting and distributing it through the community.
- Maintaining a Bee Average - A LifeCycles Project dedicated to helping Victoria's Native Bee Population find safe habitat in our communities.
- Greening Rooftops in the Garden City - This paper examines the potential for increased urban agriculture in Victoria, British Columbia, known as the "Garden City." Specifically, it discusses the potential for rooftop gardens as an important part of the solution to food security issues on Vancouver Island.
- IDRC Urban Agriculture and food Security Initiatives in Canada - Provides an overview of existing community based organizing efforts to create more just and sustainable food systems. This survey identifies the many organizations and their networks currently working to achieve this goal and seeks to identify areas where there is still need for further research, work and creativity
- Fruit Tree Care - How to Care For Your Fruit Tree
- Let Me Tell You 'Bout the Bee - General bee information
- Protecting Pollinators - Native bees and pesticides
- Our Pollinators Need a Home! - Inviting bees into your own back yard
- "How To Clean Orchard Mason Bees Using Sand" on Youtube
- " Orchard Mason Bees on Vancouver Island, BC
Local Food Directory
The Island Farm Fresh Guide is your source to local and organically grown foods from Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. The directory includes everything from farm and product information to U-Picks and information about what's in season!
Another great tool is the The Vancouver Island Farms & Food Map. An interactive map to farms and fresh local produce on southern Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island that allows you to search based on region and what type of produce you are looking for!
The Pocket Market Toolkit
Your guide to establishing Pocket Markets
- The Victoria Community Green Story Book - People, Projects, and Visions in Victoria
- E-Mission Zine - A youth created zine on climate change