The History of our Garden

We are a community-based organic garden located beside Stoney Creek Elementary in Burnaby, B.C. We are run through an organization called N.E.B.C.A., the North East Burnaby Community Association, and so some people refer to us as NEBCA Organic Gardens. We have 10 community plots, 72 residential plots and 16 school plots. We were formed in 1993 from a community leader named Paula Bowie. In April 1994, the community members worked together every weekend and many evenings in April until May 2nd, when the first phase was completed. It took many hours of coordination and heavy labor!

At that time, and even today, the garden has provided opportunities for people to share their knowledge of gardening and environmental issues. Presently, we have 48 keen garden members, including organization such as the Guides and the Mental Wealth Society and nine classes from Stoney Creek Elementary.

General Description

Tools, such as shovels, spades, rakes, and trowels are provided in the tool shed for everyone’s use. Wheelbarrows and water hoses are also available for use.
There is a compost area in the forested area next to plots 14 and 15. Members are welcome to place any garden vegetative waste, including weeks, in the large bins.

We also have a few communal plots: strawberries and herbs. These plots are tended to by everyone. The idea is that if you help maintain the plots, then you can help yourself to the ‘fruits’ (or herbs) of your labor within reason.

July 15, 2001

Steve Wong, representative for TD Friends of the Environment Foundation presents garden coordinator Tania Jacobsen with a cheque for $6463.80 for the purchase of recycled plastic beams for the community garden. Thank you! Thank you also to Shell Canada Ltd. who contributed $4400!

Every second year, manure and topsoil is ordered for gardeners to replenish the soil in their plots. Compost soil is also available to enrich the soil. We do not use any chemicals to kill weeds. So, it is the old-fashioned method of picking weeds.

As a garden member, you are expected to attend at least 2 workbees or more during the year. A workbee is a time, usually on the weekend, where members get together to work and to have fun. We schedule the workbees at an executive meeting and have members sign up during the registration process. Usually, we also plan what we are going to accomplish. After about one hour and half of working, talking, sweating or getting drenched, we get together for a potluck lunch. The lunch is usually homemade and delicious!

It is also hoped that you will volunteer for a committee job. Some examples of these jobs are: communication team (an important job of phoning members to make sure they’re aware of upcoming events and workbees), plot overseeing (in which you may help maintain the front garden or the community plots), or compost manager (who ensures the compost is mixed with kitchen scraps, garden waste and nitrates). Each job has a contact person, who can help if problems or questions arise.

So, hopefully this information has sparked your interest in coming out to be an organic gardener! If so, please leave your name and phone number at the Stoney Creek Community School, addressed to Ruth Morley..