Original meeting

(Text from Green Millennium Foundation:

Here is a report of the meeting jointly organized by Green Millennium Foundation and Village Vancouver on April 9, 2011. It led to creation of the West End Neighbourhood Food Network (WENFN) soon thereafter.

About 40 people joined the meeting.

The general flow was as follows:

Greetings/Intro Go Round

  • Why a neighbourhood food network in West End?
  • Presentations: VFPC, an NFN coordinator, Village Vancouver, Green Millennium
  • Breakout into groups: Visioning what a food secure West End might look like – what assets and resources can be engaged to making this happen?
  • Report back from breakout groups
  • Next steps: next meeting, NFN web presence, etc.

The detailed agenda was as follows:
1:10  Greetings/Intro (“What is an NFN?”)  Trish
1:20  Introductions
1:35  VFPC NFN WG support work, how we support, likely upcoming meetings, other neighbourhoods (H-S & So. Van0, others) Trish, Ross
1:45  Intro models of NFN’s  Trish, Rand, +
1:50  Coordinator presentation:Spring Gillard, Food Justice Coordinator, Westside Food Security Collaborative
2:05  Village Vancouver, NFN presentation Ross Moster
Green Millenium Fdn, R. Helten
2:20  Q & A
2:30 Break
2:40 Visioning: Imagining a food secure West End: What would the neighbourhood look like? What assets and resources can we bring to making this happen? What are we interested in? Where might we start?   Ross
2:45 Breakout groups
3:15 Regather as full group. Report backs from breakout groups. Begin to generate some tangible ideas about an NFN in the West End, based on interests articulated in the breakout. Ross)
3:40 Next steps: Next meeting – next in 3 weeks, post notes on websites, Ross, Trish, Rand
4. Adjourn Trish


Went around the room and everyone introduced themselves and said how long they’ve lived in west end and what there interests were in being part of the group. Some responses:

  • Interested in food self-sufficiency
  • Urban agriculture student
  • Interested in sustainability possibilities and gardening
  • Gardening
  • Love gardening, food, and sustainability
  • Started organic food coop.
  • Interested in transition towns
  • Preserving character of the neighborhood
  • Concern that if have a crisis are in real trouble (need to have friends and networks).
  • Researcher at a university on social economy
  • Interested in post peak oil
  • Stanley Park as possible composting site
  • Experienced in organic agriculture and interested in urban agriculture
  • Sustainability is important

Presentation #1

Presentation #2

Presentation #3

Presentation #4 (Helten)

Here are some notes of the breakout groups:


Group 1

Top Idea: Plant and Seed Swaps

  • Plant swap meets would be great-
  • M knows how to make kefir yogurt and could teach others
  • J has interest in creating a working model for apartment building composting that could be shared
  • J can see recycling as a building money generator
  • D has a garden plot at Mole Hill
  • D wants seed sharing
  • M has knowledge of her gardening
  • M is also keen on a seed exchange
  • AM works out of Gordon neighbourhood house where tehr eis a Community Kitchen, food skills workshops, a lunch for seniors program and they are working on large scale composting.
  • This group envisions fresh local eggs, a raw milk pipeline, more access to gardens, more food preservation and storage options, more pocket market ideas

GROUP 2- West Endia

  • Education is overarching theme.
  • Recognize that can’t grow that much food, but should maximize the food we can grow.
  • Emergency preparation
  • Reduce dependency on imported food
  • More composting
  • Idea to put a package together that makes it easy to approach apartment building owners to do rooftop gardens.
  • Could we use laneways better?
  • Could approach businesses for space to do gardening.
  • Web-site where everyone could list there assets/what they bring to the table.


  • West end has a lot of rental and seniors.
  • Full food independence impossible so set realistic goals.
  • Access to cold storage.
  • Link gardening to schools.
  • Look at food sharing, preserving.
  • Maybe make Denman a market street more often.
  • Need to work on cooking skills.
  • Finding incentive for building owners to do gardens.
  • Get someone to teach balcony gardening.
  • Tours of where and how to select healthy food and basic cooking skills.


  • Want to get people to move to next level of engagement.
  • They have skills in policy building.

As follow-up …

  1. It was announced that there would be a follow up with another event
  2. A tour organized soon to the YWCA rooftop garden.
  3. People are encouraged to start with what they can do and follow their interests. Talk to neighbours. Stay in touch. Share information.
  4. Village Vancouver and Green Millennium Foundation websites will carry follow-up information, presentation materials, and related events.
  5. People are invited to the monthly Vancouver Food Policy Council meetings.

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