THE COMMONS

Located on Grafton Road across from Grafton Lake, Grafton Agricultural Commons (“The Commons”) is a 4-acre parcel with a farm history that goes back at least 100 years. In 2017, when the developers of the Grafton Lake Lands project applied to rezone the area for housing, they committed these 4 acres within the Agricultural Land Reserve for community gardens.

 

BIFS assumed management of The Commons in the spring of 2020 and was funded by a Community Resiliency Grant to increase food security and combat isolation caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. At the end of the season, BIFS used the squash, potatoes and other produce grown by volunteers to make soup for the Food Bank. BIFS also sold produce at the Tailgate Market and held a drive-through “soup sale” to raise funds for the community.

Early days at Grafton Commons

2020-2022 GARDENING DURING A PANDEMIC

We have been through year two of the pandemic and are filled with gratitude for having a place to gather safely with neighbors in nature. Many of the past year’s memories are nicely filed away -  with beautiful photographs and  easy-to-read text - in our book, “Growing Food During the Pandemic: Bowen Island 2020 Resilient Together.” If you are interested, it can be checked out at the library, or you can view a copy at Bowen Island Museum and Archives.

In 2021, we continued learning and sharing the wisdom of regenerative agriculture with volunteers, school groups, and others. We also sold produce at the Farmers Market and helped with a spooky Halloween display.

 

Many thanks to Board Member Phil Gregory, for drone photographs that document The Common's seasonal transformations. In this video, he pays tribute to many of our second-year volunteers.

If you want to stay in touch and be among the first to hear of upcoming workshops, straw sales, and other special events at The Commons, consider signing up for our e-newsletter.

The Commons includes a 3/4 acre fenced edible garden and raised boxes where volunteers and BIFS members practice the principles of regenerative agriculture to grow organic, nutrient-dense food. Healthy soil is the key to healthy plants, so much of the emphasis at The Commons is on learning and teaching the best ways to support soil microbes (fungi and bacteria) and the work they do to cycle nutrients and fend off pests.

Have you ever heard of a lasagna bed? It’s a great way to build healthy soil, teeming with life. We love teaching people how to build them. Check out the video.

BIFS welcomes volunteers at The Commons, especially during the growing season (March through October). For more information, contact us at bowenfoodresilience@gmail.com