A decidedly food-heavy round-up of things we’ve been following this week:
Food and rehabilitation. GOOD reports that the Soul Food Project in San Francisco prisons is helping women reconnect with the community, both behind bars and once they’ve been released. The program teaches cooking skills and healthy eating with a focus on affordable food and wellness. The life and job skills they learn are an important way of minimizing recidivism and encouraging inmates to seek lives outside of crime.
Meanwhile, protest continues over the closure of Canada’s prison farms. The farm program provided inmates with job skills while providing meat and dairy products for the local economy.
Social inclusion through food. Vivian Pan at Beyond Robson has started a series about food security and community gardening in Vancouver, with a focus on community building and social inclusion. The first two posts are here and here. It has been an interesting read so far. We’re looking forward to reading more!
Edible landscaping. The Vancouver Sun has an interesting article about the edible garden at the Teahouse Restaurant in Stanley Park. The garden provides decoration for the dining area while it also provides fresh herbs and greens for the restaurant. The fact that the garden is actively used for cutting makes maintenance a bit of a challenge. Still, it increases the visibility of urban agriculture and provides a great example of how food crops can be beautiful as well as edible.
STIR-up in the West End. Terry Lavender presents a useful primer of the issues, stakeholders and conflict surrounding two proposed Short Term Incentives for Rental Housing projects in the West End. The development pits the City against concerned residents over the issue of the construction of new purpose-built rental housing in order to provide more options for affordable housing in one of the most diverse and dense neighbourhoods in the city.
Bloedel Conservatory. Earlier this week the City of Vancouver announced that the Bloedel Conservatory will be saved, and jointly operated by the City, VanDusen Botanical Garden Association and Friends of the Bloedel. The Conservatory ran into financial difficulty due to city budget cuts, and was facing closure. It’s great to see that this local institution will be around for some time to come.
Image credit: Lars Hagberg/Canadian Press