In the past, Spring Ridge Commons had been a regular feature in urban agriculture tours and educational workshops, acting as a site of inspiration for urban agriculture and permaculture enthusiasts.
Urban Agricultural Tours Held:
SOUL Organic Garden Tour (July 25, 2009):
Spring Ridge Commons was one of 6 local organic Edible, Flower and Permaculture Gardens that The Society for Organic Urban Land Care explored as part of their Organic Garden Tour.
Spring Ridge Commons Sneak Peak Entry:
1. This public garden was designed to provide free, fresh organic food, conserve and recycle resources, create native bird and insect habitat, and generally improve the local quality of life. Didgeridoo sound therapy will be showcased.
More info on the SOUL Organic Garden Tour [here]
Perennials, Wild + Cultivated in City Scapes with Roger Foucher (April 1, 2012):
There were about 30 of us who joined Roger Foucher, Wild Food Enthusiast and Educator as we walked around Spring Ridge Commons discovering wild edibles in the garden and learning how they can be a part of the food we eat!. The afternoon was informal, very informative, hands-on and well-received. It is amazing to discover just how much food is around us ready for us to pick.
SOUL Organic Garden Tour (July 7, 2012):
Spring Ridge Commons was a part in the Society for Organic Urban Land Care Organic Garden tour as they explored some of Victoria’s wonderful organic gardens – The gardens on the tour include healing herbs, fruit tree guilds, a blueberry bog, raised bed gardening, native plantings, pollinator gardens, chickens, and much more.
Spring Ridge Commons write-up for this tour:
Fernwood: A volunteer supported public urban food forest, built from scratch on an abandoned parking lot. This volunteer-managed site features edible perennials and guild plantings, and is an inspiring model of how public space can serve and be served by the community.
Additional info on SOUL Organic Garden Tour: [here]
Introduction to Permaculture with Tamara Schwartzentruber (March 19, 2011):
This was a LifeCycles Project 2 hour afternoon workshop where twelve participants learned about the 12 principles of permaculture and viewed examples at Spring Ridge Common. The workshop included a hands-on component where knowledge was put into practice and participants learnt about the herb spiral and had the opportunity to plant some herbs. The following plants (donated by Linda from her Community Allotment Plot ) were planted at Spring Ridge Commons: sorrel, lavender, purple oregano, and chives+ a few starter plants from Linda’s yarrow plant which self-proprogated. A yarrow plant was also purchased at Russell Nursery in North Saanich and donated by Linda. Cost to take this workshop was $15* (bursaries and energy exchanges were available too)
Introduction to Home-Scale Permaculture with Elaine Codling (March 24, 2012):
Hand-on Activity at Spring Ridge Commons included sheet-mulching of a bed
This workshop introduced practical strategies and techniques for creating a productive and ecological yard or garden by applying basic permaculture principles. There were hands-on activity at Spring Ridge Commons to apply techniques learned in class. 10 people attended this workshop.
Details of the workshop: [here]
Victoria Urban PDC Course (Fall 2012):
Day 9 – Earthworks – Rain Basin – A newly planted Pear tree is given a passive water harvesting boomerang swale with spill way that feeds the neighbouring California Lilac. Students are given all the theory for the project and then work out their own design and implementation. In the back ground Javan and a few other students inquire into the “fruit” of the Red Hot Poker Flower (Kniphofia).
Pleurotus ostreatus, or the Pearl Oyster Mushroom certainly has an unusual palate much to our benefit.
While working on site in late 2011, Dan Miller had an unfortunate accident that is common to many fossil fuel connoisseurs: he spilled some gasoline. It wasn’t much –as many of us rationalize– but the difference between Dan and many others is that he took action and quickly quarantined the soil in garbage bags. Nearly a year later to the day Dan and his Permaculture BC classmates dug a pit lined with cardboard. Within it they mixed the contaminated soil with coffee grounds and woodchips inoculated with Pearl Oyster mycelium. Digestive enzymes released by the fungi break down the toxic hydrocarbons, allowing them to be safely metabolized by other organisms. Fungi also extract and accumulate heavy metals, concentrating them in the fruiting body. For this reason, eating the mushrooms used in myco-remediation is not recommended. Nonetheless, Pearl Oyster Mushrooms are a delicacy, providing up to 30% protein, and a good source of Thiamine, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Zinc, and Manganese, and are a very good source of Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Copper.
Compost Education Gardening Course (October 13, 2013) :
25 students from Pacific Rim finished up their gardening course and completed their amazing final garden design projects – kinda mind blowing! Appreciation was expressed to Compost Victoria, Mason Street City Farm, Spring Ridge Commons, Ravenhill Herb Farm, Saanich Organics Farmer, People’s Apothecary and Fernwood NRG, for their help in inspiring all these students to continue growing and learning about food and medicinal plants!
Venue for Workshops Facilitated by Local Groups or Organizations:
In addition to being an example of permaculture design and sustainable food production, the site acted as a classroom for particular topics including plant identification, food forestry, plant medicine and plant propagation. It was often used as venue for workshops facilitated by local groups or organizations (i.e. Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre, Camosun College, Herbal Studies Program, Permaculture BC and LifeCycles Project Society).