The Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden

Cob shed with green roof and entrance gate to the Compost Garden.

Cob shed with green roof and entrance gate to the Compost Garden.

Since 1990, the City of Vancouver and City Farmer Society have been working together at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden, to teach Vancouver residents how they can ‘go green’ at home. Composting is part of a larger City strategy named ‘Grow Natural', which shows the public how to "save time, money and the environment by using natural yard care techniques."

The Vancouver Compost Garden works in cooperation with a variety of City Departments (Solid Waste, Water Design, Parks, Health, Streets, Green Streets) to inform the public about these strategies, which include backyard and worm composting, water conservation (rain barrels, drip irrigation, permeable surfaces) safe pest control and natural lawn care. All of these 'green' activities overlap and involve other topics as well.

For instance, compost can be used to produce organically grown food at home. Compost is also used as a mulch to conserve water. A green roof can hold rain water, preventing runoff during storms. Pest damage to lawns, such as our current European Chafer invasion, may involve advice about alternative ground covers, or a water-wise garden featuring BC native plants. 

And residents of multi-family homes, who worm compost, will want to know about balcony and community gardens.

All of these activities improve the overall environment of our City. We are extremely lucky to have a garden as our ‘living’ office. The visiting public learn more when they can see, touch and smell what we show them, and the media have a beautiful backdrop for creating ‘green’ news stories.

Mike Harcourt secured our 2150 Maple Street location, for environmental education purposes, when he was Mayor of Vancouver in the early 1980’s. Since that time, many thousands of people have passed through our gates and learned how to make Vancouver the “greenest city in the world”.

We welcomed the world to our Garden as the City hosted the 2010 ‘Sustainable’ Olympics. Visitors saw why Vancouver’s Compost Demonstration Garden has helped make Vancouver the “the world’s greenest city”.

City Farmer has been a world leader in Urban Agriculture since 1978.

Maria grows tomatoes and cantaloupes in a small greenhouse at the Vancouver Compost Garden. The crops are grown in a mixture of soil amendments including White Dragon compost from a mid-scale electric machine. Maria uses bras to help hold up the growing melons.