The Richmond Sharing Farm (also known as the Richmond Fruit Tree Sharing Project) is a very cool food sharing project that occupies over three acres in the Terra Nova Rural Park in Richmond, B.C. The main purpose of the farm is to grow food to share with loca food banks and other outlets that help get the food to people who need it. In addition to this, the farm hosts community garden plots, university level research areas and permaculture educational experiments.
On the second Sunday of each month, the farm hosts a free permaculture meetup. My friend Chris and I have attended the last two and plan to attend more. The photos above are from the October meetup. It was a gorgeous, fall day and Chris and I had a chance to participate in a bokashi-making workshop as well as tag along on a guided permaculture tour of the property.
Bokashi is a form of composting that is ideal for small, indoor spaces because it produces compost without creating bad o
dours. At the workshop, we were taught how to make our own bokashi mixture that is added to composted food to help break it down. The concept was totally new to me and since I didn’t take notes or video footage, I’m having to rely on wikipedia now for reminders about the details, but in short, bokashi is created by combining a mother bacteria with a starter mix (we used bran), then left to sit in a warm space for at least 3-4 weeks to allow the bacteria to start spreading through the mix. When it ready to use, you add a layer of mix over your compost scraps as you accumulate them. You keep it all in an airtight container so that the bacteria can do what it does best – ferment and break the food down. You can stack one container inside another and add a spout to the bottom one to catch and use the compost tea (liquid) that is created as the food breaks down. Compost tea is great for spraying on gardens and into soil. If you’re interested in learning more, this website looks really helpful and has some good visuals. We each got to take a bag of the bokashi mix home (fun!). Mine is currently sitting on a shelf above my fridge (the warmest spot in the trailer), awaiting it’s time to be used for my compostable food scraps.
As you’ll see from the photos above, our tour of the property included the community garden plots, examples of owl houses, swales in a wet areas, hugelkulture beds in process, the greenhouse, bee houses and a beautiful outdoor cob oven (which just got a new roof).
The farm property is GORGEOUS and truly an inspiring place to spend an afternoon. It’s open to the public for visits so if you live in the area, I highly recommend it. And if you’re interested in attending some of the permaculture meetups, sign up to the Vancouver Permaculture Meetup Group for ongoing info.