OurStreet London Block Party

On Saturday June 8, the City closed down the main east-west street downtown for an event called “OurStreet London” formerly called “Car Free Day”. Jay and I decided it would be an excellent way to spend our Saturday afternoon. Though the day was a little gloomy, it was still warm and from what we could see the event was a raving success.

There were booths of all kinds lining the closed street for this event. They included vendors selling handmade goods, local artists showcasing and selling their work, specialty businesses advertising their wares, as well as buskers, local interest groups promoting their causes, and even a little something for the kids attending.

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Among the many booths and tables set up there were a number of booths for various different interest groups including veganism and ecological awareness. A large number of them were eco- and urban gardening-related and these held great interest for me. I was very please to gain access to some new resources! I wanted to use this blog post to highlight some of the resources I was able to learn about, and there were a lot. I hope you may find these as useful and I have (and still will).

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Food Not Lawns London Canada is a local non-profit group promoting gardening and ecological stewardship as well as “food sovereignty”. Their vision statement is “Turn your yard into a garden and your neighborhood into a community.” They host local meetings and events promoting these ideals and also provide literature, multimedia and project ideas on their site. Their website is located at foodnotlawnslondoncanada.blogspot.ca.

Community Gardens London is a local non-profit group providing support and advocacy for education about food producing gardens, urban gardening and the like.  They provide some useful links to other sites and information regarding other groups with similar ideals and about gardening in the city.  Just to be clear, they ARE NOT affiliated with the London Community Resource Center which manages London’s Community Garden program, but they do provide the information you need to get in touch with them if you wish to rent a plot for the season. They are located at www.communitygardenslondon.ca.

Ecoliving London is a local non-profit social enterprise supporting Londoners in making lifestyle choices that have a positive impact on health and the environment.  They seek to enable the population and promote the ‘green initiative’. Ecoliving London has many services available to the public including the ecoSaver directory – a listing of local businesses, etc. that are considered ‘green’. The website provides resources on recipes, events, how-to articles, workshops, book recommendations and other media. It can be found at www.ecolivinglondon.org.

Wildcraft Permaculture is a local business that helps you to design your yard or garden in such a way to create an ecosystem that is self-sustainable and also promotes wildlife. Wildlife Permaclture also lead several workshops throughout the year on various topics including fruit guilds, edible gardens, and foraging in the local food forest. For more information and any of these, be sure to visit www.wildcraftpermaculture.ca.

The Carolinian Food Forest is the forest mentioned in the previous description. It is a local forest in London that has been designed to provide plants that serve food and medicinal purposes to the population. It is free for everyone and is located at the end of Dillabough Street here, in London, ON. It has a website as well at londonfoodforest.blogspot.ca and it provides resources regarding the design and ways to get involved are listed on their site as well.

These were just a few of the many things I was able to see and learn about on this fantastic outing. I decided I would limit it to things that were most pertinent to the garden and in turn the blog itself. I hope that you or others may find these just as useful as I do! I am personally looking forward to checking out the food forest as well as a few other “environmentally significant” areas I learned of that day. Stay tuned for some more local environmentally-related posts in the near future!

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