Author Archives: serafina liotti


Whats Growing On? 

As this course and this project are coming to an end, it is time to reflect on our most significant moment and appreciate the hard work and dedication that we all contributed to this cumulative project.

Plots with newly planted seeds and previously existing crops.

Final Updates on the Roof Top Garden  

  • The rooftop garden will end up contributing to the food hub produce market, as do the urban farms at present moment
  • They are also hoping to sell produce via the produce carts and continue to bring the produce into the community lunches
  • We’ve planted about 10 planters worth, with some more that already had produce. We planted carrots, radishes, lettuce and corn salad today.
  • Joey is using the crop map we gave her as well as the companion planting recommendations, she also explicitly thanked us for the help with the business license
  • The farm is getting to a place where it will be able to take care of itself come the late spring season


Picked March 31st: Kale, Sorrel, Carrots, and Thyme


After much contemplation, we have come to the conclusion that the most significant moment in this project was seeing seedlings come up after a week of sowing the seeds. It was a symbolization of our hard work, and it was amazing to have been able to see some results before our departure. Throughout our project, while working on the crop plan and researching about companion planning, going to the rooftop garden was a small escape for us. Being able to connect and be a part of something that we have been so disconnected to,  is very rewarding. Moreover, learning about new crops is even more enchanting. For example, some of us never knew about sorrel, yet sorrel is a citrusy and delicious vegetable that is perfect for salads, and yet it grows like a weed. Who knew that a “weed” could taste so delicious?

So what

After seeing the new seedlings, we appreciate more of how we grow food and how much care is needed for growing crops. Now community members of Gordon Neighbourhood House have more access to food, thus, becoming more food secure. We also learned about how a community garden is managed and sustained. We also realized that numerous steps are taken before the goal can be reached. Moving on from this, we hope to be able to contribute to more urban farming sites.

Now what

Now that we have the community garden started for the year, the community member will have access to the rooftop garden and the food in the rest of the spring, summer and later into the fall. We gained many skills in organization, leadership, teamwork, and most importantly, urban farming. We have learned a lot during our discussion about food security and community lunches. Our community partner believes that food brings the community together [1]. People are happier after they helped out with the community garden and had food at the community lunches [1]. They like to hang out with the other people who come to help as volunteers, as well as us the LFS 350 students [1].

“The urban farm … contributes to a greater sense of purpose and community, for so many people being able to afford fresh, local, organic produce is a major luxury, even though it shouldn’t be.” [2]


Sarah, Zara and Joey planting seeds

Reflection After Friday March 31st 

Spending time working with Joey and some volunteers at the rooftop garden has really opened our eyes to true interconnectedness of food security. While growing some produce at an urban farm doesn’t have the capacity to end food insecurity, the activity feeds into the bigger picture and reminds us where our roots need to be. As Joey told us today, “The urban farm provides produce for the GNH programs, but it also contributes to a greater sense of purpose and community, for so many people being able to afford fresh, local, organic produce is a major luxury. Even though it shouldn’t be” [2]. At our final visit at the rooftop garden, we talked about how food is what brings people together, its universality helps us make connections across socio-economic statuses, cultures and even just as people. We also talked about how, because food is so universal, it helps us to identify when people are being left out of the movement. If certain people aren’t coming to community lunches, or aren’t able to volunteer at the farms; it’s likely for a really good reason. Maybe they don’t feel welcome, or they don’t have the time. Growing produce and preparing it, putting it on the table, is one, really amazing thing. But making sure people feel welcome to come to the table, share their experiences and feel the warmth of one another, is a whole other, incredibly aspect of what GNH is doing. We really feel incredibly lucky to have been a small part of their movement.


In conclusion, we all truly appreciate the opportunity given to us to work with our community partner Joey and with Gordon Neighbourhood House. From the start of the project, it appeared that being a group from diverse studies and backgrounds really helped us create a multidisciplinary lens in which to implement ideas. We focused on each of our diverse strengths and together we generated so much more than we could have alone (Phillips, 2014).

We wish Joey and Gordon Neighbourhood House the best, and for many fruitful harvests’ to come.

Left: Sarah, Serafina, Jin, Zara and Faye


[1] Liu, J. personal communication, March 17th, 2017

[2] Liu, J. personal communication, March 31st, 2017

Phillips, K. W. (2014). How Diversity Makes Us Smarter. Retrieved March 30, 2017 from

Strategies for a Graceful Dismount

Updates from Friday March 3rd at the Rooftop Garden:

Before gardening at the rooftop garden, we met with Joey at GNH. She was pleased with the garden map and gave us some good feedback regarding how to move forward, and what to do with the crop planning map.

While gardening we discussed the farm sites. She revealed that two sites, including the rooftop garden receive more sun, the other two sites are get less sun. Therefore a goal for these two sites, is to research and get asian greens growing, as well as other greens.


  • Weed-ing at the rooftop garden.
  • Completed some companion crop research for Joey.
  • Completed seed inventory for GNH, helped to organize current seed stock.


  • Complete the crop planning map, so we can help implement it as soon as possible. 
  • Provide Joey with the companion planting information so that she can set up which goes where in terms of the boxes on the rooftop garden: she wants a list of the companion plants for the rooftop garden. ie: Tomatoes and Basil
  • Joey also asked us if we could look into flowers which could be useful in the rooftop garden, ones that attract beneficial insects and pollinators. As well as, flowers that are native to BC, and detract the pests we don’t want. We have to keep in mind and avoid flowers that spread a lot, as they will affect the ability to grow food.
  • Review the west coast seeds inventory, so that Joey knows what they have available:

Update from Monday March 6th:

One of us met with Joey to help her with a Flyer for the garden volunteer meeting. The goal was to have as many flyers out before the meeting to generate more interest. The meeting is to take place Thursday March 16th at 1:30pm for all those interested in regular involvement with the community gardens! Joey and I collaborated to make the flyer that would be put around GNH and nearby community centres.

Objective and Achievement: To create and finish the flyer by March 8th which was achieved 

Come Grow With Us – Flyer

 Updates from Friday March 10th:

Two of us were able to meet Joey at the Rooftop garden today!


  • We weeded many of the plots that currently contain healthy growing garlic and leeks.
  • Cleaned up  some of the harder plots before the corporate volunteer group comes in Tuesday 14th.
  • Completed the up to date current (as of March 10th) crop growing at the Rooftop garden (below) Deadline was set for March 14th.

Upcoming Objectives & To- Do’s

  • Continue working on the Crop plan excel sheet, using a timeline, and colour codes.
  • Continue researching on Companion Planting
  • Weekly gardening at the Rooftop garden Friday’s 1:45-4pm
  • Check in with Will about soil testing and get back to Joey. She was excited about the possibility of this, and is curious of the scope.

Freshly picked greens including Sorrel, Kale, and Arugula

Significant Moments

Our graph that we created in tutorial


In the last few weeks, we have visited the rooftop garden multiple times, and each visit has markedly brought direction, but also motivation and change. As per our last blog entry, we discussed how our first visit to the rooftop garden was a profound moment for our group. This has continued to be a theme, as each visit leaves us feeling refreshed and enthusiastic. These sessions with Joey are significant milestones for us as they serve as a reminder of why we are here, why we chose this project, and how we can use our skills to bring something worthwhile to the community.

So What

As you can see from our graphs, our collective uncertainty peaked substantially around the proposal’s due date but decreased as we started visiting the garden. Initially, the objectives of our project were not clearly defined, we had a general idea of what direction we were going in, but our project as a whole was still relatively nebulous. We think it is so important to note that our moments of significant change, as well as a decrease in uncertainty, revolved around visiting the garden. It is also important to note that uncertainty for us isn’t defined by whether or not we have a clear course, but rather how much trust we have in the process. This idea has been a huge learning curve for us. To know that uncertainty isn’t whether or not we are aware the definitive answer, but through collaboration and creativity, we will find an answer.

We know that our project will likely change to some degree and that the next few weeks will bring unexpected roadblocks. We welcome the oscillations in emotion and knowledge (as represented in our graphs) as according to Shuman (2005), this is where growth happens. We also welcome the areas of uncertainty and anxiety going forward, as we have learned that these times are quickly followed by resolution and clarity (LFS 350 Session 7 Notes, 2017).

Now what

As we have become increasingly more comfortable with uncertainty, our next focus is to remain mindful of our direction and “scope”. We recognize that the objectives of our group and our community partner may polarize and this deviation is part of the beauty of interdisciplinary teams. However, we are bounded by many constraints as students and working within this scope will be paramount to our success (LFS 350 Session 7 Notes, 2017).

We understand that keeping lines of communication open with each other and with our community partner is essential for maintaining our scope. We will use our graphs to record our emotions/skills and knowledge through this next phase. Any significant decrease from “baseline” will warrant a conversation with each other or Joey and will give us an opportunity to reflect on our progress and either continue to move forward or re-evaluate our current projection.


Our group’s strategy for successful project completion is unique because we are continuously adapting and building up for this project. Our initial project with Joey was to create a site map (as outlined in our proposal), however, we have completed this, and are moving onto different projects to further the productivity and efficiency of the rooftop garden (i.e. working on a crop planning map, and companion planting research). Hence, to stay on track and to ensure successful project completion, we are aiming for constant communication between group members and checking in with each other on progress and deadlines. We are also aware that all of us will be very busy at the end of March and we will try our best to plan and manage our times wisely. Our goal from the start of this project is to assist Joey with urban farming activities at GNH, primarily with the rooftop garden. We, as a group, agree that we have stayed true to our goal and are still continuing towards this goal. Therefore, as long as we stay true to our goal and stick to constant communication, we can strive for a successful completion of our project.



LFS 350 Session 7 Notes. (2016). Uncertainty in the Learning Environment. Retrieved on March 9th, from

Shulman, L. S. (2005). Pedagogies of uncertainty. Liberal Education, 91(2), 18–25. Retrieved from