Who We Are
The EGP is a project of the North Shore Neighbourhood House, and works with a wide range of groups on the North Shore from local government and health authorities to non-profit community groups as well as local social service providers, community members and local businesses.
“I was in school and we were challenged by our professor to bring a “good news story” to class. We all balked, there was no good news! But I dug in and started researching and discovered the amazing world of urban agriculture. Here it was, a way to make a difference. I started my first garden at a community garden, started volunteering a lot. I still volunteer a lot.
Most of our volunteers start out wanting to learn more about growing food- it’s about learning how to take care of themselves. But many people discover it’s fun to work with others. They have this really positive experience of community and how rewarding it can feel to contribute back. That’s the juice for me.”
“Being a volunteer for the EGP changed my life. After spending several years working in healthcare, supporting people dealing with chronic disease, it became apparent to me that our environment and the food we eat is paramount to our wellbeing.
I knew my fate was sealed after my first shift at Loutet Farm. Having the opportunity to work outside, meet the community and learn to grow food was incredible. This was the way to reconnect people, food and health.
I applied to the Practicum of Sustainable Agriculture at UBC Farm and the rest is history. I am so excited to work together with the EGPs amazing volunteers to grow and share food and to continue to build a healthy community.
“If I sat down and wrote a description of my dream job a year ago it would look like this one!
I got interested in community food systems while I was at school. This led to my first job at UBC Farm where I did outreach, coordinated volunteers and events. On the side I got excited about cob-building and discovered how much I loved learning and teaching hands-on skills. Eventually I jumped in and started farming near Pemberton. Two years later we’d built a successful farm but I was missing the community connection. Back in the city I’ve discovered the perfect blend: I’m an urban farmer.”
Jason Mertz, Education Coordinator
Jason is a father of two children and many plants. When he is not trying to figure out how to grow more arugula and potatoes, he can often be found on the monkey bars with his daughter. After teaching for many years in the States, Jason immigrated to Vancouver with his wife in 2009. You can often find him riding his bike around with his family and admiring the many ways people are growing food in the city.
“I’m an avid backyard gardener and chicken-keeper, trying to grow as much food as possible in my urban backyard. I’m thrilled to join the Edible Garden Project behind the scenes part-time to help out with administration and communication, since it brings my passion for urban agriculture and community building into my daily work. It’s so great to work with people and volunteers who are all committed to a just and sustainable food system, and in an office where compost and manure are frequent topics of lunchtime conversation!
I hope to be able to volunteer a bit as well to get my hands dirty and meet more of the amazing people that make the EGP the success that it is.”