Tag Archives: Flowers

Petition To Bring Non-Food Vendors Back to BC’s Farmer Markets

23 Feb

One of our favourite vendors at the Vancouver Farmers Market is East Van based The Front Yard Flower. Co. As the name depicts, it initially started with growing flowers in the front yard of Rose Dykstra’s childhood home. Her business has grown substantially over the years and has evolved to include growing flowers on a farm in Richmond.   There is a large financial investment in doing this, along with time.  Rose Dykstra along with other small businesses sell their items at the many farmer markets around Vancouver.   In March of 2020 when the COVID restrictions hit, many non-food vendors were shut out of the farmer markets which caused angst and hardship for many of the vendors.  The ban lasted from early April 2020 to June 2020. Rose’s flower business had to suddenly pivot to e-commerce and with a perishable item this was no easy feat.

The ban for non-vendors had been lifted over the summer and fall. In mid-December the ban on on-food vendors went up again. This was at a time when many of the non-food vendors rely on sales from the Christmas period to support their families. As of today’s writing, the current ban continues with no sign it of being lifted.

Vancouver Farmers Market has done a great job of adhering to COVID protocols in an outdoor environment.  Rose Dykstra doesn’t see why she and other non-food vendors have been shut out the markets.   On this point, we do agree.  We are big supporters of local business. As we think about this issue, we know people are still having birthdays, anniversaries and celebrating new babies. What does this mean? People are still buying or sending gifts, often in lieu of in person celebrations. We see it regularly on our walks. Gifts are being delivered in person with masks, dropped at the door, then a brief interchange before saying a few words and leaving the gift behind.

In our view, by including non-food vendors you are including them in the BC economy by allowing them to work and to continue to sustain themselves, their families and any employees they may have.  If you can’t get it locally, where will people turn? For many items, our guess is Amazon. We’d much prefer people support local vs. Amazon. As it comes to flowers and Rose’s business, really could we not all use some flowers to brighten up the spaces we are all stuck in during this pandemic that just seems to go on and on?

If you are in support of bringing back non-food vendors to Vancouver Farmer Markets, feel free to add your support to the Petition at Change.org.

Local Love This Valentine’s Day

10 Feb

We know not every one gets behind Valentine’s Day. Some see it as a made up day. Even if that’s your view, considering what a struggle this past year, why not show someone special a little love just because. It can be your partner or a good friend who has been a great support for you this past year, your sister, mother, brother. Or what about that next door neighbour or isolated senior? Whomever it might be, there are so many ways to say “I Care”. As we love our local businesses, we wanted to highlight a few you can throw your support behind this Valentine’s Day.

Soprasotto

Pizza Love

A few East Van pizza joints (and likely more) are doing heart shaped pizzas for Valentine’s Day. Check out Lombardo’s Ristorante and Soprasotto on Commercial Drive and Pizza Farina on Main Street.

Flowers

Who does not love to get flowers? There are so many great options in East Van whether it’s local florist shops like the Flower Factory at 4285 Main or Full Bloom on Commercial Drive. If you are lucky enough to have a neighbourhood corner store, be sure to check them out. They often have a nice selection on hand. If you are in River District this Sunday, you can also stop by the Brock Floral Cart which will be on site at the foot of Kerr Street near Romer’s Burger Bar. This is a mobile floral cart that will have a selection of flowers available from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm or until sold out. It won’t be quite as pictured, but you get the idea.

Sweet Treats

Oh Sweet Day

So many great local businesses are offering sweet treats for Valentine’s Day whether it’s chocolates at Beta 5 or the Purdy’s outlet store on Kingsway. If it’s cookies you are after, Oh Sweet Day, Bench Bakehouse and many others have a great selection. To see a full list of our Favourite East Van Bakeries, click the link. If you are looking for sweet treats for the kids (big and small), don’t forget the Licorice Parlour. They’ve added some new items so not just licorice.

Jewellery

White Sapphire Anna

If this is the year, you are going big on the jewellery front, we invite you to check out Era Design Jewellery at 1795 Venables Street near Commercial. They design some beautiful jewellery whether custom or ready made.

Love Songs

Jill Barber

If you are looking to set the mood with beautiful love songs, you will want to catch Jill Barber’s live streamed performance from The Cultch on February 14th.

Whether you celebrate the ‘day’ or not, be sure to show your local businesses some local love this weekend.

Breakfast & Blooms At Olive & Wild

24 Apr

IMG_1932We were recently invited to one of our favourite stores, Olive & Wild, 4391 Main Street. If you are unfamiliar with this store, it features a beautiful selection of items for home décor. This weekend, they hosted a workshop titled Breakfast & Blooms with the talented Jacquie Moysir of Il Fioraio Florist. It was a floral workshop in which Jacquie led a group of 8 to create a beautiful arrangement they could take home with them.  The  morning started with a greeting from Shamus the store mascot followed by coffee, baked goodies and fruit. Once everyone had their hit of caffeine, the workshop got underway with Jacquie giving tips on how to keep flowers fresh. Then the creative got under way. While the group looked on Jacquie created a beautiful arrangement with all the flowers she brought for the workshop along with instructions. After that everyone got busy and created their own arrangement under Jacquie’s watchful eye.  This is fun and creative way to spend a Sunday morning.  Note, after class attendees can shop and receive a 15% discount on any purchase in Olive & Wild. We’ve included a sampling of photos from the event.  The next scheduled Breakfast & Blooms is Sunday, July 29th at Olive & Wild. To register, visit Il Fioraio Florist.

Foto Friday – Bee Loving Flowers

3 Jun

YellowRoseBABsThe warmer weather brings an array of beautiful blooms. These days we are taking more of an interest in those flowers that attract bees such as lavender, poppies and sunflowers.  We recently did a little investigating into which flowers are most attractive to bees. Did you know it’s single petal flowers? Apparently, a single row of petals is more attractive and easier for bees to reach the pollen.  We found a simple rundown on Wikihow that sets out a great list of tips and plants including herbs, shrubs and trees. Some of the plants listed include Asters, Cosmos, Clover, Crocuses, Dahlias, Floxglove, Geraniums,  Hollyhocks, Hyacinths, Marigolds, Poppies, Roses, Snowdrops, Sunflowers and Zinnias. If you prefer herbs, there’s a long list that bees favour including mint, rosemary and sage.  For more ideas and information, check out Wikihow’s How To Attract Honey Bees. So on this week’s Foto Friday, we leave you with some photos of stunning florals we’ve captured in our neighbourhood which we’ve seen the bees buzzing around.

 

Wreath & Floral Crown Workshops At Bird On A Wire Creations

19 May

BouquetsByMaryWe recently stopped in at Bird On A Wire Creations in Mount Pleasant. If you don’t know the store, it is a great artisanal gift shop located at 2535 Main Street near Broadway. We noted a few personal favourite artisans in store, but what was hard to miss was a colourful display  of flowers in the corner of the store which we learnt was Bouquets by Mary.  On some Saturdays, you will find Mary Kelava hosting a small Pop Up Shop with stunning bouquets available for very reasonable prices. The bouquets we saw featured were $25 and beautiful.  What we also learnt is that Mary will be conducting some floral workshops at Bird On A Wire Creations in June.   We’ve set out the two upcoming workshops below:

Living Wreath Workshop – June 4th

You will learn how to make a succulent living wreath in a 2 hour class which runs from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm at a cost of $55 which includes all the materials.  You can book your spot by calling Bird On A Wire Creations at T:  604.315.1188 or by booking online at Bird On A Wire.

Floral Crown Workshop – June 11th

Have a wedding come up? Well these would be a great idea for the bride to be whether for the actual day or for her wedding shower. On June 11th, learn how to make a floral crown. Everything will be provided for you.  Cost of this class is also $55 and also runs from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

If you are interested in the Floral Pop Up shops and picking up some stunning flowers, note Mary is not in store every Saturday and we hear she won’t be there over the upcoming long weekend, but she will be back on May 28th.

East Vancouver Garden Tour Sunday June 21st

19 Jun

EVGardenTour6Well there will certainly be no lack of things to do in East Van this Sunday. There will be Car Free Day on Commercial Drive and Main Street, Community Day at the York Theatre, the Vancouver Farmers Market in Mount Pleasant and a personal favourite the East Van Garden Tour.  We had the pleasure of taking this tour last year through Strathcona along with some torrential weather, but that didn’t deter us.  It was wonderful to see what people were doing with their gardens.  Whether you have a home, patio garden or community garden, the East Van Garden Tour is a great source of inspiration and ideas.

This year, the East Van Garden Tour will focus on the area just west of Commercial Drive between Commercial Drive and Clark Drive.  If you haven’t participated in this event previously, it really is something to see. First up purchase your ticket(s) at Figaro’s Garden Centre, 1896 Victoria Drive or by contacting the Britannia Community Services Centre, 1661 Napier Street, in person or by phone 604-718-5800. Tickets are $12 each.  On the day of the event, show up at Figaro’s Garden Centre to check in, pick up your tour map from 10:00 am onwards and then head off to the gardens.  The tour is popular and has sold out in previous years, so we recommend that you get your tickets in advance.  People who attend the tour will also get a one-time 20% discount at Figaro’s starting on the day of the tour through to July 1st (Canada Day).  Note: This is a very walkable tour, but it is not wheelchair accessible and pets are not allowed.

We have included a few photos from last year’s East Van Garden Tour which include a slight detour to the community gardens in Strathcona which is a real treat and a great spot for a picnic. A highly recommended detour.

Photo Credit: Barbara Borchardt

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