Permaculture Potluck in the Garden


Permaculture Potluck in the Garden!
Sunday, August 16 at 4:00 pm

Join us at Sycamore Commons (Sycamore Street in Townsite at the Anglican church) this Sunday for a networking potluck. Find out what has been happening at Sycamore Commons and share your thoughts on possibilities for the future. Celebrate the abundance of an amazing growing season with other gardeners and local food lovers!

Child friendly event. All are welcome!

This photo is from the Dreamcatcher youth program that happened at the Commons back in July. The youth harvested from the garden, wrapped veggies in tin foil and cooked them in the freezer composter (73 degrees C!). A yummy soup was the result!!

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Summer Solstice Celebration

labyrinthJoin us to celebrate Summer Solstice on Saturday, June 20

at Sycamore Commons, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm.

Come at 4:00 pm to walk the labyrinth or for a cool drink in the garden. A Solstice Ritual celebrating our local abundance and confirming our solidarity with First Nations peoples will happen at the labyrinth at 4:15 pm: music, poetry, reflection, circle dance. At 5:00 pm we will have a blessing of the Peace Pole by honored guests and elders from Tla’amin First Nation. To top it off, we will share a potluck feast at 5:15 pm until 7:00 pm.

Please bring a blanket, a potluck item to share, and if you wish a musical instrument for an informal jam session.

All are welcome – please join us!

Donations will be accepted for the “Pull Together ” campaign raising funds for First Nations legal challenges to the proposed northern gateway pipeline.

Sycamore Commons is located at the Townsite Anglican Church: 6310 Sycamore Street

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Urban Farming Practicum

From The Ground Up: An Urban Farming Practicum

May 2014Are you ready to step up from hobby gardening to serious urban food production? Want to know how to turn your yard into your own urban micro-farm? Whether your interest is growing for market or for big time self-provisioning, this course will get you the knowledge, the strategy, and the hands-on experience to succeed.


You will get in at the ground level of turning a degraded site at Sycamore Commons that is currently used as a parking lot into a lush and productive Permaculture-based demonstration market garden. The course will include both theoretical and hands-on training in site analysis, soil building, water management, and plant health, as well as crop rotation and harvest planning, workflow, and getting your crop to market. Your training will be augmented by one-on-one mentorship for you and your specific site to help you create an action plan to get your urban farm growing strong!

About the Instructor:
rinErin Innes is a Permaculture designer and teacher and a successful market gardener, with ten years of experience in organic farming in both city and country throughout the Cascadia region. She started and managed Vancouver’s very first bike-powered urban CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) project before coming to Powell River to co-found Sycamore Commons and Permaculture Powell River with colleague Ron Berezan.

Course Details:
Bi-weekly meetings at Sycamore Commons from June through September (total of 6 sessions) with additional practicum hours, both supervised and unsupervised, to be completed by each student. On-site mentorship offered for each student’s personal site; site design and management plan to be completed by each student with instructor support. Total course hours approximately 50.

Course Fee: $350 per person. Scholarships available, please inquire.

Limited to 6 participants. For information on how to apply, contact: rin(at)passionatepermaculture(dot)ca

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Hugelkultur Happens

What is Hugelkultur? Ancient gardening culture making a big comeback in Powell River these days. Yesterday, Ron led a hugelkultur workshop at Sycamore Commons, so expect to see even more of these beds popping up in your neighbourhood.

Hugelkultur is a raised bed system that uses a lot of wood at it’s core, surrounded by a lot more organic matter. It provides fertility and great moisture retention for many years. It also creates a home for an amazing amount of microbial life, supporting the health of all of your plants.

Core of the hugelkultur bedWe begin by digging a small trench and laying logs and sticks and stumps in the trench.




More WoodWood Chips








We cover the logs with wood chips and hay.





Coffee grounds to keep the garden buzzing.

coffee groundsmanure







More Manure










And finally soil.







Triumphant Hugelkulturists!

snail love





Enjoyed by all creatures great and smallishly great.

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Upcoming Activities at Sycamore Commons

The Urban Homesteading Bootcamp is happening at Sycamore Commons on Saturday/Sunday March 28/29. As usual, there are a range of great workshops happening from backyard bunnies, bees and birds to bokashi and building no-till garden beds and lots more! See: for more info.
As part of the Bootcamp, we will be building a Hugelkultur –  a long raised mounded bed filled with organic matter such as stumps, manure and other goodies, creating an incredibly fertile and moist growing area. We will build the Hugelkultur start to finish and will have the opportunity plant some early crops as well. If you are not able to make the whole Bootcamp weekend, you can still join us for this session on Sunday afternoon from 1:30-4:45 pm. The cost for the single workshop is $30. Subsidies are available.
Also, along side the Bootcamp, you can attend the following free workshop:
Freezer Composter Conversion Workshop
Saturday, March 28, 1:30 – 3:30 pm

Compost specialist, Bert Baillie, will share his plans on how to convert an old freezer into an efficient, rodent-proof and bear resistant composter. Participants will see a demonstration of part of the conversion process and be welcomed to assist in its creation. You are welcomed to bring any composting related questions to this workshop for us to brainstorm solutions to together. The workshop will be outside, so dress accordingly. There will be chairs available, if needed. This FREE workshop will be happening alongside the Urban Homesteader’s Weekend Workshop at Sycamore Commons. Questions? Contact Let’s Talk Trash at

Workshop Location: Townsite Anglican Church, 6310 Sycamore Street, Powell River, BC

Spring work bee: Stay tuned for more details on the first spring work bee: Saturday, April 11, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
See you Soon!
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Sycamore Commons 2014 Highlights

2014 was a very busy year for Sycamore Commons! Thanks to all of the volunteers, partners, community members and drop-ins who engaged with the project this year. You may enjoy having a look at this document that provides highlights and developments from 2014. Please remember that you are always welcome to come and spend time at the site, to bring visitors by or to propose any activities, programs or gatherings there. We look forward to co-creating more exciting developments with you in 2015!


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Winter Solstice

labyrinthCelebrate the opening of Powell River’s only public labyrinth on Winter Solstice afternoon! Join us at Sycamore Commons at the Townsite Anglican Church (6310 Sycamore Street) at 4:00 pm on Sunday, December 21 to walk the labyrinth and enjoy some Solstice cheer. Donations to the Foodbank will be gratefully accepted. People of all ages, backgrounds and mobilities are most welcome.

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Final Plaster On Cob Bus Stop

That’s right folks! This is where things get really fun and creative … .

group plaster
This coming Wednesday, September 24 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm we’ll be undertaking the final plaster coat on the Sycamore Commons cob bus shelter at the Anglican Church on Sycamore Street in Townsite. This is where we can really doll up the structure and add in special stones, shells and other design elements. It is a great time to involve a few extra hands and we’d love to include yours! Anyone can play – please join us this coming Wednesday if you can!
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Bus Stop Shelter

Lots of fun was had last week, playing cob-ball and plastering the bus stop.cob ballAnd we aren’t done, yet. There will be another cob plastering party this coming Tuesday, September 16, 11:00 – 2:00 pm at Sycamore Commons (Townsite Anglican Church). If you have never played with cob, it is a very simple and satisfying building material to work with. You are welcome to drop by just to see the work in action, or to lend a hand (or preferably two hands) to the final stages of this community project. All ages and abilities are most welcome!


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For A Good Time On A Saturday Afternoon…

… Come on down to Sycamore Commons and join our monthly work bee! 

table - Sat - planting and table takes shapeYes cooperators, it’s that time of the month again when lots of fun, interesting and community-minded people come out to our community permaculture project at the Townsite Anglican church on Sycamore Street to flex our gardening muscles, eat strawberries, drink tea, have fascinating conversations and get a little bit of work done on the side. We will gather this coming Saturday, June 28 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm and will be doing some planting, seeding, pruning our espalier, mulching, pondering the fate of humanity in an infinite universe, and a few other fun tasks!
Please bring a gardening tool or two if you can (trowel, shovel, pruners, rake, fork, etc) but there are always plenty on site if you are unable to bring any.
We look forward to seeing you on Saturday! (one can only go to so many concerts and cultural events after all!!)
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