Weaving Art & Impact: Tying  Plant Threads to Climate Resilience

EartHand is thrilled to announce this new project launching Summer 2023!

This project brings seasonal fibre harvesting knowledge and hand skills together with citizen science opportunities for observing climate change impacts on the land and plants.

Connected stewardship activities will also assist us to revitalize previously inaccessible spaces in the Means of Production Garden and community maker- opportunities include creating community weavings, making drop spindles and processing our locally grown plant fibres for future weaving projects.

The learning gardens tended by EartHand hug the north and south shorelines of Skwácháy̓s (hole in bottom in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh sníchim)

In previous seasons, people have noticed that a single species planted at Means of Production (MOP) and Trillium will be ready for harvest at different times.

The hypothesis is that the elevation difference of 27m and related temperature difference of a few degrees, as well as rain fall variations within a 2 km range, impacts plant growth, decay and subsequent harvest timelines. 

Multiple entry points to the project include: 4 observational climate & fibre walks in each garden, community maker-focused celebrations, seasonal material-focused workshops and regular stewardship sessions.

Local residents and garden stewards are invited to assist in monitoring and recording the data from rainfall and temperature through gauges  installed at both sites. The information gathered will be used for future land stewardship considerations; increasing climate resiliency of both sites while aiding our understanding of the plants. 

Look for the data gathering and entry locations in both gardens by mid July 2023.

QR codes at each station will allow quick access to the data entry form to record data by any community member wishing to participate with access to a cell phone and data.

Climate and Fibre Plant Observation Walks:

Each seasonal walk provides a different focus for our collective lens of observation and discussion at each site. Returning to the same plants each walk we will  develop an ongoing awareness of what we are observing in the plant cycles of growth and decay, and the harvesting and stewarding schedule that is layered onto our work with these plants. Comparing tactile and visual observations of the same plants growing at the different locations will connect with data gathered through the climate recording stations located at each site, while looking to other plants we can observe at each site as seasonal indicators.

Walks are planned rain or shine (within reason), and  are free events-  please register so we can stay in touch should our schedule need to shift due to weather extremes.

Also, due to site limitation for taking folks through the gardens and being able to have conversations, registration is limited- Please do show up for walks that you sign up for, or cancel 24 hours before to allow us to release your ticket to someone else. Thank you!

Tickets registration opens 4 weeks prior to each event.

Walk facilitators:

Chantelle Chan and Sharon Kallis

July Walks:

Focusing on water, thinking about rainfall and discussing  where and how irrigation can and can’t mitigate or offset drought conditions. Checking in one where plants are at in their annual life cycle and noting how they are fairing with the weather we are experiencing- and comparing the same plants at both sites.

Individuals are welcome to sign up for one, or both of these free walks.

Tuesday July 18, 6.30-9pm- Trillium park

Wednesday July 19, 6.30-9pm- Means of Production garden

September Walks:

Focused on observing  heat, and plant resilience coming through the month of August.

*please note this is a long weekend- planned on purpose when construction and traffic noise is reduced!

Saturday Sept 2nd 9.30-11.30am Trillium Park and

2-4pm Means of Production Garden

October Walks:

Focused on soil quality, observing leaf mulch availability at each site and plant check in regarding end of life cycle for harvesting fibres. General review of weather data gathered from both sites.

Hold the date: Sunday October 22, ( tix available September 22)

9.30-11.30am Trillium Park and

2-4pm Means of Production Garden

November Walks:

Focused on extreme weather events, and plant check in regarding end of life cycle for harvesting fibres. General review of weather data gathered from both sites.

Hold the date: Saturday November 18, ( tix available October 18)

9.30-11.30am Trillium Park and

2-4pm Means of Production Garden

Walk facilitators:

Chantelle Chan (she/they) is a flower farmer, florist and small business owner at Suelo & Faa, recovering from the corporate retail world, and recently publicly embracing the writer and artist tags. She is also deeply curious and concerned about the impacts of climate change on community green spaces and the people who have forged relationships with plants. Chantelle holds a BSc. Natural Resources Conservation and recently dove into a micro-certificate, Climate Vulnerability and Adaptation through UBC Forestry. With this series of walking discussions, she aims to empower people to ease away from an apathetic state of climate anxiety and towards developing a sense of empowerment. 

Sharon Kallis (she/they) is the founding director of EartHand, and the primary volunteer steward / current witness to the plantings in the two urban learning gardens managed by EartHand. Sharon moved to the west coast  30 years ago from her childhood home on  the lands of Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Chonnonton Peoples, continuing  a  seven generation tradition of a youngest child  picking up thin roots  and moving far away. With ancestral lines  tied to Scotland, Wales, Ireland and  Germany; textile traditions with flax, nettles and fireweed connect her back to those distant places while teaching her about where she now stands. Plants guide her seasonal activities and she unpacks the process of constant discovery  through workshops, conversations, and theme-based inquiry usually hosted with other skill and knowledge holders.

Weavers’ Nights!

Amy Walker and Sharon Kallis for the third year are offering weaving nights at the end of Summer. This year, we are inviting folks to learn using the bounty from our gardens on various loom styles while assisting in making woven mats for use in the gardens and at our picnic tables.

We will  have a few different weaver stations on the go, with wool and plant fibres needing processing, spinning  or ready for weaving. Loom styles we expect to work with include the warp weighted loom, the land loom using  the Coast Salish warping method, a peg loom and  more!

Thursday August 24th 6-8pm

Friday August 25th 6-8pm

Thank you to the Vancouver Park Board Neighbourhood Matching Fund for making the walks and soon to be announced programming free to the public through financial support.

The Neighbourhood Matching Fund supports local residents to lead creative art
and environmental improvement projects with neighbours in their community.