Vancouver Island: 1st Detour into the Wild

Our first tour will be in south of Vancouver Island, the natural beauty island of British Columbia (not the only one!).

We plan to cycle around 10 days there, meeting several persons about forest management, tribal parks, First nations’ culture preservation, whales, eco-housing in the trees, tourism accessibility…

You can have an overview of our expected itinerary in the island in the map here (in blue)

and also here Itinerary Page.

See you soon!

VertiCrop: Convert Parkades into Eco-Farms ?

Local Produce for Global Markets

We watched on the TV the launching of the first VertiCrop in Vancouver, and want to share it with you.

VertiCrop™ provides a cost effective solution for local crop production with significant operating cost savings over traditional field agriculture. This patent pending technology represents a paradigm shift in farming and food production by providing up to 20 times the yield of field crops, while using a mere 8% of the water required for land farming. Growing leafy green vegetables in a unique, suspended tray configuration on a moving conveyor system, VertiCrop™ provides maximum exposure to light (either natural or artificial), along with precisely measured nutrients for each plant. Designed to grow in closed loop and controlled environments, VertiCrop™ eliminates the need for harmful herbicides and pesticides, while maximizing food taste and nutrition.

North America’s first ever  VertiCrop™ farm is built  on the roof of a parkade in the heart of downtown Vancouver, British Columbia.

VertiCrop Installation, by Alterrus Systems Inc,

VertiCrop Installation, by Alterrus Systems Inc,

The VertiCrop™ Advantage

Designed to grow in any climate and with an exceptionally small footprint in urban environments, VertiCrop™ uses a fraction of the resources needed for field agriculture, while generating substantially higher yields.

  • Yields are approximately 20 times higher than the normal production volume of field crops
  • VertiCrop™ requires only 8% of the normal water consumption used to irrigate field crops
  • Works on non-arable lands and close to major markets or urban centres
  • Does not require the use of harmful herbicides or pesticides
  • Able to grow over 80 varieties of leafy green vegetables
  • Significant operating and capital cost savings over field agriculture
  • Significantly reduces transportation distance, thereby reducing cost, energy and carbon foot print
  • Provides higher quality produce with greater nutritional value and a longer shelf life
  • High levels of food safety due to the enclosed growing process
  • Scalable from small to very large food production operations

Local Is Fresher and Better

So what’s local round these parts? Think delicate Qualicum Bay scallops; Hazelmere heirloom tomatoes; sun-ripened Okanagan peaches, Saltspring Island goat cheese; deep water spot prawns; nugget potatoes from Pemberton; sweet Chilliwack corn; artisan bakeries; blueberry honey, free-range eggs; organic meat; world-class wine – the abundance of local food in British Columbia reads like a gourmet menu. I mean it could be!

But taste, good health and variety aside, there are many benefits to eating food sourced from a 100 mile radius of where you live. Perhaps the most important is the health of our planet. Especially when you consider the typical North American meal travels 1,500 miles to reach your dinner plate.

The Local Garden is providing fresh food from the VertiCrop installation. Congratulations for this complete economical business model! and innovative technology. We wish it could benefit for numerous vancouverites.

Vancouver, Cycling Paradise

Vancouver downtown

Vancouver downtown

One of the most convenient and affordable ways to get around town, and to experience our unforgettable scenery, is by bike. We were really astonished by the numbers of cyclists in Vancouver, who do not seem to be afraid of the wet wet weather.

It is easy here to ride your bike on almost all Vancouver streets, and the City has an extensive network of designated bike routes to help you get around. The City’s updated Transportation Plan will set the bar even higher for making bike routes even more comfortable and convenient for people of all ages and abilities.

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Not only does the City offer separated bicycle lanes in good shape, but also it provides lots of racks and corrals to park your bike in almost all locations, lots of paths for bikes in the parks !  And most of all, drivers are careful with cyclists. I love it!

I was personally really surprised because my last experience in Marseilles, France, was terrible about riding my bike in the city to commute to work. Very few and non-separated lanes, crazy car drivers, etc. I was almost playing with my life every day. And also, despite the ever-sunny weather in Marseilles, most of the people prefer to take the car to do 1km! That is why Marseilles was one of the most problematic European cities with traffic jam… A matter of education and culture!

Let’s hope that we will meet many other cycling-friendly cities during our journey! Maybe we will in the western coast of US but after that, it should be harder!

David

From a Golf to a #Botanical Garden: A Story of a Still « Green » Land

This the story of a golf that became a botanical garden of international stature.

In 1910, the site of 22-hectare in the heart of Vancouver was an isolated acreage of stumps and bush. It was owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway and was leased by the Shaughnessy Golf Club from 1911 until 1960 when the golf club moved to a new location. The railway proposed a subdivision, but was opposed by many citizens. In 1966, the VanDusen Botanical Garden Association was formed to assist the Vancouver Park Board with saving the site. This effort was successful and the land was purchased with shared funding from the City of Vancouver, the Government of British Columbia and the Vancouver Foundation with a donation by W. J. VanDusen, after whom the Garden was named.

The VanDusen Botanical Garden officially opened to the public on 1975. « Sur la Route du Patrimoine » visited it in December 2012. Even if it was the bad season to enjoy the plants and trees, we appreciated the architecture of the garden, its collections of native species, its labeling. We would love to visit again in spring!

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Lire la suite

MOA or How to Promote the Aboriginal Culture

The Museum of Anthropology of Vancouver. A place of extraordinary architectural beauty. A place with a provocative programming and vibrant, contemporary exhibitions. A place of active exploration and quiet contemplation. A place of world arts and cultures.

The Project’s Team had the opportunity to experience it and enjoy the exhibitions related to Native First Nations as well from other remote civilisations (Papoua New Guinea, Micronesia, Antartic…). We particularly appreciated the exhibition telling the story of Gwaii Haanas’ Heritage, internationally-known for its well-preserved houses and poles. The land and sea in this remarkable place are protected as a Haida UNESCO Heritage Site, as well as a National Park Reserve and National Marine Conservation Area Reserve. The cooperative management agreement, reached after the turmoil of a blockade and five years of negotiations is now a model for conservation and natural resource governance in the world.

The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia is world-renowned for its collections, research, teaching, public programs, and community connections.

The MOA provides innovative and imaginative exhibits and programs, and encourages full academic and student participation of the University of British Columbia.

The MOA Centre for Cultural Research (CCR) undertakes research on world arts and cultures, and supports research activities and collaborative partnerships through a number of spaces; including research rooms dedicated to collections-based research, an Ethnology Lab, a Conservation Lab, an Oral History and Language Lab supporting audio recording and digitization, a Library, an Archives, and a Community Lounge for the use of groups engaged in research activities. The CCR includes virtual services supporting collections-based research through the MOA CAT Collections Online site that provides access to the Museum’s collection of approximately 40,000 objects and nearly 80,000 object images, and theReciprocal Research Network (RRN) which brings together 430,000 object records and associated images from 19 institutions.

Fabulous #Marine #Biodiversity just Around you!

The Vancouver Aquarium is a recognized leader in connecting people to natural world. As a self-supporting, non-profit association, the Aquarium is dedicated to effecting the conservation of aquatic life through display and interpretation, education, research and direct action. More than 35 million people have visited the Aquarium since our opening in 1956. Located in Stanley Park, it is just a stroll from the city centre of Vancouver!

The Project « On the Heritage Route » team was invited to visit it. We particularly appreciated the amazing scenery and displays and shows. The play with colours was terrific. Here enclosed you could see some of the pictures we took with the colourful jellyfish, anemons, corals. Even if we don’t really like this captivity life for animals, it is at least important to make people meet with the nature that is surrounding. We were very astonished about the colourful and the diversity of animals located right down along the British Columbia coast! I personnaly liked a lot the display for Tropical terrestrial fauna. Lire la suite

Welcome Vancouver, Canada!

Welcome Vancouver!

 

We arrived with the rain on October 12th 2012. The rain will almost not stop till we will leave in March 2013.

During these 5 months here, we will contact local organizations, prepare the mission, contact organizations for the continuation of the trip. It is also an occasion for us to immerge in the canadian culture (language, habits, food… weather).

We enjoyed a lot the beautiful surroundings of the green city of Vancouver, that is planning to be the 2020’s greenest city of the world. Only that!

The following posts will give you an insight of the interesting things we found here in direct r indirect relation with our Project « Sur la Route du Patrimoine« .

Good reading

David & Miguel