Purple Thistle Youth Urban Agriculture: Radicle Gardeners

Check out our website!

How to get involved?

Come by and visit!

We have weekly workparties on Sundays, from 10am to 5pm.  Drop by any time in that window to get your hands dirty, share some food with us, meet folks and get familiar with the project and all the different ways to get involved!  Food is provided, and there's almost always something to take home at the end of the day.  Our gardens are located along Vernon Dr. from Parker St. to Charles St., just west of Clark Dr. in East Vancouver.  Email marlarenn@gmail.com for more infos.

The Food Forest Pod is hosting alternative workdays, Tuesdays from 2-5pm, meeting at the food forest and relating to various aspects of our newest garden.  Email adamthuggins@gmail.com for more infos.

We spell garlic in honour of the garlic that we planted
at one of the new expansion sites

In addition, we have Monthly Potlucks at 7pm on the first Tuesday of the month at the Purple Thistle Center.   These are a great opportunity to meet new people, introduce yourself to the garden project, and get involved in some of the many working groups we have.

Some of our sub-groups:

Bees, mushroom cultivation, bioremediation, plant medicines, compost & soil, water & irrigation, flowers, food forest, garden design, outreach, and art & zines!

Hope to see you out in the gardens!

** bus tickets are available, just let us know!

Welcome to the Purple Thistle Gorilla Gardeners Project

photo by Kris Krug

Beginning with the desire to grow food on grassy boulevards in the heart of East Van’s industrial district, the first Purple Thistle garden was established in the spring of 2010.  Since then, our group of inspired thistlers collectively grow food, build, keep bees, experiment, play, dig our hands into the earth and learn.  Some of us have background and experience in gardening... but many of us start with only the interest and desire to learn.  If we don’t know how to do it ourselves, we find someone who does.
We are interested in learning about how things grow, about the many different organic methods of growing, in being creative, recovering and reclaiming the land, building things, making medicine, learning the skills we want by doing... by making... by asking questions... by experimenting and arriving at answers - together.  If you are someone who is interested in joining us, please contact us or come by and visit some time soon!

Our Gardens

We currently have three distinct sites of cultivation, remediation and provocation in the industrial district just east of Commercial Drive. 

- The Parker St. Garden is the first and the most fermented, where we hang out, share meals, and practice intensive, no-till annual cultivation, crop rotation, various forms of companion planting, and grow food and medicine alike. 

- The Vernon St. Garden (aka the crotch) is where we grow larger crops like garlic and grains and experiment with draught resistant plants.

-Finally, the Purple Thistle Community Food Forest is our newest garden, a huge, oddly shaped remediation project that hugs a cul de sac at the junction of Charles St. and Vernon Dr., by the train tracks.  This is an ambitious  permaculture project involving creating a self-maintaining polyculture of perennial fruit and nut trees, native berries and medicinals, and perennial and annual vegetable crops, as well as remediating a trashed wetland and building a community gathering space.  It's in its first year and flourishing, but there is much still to do and much to contribute and partake of, so do come on done and get your hands dirty with us!



The Thistle has three beehives and a dedicated crew of beekeepers who maintain the hives, harvest the honey, process the wax, collect the propolis, get really sticky (!), and who love to learn and to share what they know.  You can contact beeez@purplethistle.ca to get involved.

Plant Medicines!

The Thistle also has a well-stocked herbal apothecary, and there be herbalists about!  The apothecary and the medicines in it are free and there are dropper bottles at the Thistle to take medicine home in.  In addition, we do regular wildcrafting trips and plant walks!  If you have any questions about the medicines or are interested in learning more, going wildcrafting, or contributing to the apothecary, contact adamthuggins@gmail.com.

Art & Zines

Guerrilla Gardeners of the Purple Thistle present

*******   Cultural Growography  *******

exploring our relationships with plants
through art, writing, stories, music, print, drama, critiques, zines 'n' stuff...
ALL WELCOME - including absolute beginner gardeners & artists!

drop-in sessions & activities:

1st, 3rd (& 5th) Thursdays* of the month
5 April, 19 April, 3 May, 17 May, 31 May, 7 June
6-9pm (optional group activities 6-7pm)

Where?  Purple Thistle Centre, #260-975 Vernon Drive, Vancouver
(unceded Coast Salish Territories)

Contact: eirlyseggwhisk@yahoo.co.uk