More than Weeds: The Cultural History of Japanese Edible Food Plants in BC

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More than Weeds: The Cultural History of Japanese Edible Food Plants in BC

Join the 1st Shedding Light Talk of 2023 & hear from our guest speakers about the cultural history of Japanese edible food plants in BC.

By Still Moon Arts Society

When and where

Date and time

Thu, Mar 30, 2023 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM PDT


Collingwood Neighbourhood House - Annex 3690 Vanness Avenue Vancouver, BC V5R 5B6 Canada

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About this event

  • 2 hours
  • Mobile eTicket

Join us for the first Shedding Light Talk of 2023!

More than Weeds: The Cultural History of Japanese Edible Food Plants in BC

This talk features Makiko Suzuki and Atsumi Hashimoto, Authors/contributors to the book "Our Edible Roots: The Japanese Canadian Kitchen Garden".

At this event, you will learn about the establishment of Japanese cultural food plants in BC, their cultural importance, how to identify them, and some foraging /cooking tips.

This talk is an opportunity to contextualize how plants are established in new places from a social - historical / cultural perspective.


Date: Thursday, March 30th, 2023

Time: 6:30 to 8:30 pm

Location: Multi-Purpose Room, Collingwood Neighborhood House Annex [3690 Vanness Ave,Vancouver V5R 5B6]

Cost: Free/by donation

Warm beverages and light snacks will be offered.

Expected Learnings:

- Learn about a different perspective on invasive / weedy plants found with Renfrew Ravine and the Lower Mainland

- Learn about how plants from one place get established to another through social and cultural history

- Learn how to identify some new plants

- Tips on foraging and cooking said plants in a sustainable and healthy way

About the Guest Speakers:

Makiko Suzuki:

Makiko has volunteered with peace and environmental groups for decades. In 2016, she was part of the volunteer team that produced Tonari Gumi’s (TG aka Japanese Canadian Volunteer Association) Our Edible Roots book project and is the gardening writer for The Bulletin, a monthly national magazine on Japanese Canadian History and Culture.

She is the Vice Chair with TG’s Board of Directors and is the lead for TG’s Japanese vegetable and test plots in the Lower Mainland and Langley. Since 2011 she has been actively foraging, either at Cougar Annie's Garden - a heritage farm north of Tofino and more recently in the highlands near Abbotsford.

Makiko leads Japanese vegetable gardening and cooking workshops with Village Vancouver and TG. She gardens Japanese shade food plants like wasabi, yomogi and myouga in her shady patio and Japanese vegetables in her 1,000 sq’ vegetable plot in south Burnaby.

Atsumi Hashimoto:

Atsumi immigrated to Canada in 1966. She always loved to dig and grow vegetables, but without much knowledge of how to do nor friends to share her passion.

“When we moved to Vancouver some 9 years ago, I started to volunteer for the Tonari Gumi Community Garden project. This led me to meet great hobby gardeners, Makiko and others. It gave me an opportunity to learn and grow Japanese vegetables. Actually, we ended up creating and publishing ‘Our Edible Roots: Japanese Canadian Kitchen Garden’. My passion towards humble Japanese heirloom vegetables tended by Japanese newcomers on the unceded land of Canada’s original caregivers, is an awe striking miracle which carries a deep responsibility to care for the land we are tending. I wish that our traditional food and taste be shared and should not be forgotten.” - Atsumi.

We look forward to shedding light on this important topic, and to hopefully seeing you at the first Shedding Light Talk of 2023!

The Still Moon Arts Society Team.

About the organizer

Still Moon Arts Society inspires vibrant and connected communities by creating art and nurturing a passion for nature in the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood of Vancouver, B.C.