‘What’s Your Blend?’ Garlic Pickling Workshop [blog]

This project was my introduction to working with INSTRCC, and I am very grateful for everything I learned from the experiences and people I got to work with! The “What’s your blend?” garlic pickling workshop was the final part of the summer project, where we got to see our work be used and shared with the public, but I found immense value in the behind-the-scenes work leading up to the workshop throughout the summer as well. 

I was presented with the idea to work at the Museum of Vancouver garden because it aligned with my interests and studies in agriculture, and I gladly accepted what sounded like a perfect opportunity. Throughout my work, this assumption proved true, but not because I was already experienced in the field, rather that I was able to learn so much and gain new interests. Although I had experience on farms and agricultural science, I had never had hands-on gardening experience. I was able to learn and thrive with help from Wei Yan Yeong, who had already worked on the “MOV Backyard Garden” project in previous years. Together we went through the process of selecting which vegetables to plant, tending to their growth, and designing the programming that would eventually become the garlic pickling workshop.

At the beginning of the summer, we decided to center our work around a theme of “culture as collection.” Our goal was to emphasize that although there are specific cultural and historical experiences shared between people, that each person’s identity is formed by their own unique collection of these experiences.

Our first task was to update the information panels in front of the garden to reflect our work for the summer season. I had the opportunity to share my story about cultural food, which was something I had not realized would be so important and impactful to my own sense of identity. We also created a series of short videos to document our progress and give updates on social media each time we tended to the garden, sharing what we learned along the way. Being able to share our work with the public in these ways was very meaningful to my own experience of the project and objectives of the project to engage and connect with the community.

Finally, we were able to share our work in-person, by using what we grew in the garden for the garlic pickling workshop. We were very pleased with the eagerness of the participants to expand both their food skills and techniques, and their concepts of culture and identity. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to work on this project and be able to see this crossroads of my passions!

Check out our garden updates and other content on the MOV Backyard Garden @chinesecanadianstories on Instagram!

Written by Cat Hung