Urban Agriculture and Growing Spaces is a project that aligns grassroots and local government efforts to incentivize and proliferate urban agriculture and growing spaces. The project supports both community members and municipalities in British Columbia to explore current and future practices and policies that support urban agriculture. Food organizations in Kamloops (Kamloops Food Policy Council), Vancouver (Vancouver Urban Farming Society) and Victoria (Food Eco District) are hosting dialogues with urban farmers, community garden leads, developers, municipal staff, food policy councils, and food advocacy non-profit organizations. These dialogues will contribute to an in-depth understanding of how people envision the potential role urban agriculture plays in advancing sustainable food systems. Building on dialogues and expertise knowledge from the broad network, this project aims to promote evidence-based policies and practices that contribute to a broader food visions.
This project has been funded by the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia and with support from Colin Dring, PhD Candidate, Centre for Sustainable Food System, University of British Columbia.
City of Victoria Neighbourhood Compost and Leaf Mulch Distribution Pilot
Good soil is the foundation to any healthy garden. In May 2020, the City of Victoria is offered a free leaf mulch and compost distribution pilot program to help home gardens get a healthy start. This new initiative is run by the City’s Growing in the City program in partnership with Public Health Association of BC’s (PHABC) Can You Dig It! program and community garden coordinators across the City. Within 48 hours, this popular new program has been fully booked!
As a part of the Growing in the City progress report in June 2019, City of Victoria Council approved a City-sponsored distribution of excess garden materials for residential garden use. This program, which was approved before the rise of the current pandemic, compliments the City’s new Get Growing, Victoria! initiative, which provides food start seedlings grown in municipal greenhouses to be distributed to communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
The City has provided 120 cubic yards of leaf mulch and compost to four different community locations that will support over 240 +residential gardens. Residents can collect a maximum of half a yard of garden material, which is the estimated volume of 6-inches of topsoil recommended for a 4x8ft garden.
In order to ensure COVID-19 protocols, residents registered for a scheduled time to collect their garden material at any of the four pick-up zones, located at community centres and community gardens across the City of Victoria.
City of Surrey Community Garden Policy and Practice Review and Recommendations
In partnership with the City of Surrey, this project sets out to better understand existing community garden policies and practices in Surrey and to gain a further understanding of how the City of Surrey can support new and existing community gardens.
City of Victoria Can You Dig Community Garden Gathering
In partnership with City of Victoria, this is a two day gathering for Community Garden Coordinators to network and learn from each other. From this gathering they will have an opportunity to share successes and challenges, time to build garden management skills and space to learn more about creating inclusive, accessibility and equitable garden.