Growing Food, Supporting Farmers, and Building Gardens
Our gardens help to supply fresh, high quality seasonal produce to our pantry and cooking programs. Led by experienced green thumb volunteers, these welcoming sites provide our members with hands-on opportunities to reconnect with the land and with the food they eat. In our Garden Programs we host a variety of garden workshops, offer farm gleaning opportunities, and promote food growing at home by providing needed supplies and resources. These are spaces for learning new skills and places to connect with others in our community. Everyone is welcome!
Farm Season Collaboration with Omnivore Acres
Our bountiful 2021 growing season, which far exceeded our hopes and dreams, was the result of a collaborative effort with our friends at Omnivore Acres and our amazing gardening team led by Bruce Saunders. In 2019 Jim and Catherine Gowans of Omnivore Acres began supporting our programs by donating fresh eggs and inviting us to their garden to glean hundreds of pounds of vegetables, including potatoes, heritage rhubarb, and beets! Recognizing that we would be in transition this year, and without a garden to call our own, the community-minded Gowans offered up a piece of their land for our gardeners to grow a variety of fresh vegetables. A combination of sunny weather, the fertile chicken manure at the farm, Bruce’s awesome leadership, and the kind support of the Gowans, together led to an incredible season!
Our partnership with Omnivore Acres not only provides us with the opportunity to support our local food systems, it brings us together to build a stronger, more resilient community. Not to mention, our participants love the farm fresh eggs and the variety of fresh veggies provided in their pantry orders! We are so grateful for Jim and Catherine’s generosity and continued support. Thank You Omnivore Acres!! Check out their website and learn more about Omnivore Acres.
Cedar Hill Garden
Designed by the innovative urban agriculture experts at Topsoil our adaptive Cedar Hill garden is made up of two hundred and fifty geo-textile growing containers. This low-impact gardening approach is able to provide high-quality seasonal produce for both our pantry and cooking programs. Our convenient garden site, located just across from our new home, is made possible thanks to our friends at St. Luke Anglican Church who have kindly donated the use of their land. Along with container gardening this site will offer opportunities for our members to come together and participate in educational workshops focused on learning skills that they can take back to their own gardens.
We would like to give a heartfelt thank you to our funders who have made this project possible: Rotary Club Victoria-Harbourside, Provincial Employees Community Services Fund, and VanCity Mount Tolmie Branch. In addition, much gratitude to our partner organization St. Luke Cedar Hill Anglican Church for the donation of the land and to Topsoil Urban Agriculture for their invaluable guidance.
Home Grown Gardens
“It started with a trip to Shelbourne Community Kitchen for much needed pantry program items, then progressed to engaging in their plant growing initiative and learning in cookery. From a tiny little balcony and their first set of donated pots, soil and plants, now grown to what is called in the neighbourhood, my little farm” –Shelbourne Community Kitchen Member
A focus of our Garden Program is to support our members in becoming self-sufficient through access to educational resources and supplies that empower them to cultivate gardens of their own at home. Nourishing themselves with healthy, low-cost food!
Through our exciting new partnership with the Get Growing, Victoria! project, an innovative pandemic inspired initiative, we have been able to expand our program and provide our members with a variety of food plants to choose from – as well as containers and soil! This initiative prompted an amazing new resource, Growing Together, a collaboration of people and organizations to help people grow their own food. On their website are gardening tips, videos, webinars & courses, a hotline, and so much more. A great support for all of our new gardeners.