Victoria BC is known as the Garden City, due to a temperate climate that allows people who are living in Victoria to garden pretty much year round. More and more people are exploring vegetable gardening, whether for exercise, tasty fresh veggies and fruit, or to save a few bucks at the supermarket. But what if your home is an apartment, condo or townhome with little or no growing space? Community gardens provide “room to grow” and in Victoria they are very popular.
The trouble is, demand is higher than supply, so many are forced to add their names to a waiting list for a community garden plot. At present there are about 1,000 garden plots in Greater Victoria, according to 2010 estimates made by the Capital Regional District (CRD), within about 34 community gardens.
A new community garden is under construction at Cecelia Ravine Park near the Gorge Waterway. Over the past few weekends fifty-five volunteers have put in many long hours constructing 24 above-ground garden plots.
A lucky few will be planting these new plots soon, but many more are waiting their turn. New projects are in high demand and wait lists for plots stretch anywhere from three to seven years, according to LifeCycles Project Society, a non-profit organization that promotes food security in Victoria.
The municipality of Saanich contains several community gardens, including:
- Agnes Street Gardens has been in continuous operation for over 30 years, managed by the Agnes Street Gardener’s Association. There are approximately 140 plots (some shared) 90 sq. metres (1,000 sq. feet) in size. Visitors are welcome. Gardeners rent plots for the calendar year. The garden is located at 649 Agnes Street.
Dorothy Fitzsimmons 250-474-6215 (membership/rental enquiries
- Capital City Allotment Association – The allotment gardens been around since the 1970s.This community garden is located on land between the Pat Bay Highway and Carey Road with more than 140 plots (some shared as half plots) that are typically 90 sq. metres (1,000 sq. feet) in size. 641 Kent Road
Gwen Smith, President 250-589-0592
With demand outstripping supply for community garden plots, it’s good to see groups like the LifeCycles Project Society organizing to support the creation of more community gardens. Hopefully we will see even more initiatives to address the needs of people living in apartments, condos or townhomes who want access to a plot for growing some fresh, healthful food. After all, if you’re living in Victoria BC, the garden city, you might want to grow a garden!