A blaze of colour greeted me as I cycled along the Arbutus Greenway. Enchanted by the sights and smells around me, I felt compelled to investigate the source. Fascinated, I slowed my pace and noticed a small army of urban farmers tending their crops. Unwittingly, I had stumbled upon one of the city’s thriving community gardens. My mouth watered the moment I spotted the fresh, bright red strawberries dangling from the vines and carrot tops poking up through the soil! Intrigued, I felt compelled to learn more. I was delighted to discover that our City is home to over 110 community gardens located in parks, school grounds, roof tops and private property throughout Vancouver.
Passionate and dedicated green thumbs from all walks of life are transforming little plots of land into urban farms. Living fences made of sweet peas, beans and peas surround garden boxes full of herbs and veggies. Rain barrels, bee hives and compost bins dot the landscape. Of course, for those without previous gardening experience, this “Grow Natural” movement may seem daunting. Never fear! The City of Vancouver has compiled a wide variety of resources to assist those interested in organizing and designing a community garden. Novice gardeners and aspiring city farmers are welcome to visit the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden. From “wormshops” and composting toilets to water-wise gardening techniques, the demonstration garden provides resources and support for those ready to get dirty.
As I chatted with one of the urban farmers, it quickly became clear to me that these gardens are growing more than food. They are growing community hubs; vibrant, thriving gathering places where neighbours gather, tend to their plots and share a spud or two. Vacant, and sometimes derelict spaces are successfully transforming into food producing sanctuaries, and the yields look promising!
Community Gardens – bringing folk together one seed at a “thyme.”
Use this map to plot your course to community gardens located in Vancouver.