Thursday, March 17, 2011

Community Gardens: How Many is Enough?

The City of Victoria Food System Discussion Paper is worth a read. You can find it on the City's Official Community Plan website.

The section on Case Studies is interesting. Here are some stats on Community Gardens in other West Coast cities with favorable climates:

San Francisco (pop 815,000). "The Recreation & Parks Department supports and manages 40 community gardens on City-owned property, operated in partnership with community volunteers...the Mayor's Directive on Healthy and Sustainable Food (2009) [is] a groundbreaking, comprehensive food policy that holistically considers all stages of the food system."

Seattle (pop 608,000) "Over 1,900 garden plots serve more than 3,800 gardenders on 23 acres of land. The gardens are an integral part of neighbourhood development...Seattle's Comprehensive Plan (1995) states the goal of 1 garden for every 2000 households in every "urban village"."

Vancouver (pop 578,041) "Vancouver has 52 community gardens on Parks Board, School District, City and transit authority-owned land that provide 1,600 community (allotment) garden plots. 900 additional community-shared (commons) gardens are integrated into new developments around the City."

Portland (pop 582,000) "Has 32 gardens on Parks, public and private lands...Administered by Community Gardens Office."

So, how does Victoria compare? We're doing a survey right now to find out exactly how many garden plots there are in Victoria and the CRD. But wouldn't it be wonderful to have a Community Gardens Office here?

-Fiona Gilsenan


  1. I would like to see the city take part in the Urban Agriculture initiatives by planting edible foods in the city lots, replacing fallen and dying trees with edible varieties (nuts please!) and filling the city garden beds with lettuce, kale and arugula to celebrate spring! Same amount of labour (more or less), same people (no union issues), and on land that is being used to grow not edibles.. City Hall did it with Chard by centenial square... it was fabulous... more please!

    oh and YES to a community gardens office, although I know that Ive suggested this and apparently, we're too broke (if you haven't already got that memo, expect a tax increase..)...

  2. Thanks Chloe, I have another idea. How about we replace half of Victoria's hanging baskets with edibles?

    And I think a Community Gardens office could figure out other ways to pay for itself.