Food Eco District is planting seeds of opportunity for residents to get their hands in the dirt this spring.
The Victoria-based organization is hosting a free, online workshop on March 15, which is geared towards teaching the basics of urban farming. The workshop will feature speakers from Topsoil, Young Agrarians, and the City of Victoria, covering topics such as farm economics, management, revenue and more.
Food Eco District (FED) did a project in the fall called Street to Sky, which took inventory of potential farm sites around the city. Following this project, the organization now wants to “test the waters” and see what kind of interest residents have in becoming urban farmers.
“There has already been about 250 people registered for this upcoming workshop, so there is definitely interest there,” said Brianna Stewart, program manager at FED. “In the future we will look at doing more workshops, intensives and projects to get people ready to grow.”
Stewart said the seminar is a great way to bring people together, even if it’s just virtually, and encourage them to grow food locally.
“Particularly with the pandemic, people want to be more supportive of local food infrastructure and they want to know where their food comes from,” said Stewart.
FED is also preparing to hand out garden kits for a second year. Last year, 500 kits were handed out through the My FED Farm project. The group hopes to hand out the same amount this year, focusing on community gardens that will bring neighbourhoods together, as well as individual gardens.
The garden kits include canvas planters, seeds, plant starts, delivery materials and access to educational resources, such as a chat room, for further gardening support.
“We are looking forward to getting it going again,” said Stewart, noting they aim to start taking applications by the end of March, and hand out the garden kits in early May. “The idea is to get people growing, get their hands in the dirt, and understand where their food comes from.”
FED hopes to increase food awareness and security, community engagement, support local businesses, and increase climate action on Vancouver Island. The organization is seeking seed donations, local First Nations and other partners interested in receiving a community garden, volunteers, and financial partners.
Anyone wishing to receive a grow kit, to volunteer or to donate, can sign up on the Food Eco District website at get-fed.ca.
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