Eating seasonal, local produce a good option for Saanich residents cutting down on plastics

Buying food from local farms a good way to reduce packaging waste while supporting local business

Downtown Victoria offers a handful of zero-waste stores, but Saanich residents have to travel to shop there. So what options exist in Saanich for locals who want to reduce the amount of waste they produce via food shopping in the new year?

Jeremy Cardonna, a sessional academic at the University of Victoria in the Human Dimensions of Climate Change program, said buying food from farms in Saanich is a good way to reduce food packaging waste while also supporting local businesses. He said local farms typically use less or no packaging for the food they sell.

Cardonna also said eating seasonal foods as much as possible can help. Food that’s in season, such as root vegetables in winter, is easier to find and grow locally. He said farmer’s markets are another place locals can look for seasonal, locally grown, organic and not packaged produce, though this might still require a car trip.

READ ALSO: How to have an eek-o-friendly Halloween: buy bulk candy and get creative

Another option available to Saanich residents is growing their own food. This can be done on their own properties or at community gardens if they do not have enough space or the right permit to grow the produce they want at home.

One such community garden is the Agnes Street Community Gardens at 621 Agnes St. in Glanford Park. Cathy Wetton, the president of the Agnes Street Gardeners’ Association, said the gardens have been operating for over 40 years since 1976. During that time, Wetton said the area has become more urban and demand for plots in the gardens has risen.

“New gardeners are assigned a 500 square foot plot which requires considerable effort to cultivate, plant, water, weed, and harvest. Successful gardeners can request a second 500 square foot garden plot to grow larger crops,” Wetton said. She said new gardeners pay a one-time $10 membership fee, then $30 per year for the 500 square foot plot or $60 for 1,000 square feet. She said there are rules to follow but gardeners, for the most part, are relatively free to plant the crops they want.

Wetton said there is now a three or more year waitlist for plots at the garden, but they also have a free food table located near the parking lot at Glanford Park. The association asks gardeners to place extra produce on the table rather than throwing it away, and local park users or residents are welcome to take produce for free from the table. For more information, visit agnesstreetgardens.ca/index.html.

Laurie Jones, a long-time coordinator with the Gorge Tillicum Urban Farmers and the community gardens in Gorge Park, said neighborhood connections can create spaces for local food security including eliminating packaging waste. She said learning how to grow vegetables, supporting local growers, and demanding or encouraging zero waste initiatives could also help reduce the carbon footprint of the food we eat.

Jones noted things that might keep people from buying/growing locally or buying from zero-waste stores include time, transportation, and lack of education about gardening or community initiatives.

She also said Saanich needs more community gardens. Jones said the Gorge Park Community Gardens currently has a waitlist of approximately 50 people, and three years is a good guess at how long that list will take to get through. She said she sees possibilities for more community gardens in parks, on church lands, schools, or paved spaces; it’s just a matter of finding appropriate land and liaising with Saanich and the neighborhood.

READ ALSO: No-waste grocery stores not a garbage idea to help tackle food waste


Like us on Facebook and follow @yrlocaljourno

sophie.heizer@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tenessa Nikirk found guilty in Saanich crash involving Leila Bui

Nikirk was charged with one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm

West Shore RCMP arrest man attempting to break into Colwood homes naked

Suspect entered one home, broke two front door glass panels

John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls-Royce on display at Victoria’s Royal BC Museum

The classic car has been a favourite for Beatles fans from Victoria and internationally

Greater Victoria man killed in Alberta accident was expectant father

Geordie Murray described as ‘wonderful husband, brother son and friend’

Oak Bay man refuses to stop drinking beer, gets $230 ticket

‘An expensive lesson,’ says Deputy Chief

VIDEO: Music stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant at Grammys award show

Music artists including Billy Ray Cyrus, Rick Ross and Kirk Franklin paid tribute to Bryant

Coastal GasLink stresses pipeline ‘on a schedule’ as B.C. appoints liaison for Wet’suwet’en

670-kilometre pipeline is schedule to be completed by end of 2023

Furstenau flays NDP as she launches B.C. Green Party leadership bid

LNG, Site C dam wrong for environment, Cowichan MLA says

Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

Ontario confirms second presumptive coronavirus case in wife of first patient

Both arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

Most Read