Building an Edible Streetscape for Victoria

Walking around the streets of Victoria, you may have come across wooden planter boxes, flush with herbs, berries, and flowers. What you may not have known when you admired those darling planters, is that they are part of a campaign that puts urban agriculture and food sustainability front and centre to Victoria’s food lovers and city folk.

With a vision of providing accessible spaces for awareness and education on food production, the Food Eco District’s (FED) Edible Streetscape Campaign brought 9 new planters (with a 10th to come!) along Blanshard St this summer, between Courtney St and Johnson St. These are all home to native species, pollinator-friendly flowers and best of all – it’s all edible! Just like a community garden plot, the food in the planters is intended for the community to use, all while being respectful of the needs of others who might like to enjoy the planters. The new planters are a continuation of the 19 edible planters that FED had previously installed outside of its member restaurants.

Although the latest installation of planters was off to a rocky start with some of the plants being stolen, it didn’t slow down momentum to create a pollinator corridor in the heart of the city that also signals to passersby that they are in a district that supports local food and sustainability.

Coming up this fall

The FED team will be installing educational signage on all the planters that will inform the public about what's in each one and how they can get started on their own food gardens.

And that’s not all…A Children’s Garden will be added this fall to the Urban Learning Garden at the Central Branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library. The latest garden installation will be a place for families to relax, play and explore nature in an urban setting. Families can look forward to a play area as well as an ‘outdoor living room’ for parents to comfortably spend time in the space while their children play and learn.

Throughout 2019 and 2020, the Urban Learning Garden will continue to grow and develop. By the time its all finished, there will be six gardens total at the Central Branch and will include:

  • Native Plant Gardens

  • Perennial Herb Gardens

  • Indigenous Food Gardens

  • Pollinator Gardens

  • Urban Agriculture Demonstration Space

  • A Children’s Garden

The Edible Streetscape Campaign is all about empowering Victorians with tools and training for urban agriculture. If you’d like to be involved, make sure to keep up with @FoodEcoDistrict, or send us an email, and help to create food for people, food for pollinators and food for thought!

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We are absolutely honoured to be living and working on the traditional territories of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples, specifically the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, whose relationship with the land continues to teach and inspire us to this day.