Oh the places we've been: A look back at FED's work
As we approach the end of 2021, we can't help but reflect on how we've evolved over the years. Our initial goal of increasing food awareness by establishing a downtown local food district has transformed into a mission to address food security by promoting sustainable food systems and enhancing community engagement. From creating garden spaces and delivering educational programs to promoting urban agriculture for the benefit of the public, we are excited to continue to expand our scope of work within our local food system. Here is a look back at some of our projects so far.
Urban Learning Garden
This collection of gardens in the courtyard of the downtown branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library is an exercise in urban placemaking - a space to connect the public with their food system. At the Urban Learning Garden, anyone can learn about saving seeds, identifying native plants and their Indigenous uses, and growing food in urban spaces. The space is home to the Victoria Seed Library and in non-pandemic years hosts educational workshops and events.
My FED Farm
My FED Farm is designed to increase food security for vulnerable individuals that face barriers to accessing fresh, healthy, and affordable food by providing free garden kits, including grow bags, seedlings, seeds, and educational resources. The kits improve access to fresh, nutritious produce while providing a hands-on learning opportunity and contributing to mental health and a sense of self-determination. In the past two years, My FED Farm has directly benefitted 2,199 people by providing 3,097 planters and 16,055 lb of potential food to individual households, community organizations, and First Nations communities.
Street to Sky
Street to Sky aims to help developers, landowners, strata corporations, and urban food growers explore the unique benefits and challenges associated with growing food in Victoria. Our two guides - one for urban farmers, one for landowners - lay out best practices and opportunities for transforming underutilized areas around the city (think rooftops and courtyards) into food oases, reducing barriers to transforming our cityscape into a foodscape. The guides cover everything from navigating City policy and legal considerations to real-life case studies.
We have some exciting plans and big dreams for FED in the coming years. From hosting events and celebrating local food with our restaurant community to rocking another season of My FED Farm, we can’t wait to continue working towards improving food security in the City and beyond!