Residents of the Victoria area will be growing more local food in 2017-18 as LifeCycles Project Society begin their “Cultivating Communities” project.
This project as a result of the Society’s successful application to the B.C. government’s Grow Local Program for $25,000.
The “Cultivating Communities” project will engage locals in up to 150 workshops and work parties as well as one-on-one mentorships for gardeners and orchardists throughout the Capital Region. Workshops will be delivered at schools, in conjunction with libraries at the Rex Welland Legacy Community Orchard and with BC Housing residents in community gardens.
The $250,000 Grow Local program is funding projects in 10 B.C. communities. The projects are designed to:
- involve residents in growing local fruit and vegetables;
- increase awareness and appreciation for supporting local food production; and
- strengthen local food supply security.
The 10 projects include the developing resources on how to grow local food, group education and awareness activities, such as workshops, mini-courses, and “how-to” demonstrations, and one-on-one consultation and advice. The application process was administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC.
The BC Agrifoods and Seafood Strategic Growth Plan identifies the next steps in the B.C. government’s goal to grow the B.C. agrifoods industry to a $15-billion-dollar-a-year sector by 2020. Grow Local BC will assist in maintaining food supply security, a challenge identified in the strategic growth plan.
Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture –
“The Grow Local program will further strengthen the value of the local agricultural sector among British Columbians. This pilot project will create a better understanding of how food crops are produced in our province and assist people in learning how best to grow their own food.”
Maurita Prato, executive director LifeCycles Project Society –
“LifeCycles Project Society has been working in CRD communities for over 20 years, helping people gain the skills and knowledge they need to access, grow and preserve healthy local food in a way that fosters biodiversity and cultivates community well-being. We are thrilled to be the recipients of the Grow Local grant which will strengthen and deepen our relationships with community partners such as the Greater Victoria Public Library, the Town of View Royal, B.C. Housing and others, allowing us to reach out and teach more food growing skills across the CRD.”
News release announcing Grow Local: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016AGRI0058-001860
Program background: http://iafbc.ca/funding-opportunities/grow-local/