Residents of Prince George will be growing more local food in 2017 as the Prince George Public Interest Research Group Society (PG PIRG) begin their “Grow North” project.
The project is a result of the Society’s successful application to the B.C. government’s Grow Local Program for $25,000.
The “Grow North” Initiative aims to increase local food production in Prince George through a series of workshops, crash-courses and demonstrations that outline how to optimize garden yields, reduce input requirements, store food across seasons, and produce fresh greens over the winter.
The PG PIRG’s Grow North project also involves other organizations supportive of involving Prince George residents in food production including the UNBC Green Centre, the David Douglas Botanical Society, the Growing Community Garden, and the Prince George Good Food Box Program.
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.
Shirley Bond, MLA for Prince George-Valemount –
“One of the most important things we can do is support local food production. We may even want to consider how we can grow our own produce. This funding will provide practical how-to workshops and demonstrations including how to maximize the benefit of your garden.”
Mike Morris, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie –
“My family and I have enjoyed the produce we get from our garden and greenhouse every year. There is nothing more delicious than a meal with the first fresh vegetable harvested in the summer. If you can’t grow your own at home, supporting local food production through projects like the “Grow North” Initiative helps more people gain access to healthy, local food options.”
Serena Black, executive director of PGPIRG –
“Local food security is a vital component in building resilient communities, and growing food in the north is very different than other places in B.C. PGPIRG is committed to strengthening our community’s skills in growing their own food, whether it’s in community gardens, back-yard gardens, or even large market gardens. The Grow North Project will give us the capacity to build on our existing programs, and collaborate with other organizations within our community to really engage new growers.”
News release announcing Grow Local: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016AGRI0058-001860
Program background: http://iafbc.ca/funding-opportunities/grow-local/