As population density in urban areas rises, so does the demand for community gardens. Self-sustainable agriculture and the therapeutic qualities of gardening have real appeal for BC residents
The importance of urban agriculture is becoming increasingly hard to ignore. With a growing population, a warming climate and a reliance on factory farmed and imported produce, locally driven food production has never been more important.
Want to get your own garden started? Here are some community gardens worth considering.
Davie Village Community Garden, VancouverThe Davie Village Community Garden is unique in that the focus isn't solely on food crops.
Built on the site of a former Shell Gas Station, the land is privately owned by Prima Properties and leased to the Vancouver Public Space Network, which in turn leases the individual plots to residents of Vancouver's West End.
The site adds a cheerful aesthetic to the otherwise drab corner at Davie and Burrard through the spring and summer months, and is the perfect place to take a stroll on a warm August night.
Unfortunately, the property is commercially owned, so if Prima ever decides to develop, that will be all she wrote for this beautiful garden.
Purple Thistle Community Gardening, East VancouverWith bees, plant medicine and scientific experiments, it's obvious this isn't your standard community garden.
The Purple Thistle Guerrilla Gardening Project is a branch of the outreach and activist collective The Purple Thistle.
Purple Thistle is where gardeners old and new can come together to experiment with a range of practices, be it beekeeping, crop rotation or even an ambitious self-maintaining permaculture project.
The Purple Thistle Gorilla Gardeners pride themselves on experimentation and a willingness to learn. Made up of three separate gardens (one for intensive gardening, one for larger crops and one for the permaculture project), this is the place to be if you have a serious passion for working with others to create something special in the garden.
St. Paul Community Garden, Kelowna, BCSt. Paul Community Garden is located in central Kelowna, and has been in operation since 2009.
The St. Paul Garden proudly states that you won't have to wait to get your hands dirty: it has almost no wait time, which allows most applicants to receive their plot (the average plot size is 9'x9') the year they request it.
As well as other Central Okanagan Community Garden plots, the membership dues are $15 per year, which is nothing compared to the value of the land.
Agnes St. Community Garden, Victoria, BCThis Victoria community garden has been operating for over 30 years and boasts average plot sizes of 20'x50' (1000 sq. feet larger than most apartments) and a fully organic, pesticide-free space all for a $10 registration fee and a $30 annual payment.
Agnes St. Community Garden stresses the importance of community interaction, fresh air and healthy eating.
Downtown Intercultural Gardeners Society's Rooftop Garden, VancouverThe Downtown Intercultural Gardeners Society's Rooftop Garden at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver is a project of inclusion.
Forty percent of the rooftop garden plots must be rented to newly settled residents of Canada, a a number that is necessary for government funding.
Read about the rooftop experiment in greater detail here.
Cypress Community Garden, Vancouver
For a truly unique experience, visit these gardens running along the banks of the old rail tracks in Kitsilano. It's an amazing and creative example of urban land reclamation.
The Cypress Community Garden is open to residents of Vancouver only. The average plot size is 1x4 m, and the annual membership dues are $30, which "pays for metered water, maintenance of fences and the water system, tools, association membership(s) and other related expenses."