Urban agriculture, urban farming, or urban gardening is the practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food in or around urban areas. At LUSH Valley, we improve local food security by considering the entire food system: production, processing and preserving, distribution and access, consumption and celebration, waste absorption and climate change mitigation. We do this through a variety of programs and initiatives.
In 2021, LUSH Valley supported 13 gardens (eight School Gardens, two Community Gardens and three Social Housing Gardens) and continued to pass valuable food growing and ecological knowledge on to marginalized populations and the greater community. This was done through a combination of formal learning and mentorship opportunities within the program.
We hosted Grow Food Everywhere Online Workshops, In-Person Garden Workshops and a three-part Backyard Chicken Coop Tour, all while providing ongoing opportunities for community connection and support.
Our School Garden Program supported eight community schools in building gardens and enhancing food production and educational opportunities within them. The Program also provided workshops for students on garden literacy and supported teachers in garden maintenance.
Our Vanier Educational Garden was the site of LUSH Valley’s youth programs, which included the second annual Farm & Forage Summer Camp and the Youth Climate Action Training in Regenerative Agriculture. The Training was hosted in partnership with the Comox Youth Climate Council and provided a four-week paid experience for youth aged 15 to 25 to learn skills in permaculture and regenerative agriculture. The program culminated in a community-wide planting event at the Vanier Educational Garden.
New to 2021 was our Seniors Gardening Program that invited seniors in our community to weekly garden meet-ups, agricultural training and to volunteer at our school and social housing gardens. This program was intergenerational, working to connect seniors with youth.
It has been an incredible year in Urban Agriculture and we’re so happy to have you along for the ride! We would like to thank New Horizons for Seniors, TD Friends of the Environment, the City of Courtenay, Farm to Cafeteria and the CVRD for their support of our Urban Agriculture Programs in 2021.