Last year the Victoria Urban Food Table created a survey to gain a better understanding of what type of food growing activities were happening on private lands in the City of Victoria.
Aaren Topley, co-chair of the Victoria Urban Food Table and a member of the Gateway’s Community of Practice, presented the report to city council:
From this survey we can see that private food production is making an impact on peoples lives and food security. From only sampling 307 residents we learned of 100’s of grocery bags of food and thousands of eggs being produced by residents last year. I think it’s important to note these benefits are mostly to individuals who own or rent houses that have access to garden space. But we are seeing people push these boundaries by finding growing space on boulevard gardens. The City has committed to explore a backyard sharing program in their strategic plan and this survey definitely shows there are a lot of backyards already growing food – so who knows maybe people will want to share some of the work and bounty.Aaren points out this translates to roughly 2 acres of private land in the city being used to produce food. One of the most interesting pieces of the survey was the comments question at the end (Appendix A). “It really gave us a good idea to some of the barriers people are facing and how the Urban Food Table can work with the City to support further food production, land-access and fresh produce access. More to come on this front!” Check out the comments- and the whole report here: City of Victoria: Food Production on Private Lands Inventory