Revelstoke’s community gardens provide growing space, promotes social cohesion

Revelstoke Local Food Initiative plans to expand Little Sprouts program, grow more food for food bank.

The downtown community garden is located a the Revelstoke United Church. Photo:Revelstoke United Church.

The Revelstoke Local Food initiative is gearing up for another growing season, and is now accepting applications for their community garden plots.

The LFI runs two community garden spaces, one downtown in front of the United Church and the second beside the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre.

“The downtown community garden is where the roots of the LFI started to take place back in 2010,” said Jodi Kay, coordinator for the Initiative. “We grew from there and eventually created a second community garden space in 2015 beside the RVAC.”

The community gardens are multi-use spaces, providing growing plots for residents of Revelstoke. In addition the gardens provide the space to grow food for the Community Connections Food Bank, a space to for the Little Sprouts Program garden and a few pollinator plots to keep the local bees happy. In 2017 the LFI donated over 200kg of fresh produce to the food bank harvested from both community gardens.

“Our mission at the LFI is to enhance local food production and utilization and our community gardens play an integral role in achieving that” said Kay “This year we have decided to use the space at the downtown community garden to expand our Little Sprouts Program and to grow more food for the food bank.”

The LFI is planning to increase the number of plots available at the RVAC garden site.  Community gardens are a fun and easy way to learn how to grow food in a group setting. The garden plots are also great for those seasoned growers who are looking for a productive patch of dirt. Garden members can work independently, but are also invited to work collaboratively on projects and in the communal growing areas. Weekly harvesting and maintenance sessions give members a chance to interact and learn from each other. The LFI’s Garden Guru Workshop Series provides another way to learn the best techniques for growing food locally.

“Food is more than nourishment, it is social cohesion; and community gardens is where it all starts,” said Food Security Coordinator, Melissa Hemphill.