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About the Edible Garden Project

At The Edible Garden Project, we believe that everyone deserves to access good food with dignity, and to fall in love with fresh picked produce.

We use food as a platform to transform communities, address environmental and social issues, and empower citizens of all ages through education, capacity building and community connections.

We Grow

We operate a half acre farm on public park land (Loutet Farm), and a one-third acre Schoolyard Market Garden at Sutherland Secondary.

We sell all the food we grow at our Farmers Market twice a week, and we host interns, volunteer groups, tours and community potlucks.

We grew and sold over 14,000 lbs of our farm produce in 2021!

We Share

Our 5 volunteer-driven Sharing Garden sites are located all over the North Shore.

We grow and harvest fresh veggies, and partner with local food security organizations to distribute them to those most in need in our community.

Over 5200 lbs of food was donated in 2021!

We Teach

People of all ages are excited to learn how to grow their own food, or to share what they know with us and the community.

We deliver programming in childcare centre gardens, elementary schools and highschools, and offer workshops, lectures and presentations to people of all ages.

We teach and learn with over 2000 children and adults annually.

Our Impact

We bring fresh local fruits and vegetables to the plates of low-income individuals and families

We bring fresh local fruits and vegetables to the plates of low-income individuals and families

Most people consider the North Shore to be a wealthy community, but our high average incomes simply hide the poverty that does exist. We partner with the Harvest Project, Sage Women’s Safe House, local social housing, and other community partners to ensure that the most vulnerable in our community have access to fresh local produce. If you’ve never had to use a food bank or emergency meal program, you may not know what thousands of North Shore residents have come to expect: long line ups, very little selection of fresh fruits or vegetables, and highly processed and packaged foods.

This is beginning to change, and the Edible Garden Project has been a leader in developing partnerships and empowering community members to supply high quality, nutritious, fresh fruits and vegetables to those most in need in our community. We started small, but we’re growing – annually we grow and donate over 6,000lbs of fresh produce, which is available to over 1200 vulnerable residents each month.

We empower people of all ages with the skills and knowledge to grow their own

Donating and selling affordable produce is one way to support our community, but we know that when people get their hands in the soil we’re really making a difference in their lives. You can see it in the excitement, curiosity, and smiles of children, adults, and elders alike when they’re in the garden or at the farm. You can see it when knowledge is shared between generations amongst the raspberry canes. You can see it when a new gardener is bursting with pride with their recent edible successes, and the transformation over a season as their explorations develop a deep understanding of  the interconnectedness of our environment, food system, and personal health.

We transform spaces into vibrant & edible places

Starting with a simple backyard veggie patch, we have grown to over 5,000 square meters (~1.25 acres) of urban garden spaces. We have transformed yards, roof-tops, alleys, schoolyards, boulevards, abandoned spaces, and parks into edible landscapes and community hubs. When we activate the spaces around our homes, schools, and workplaces they become places where we like to gather, talk, share, and learn.

Food has brought people together through the ages and across all cultures. These are the foundations of community – gathering and food. Our edible gardens bring these together, and are creating strong, vibrant, healthy community places across the North Shore. 

 

The Edible Garden Project Story

In 2005 the Edible Garden Project was sparked after a Vancouver Coastal Health scan of “food security” activities on the North Shore identified a gap in access to fresh local produce.

A group of people passionate about the potential for improving access to local food came together to create the Edible Garden Project.

This included representatives from Vancouver Coastal Health, District of North Vancouver, City of North Vancouver, the North Shore Recycling Program, the North Shore Neighbourhood House, and community agencies and volunteers.

The City of North Vancouver played an instrumental role in securing funding – seed money through the Union of BC Municipalities – for the first year of the project, and has played an ongoing supportive role.

The EGP also found a home early on at the North Shore Neighbourhood House, which provided office space and a phone – important tools for a budding organization!

 Since 2005, the EGP has been powered and sustained by citizen energy, participation, and engagement.

Now we are a program of the North Shore Neighbourhood House, have many education programs, participate in local policy initiatives, cultivate over an acre of gardens and farm, and provide an inspirational voice in our community.

North Shore Neighbourhood House

The North Shore Neighbourhood House (NSNH) is a registered charitable organization that has been providing accessible and affordable services and programs to all individuals in our community for over 75 years.

We believe working together to meet the grassroots needs of our neighbours, especially our most vulnerable residents, is essential to building a safe, healthy and strong community.

At the NSNH, we value access to good fresh food and we are proud to be a regional leader in food security initiatives.

A Brief Timeline

2006

  • $30,000 budget
  • 1 part-time staff
  • 20 volunteers
  • 6 sq meters growing food

    2021

    • $220,000 budget
    • 3 full-time & 2 part-time staff
    • 300+ volunteers
    • 5260 sq meters growing food
    • 3500+ participants

    2005

    The founding coalition was formed, the EGP was created!

    2006

    The first EGP Sharing Garden was established, and fresh food was grown for donation

    2007

    We expanded to offer workshops, access to the Sharing Backyards map, and worked our way into the public school system.

    2008

    An exciting year! Ground broke on the Queen Mary Demonstration Garden, and the North Shore Community Garden Society was established to expand and support community garden initiatives.

    2009

    The Queen Mary Community Garden was built, the 24th St Orchard was planted, and the first Table Matters event brought the North Shore “food community” together.

    2010

    The Lillooet Community Garden, the first in the District, was built, and the EGP established two new Sharing Gardens.

    2011

    The “growth spurt” year! Broke ground on the first urban farm on the North Shore (Loutet Farm). The Charros Community Garden was built, and a new Sharing Garden established.

    2012

    New gardens in five childcare centres were built, the North Shore Community Food Charter was created, and our elementary school program expands.

    2013

    Two new large Sharing Gardens were established, a new relationship with the Food Bank created, and our Volunteer Farm Internship program launched.

    2015

    The Sutherland Schoolyard Market Garden was established, and Loutet Farm met its revenue-neutral financial goal.

    2018

    The EGP was awarded best Youth Friendly Employer in the City of North Vancouver.

    2019

    The elementary school program was expanded to provide programming to 6 elementary schools.

    2020

    Our most successful market sales to date (surpassing our projections), we hosted 11 seasonal farm interns, and our Sharing Gardens produced over 1 ton of produce for the North Shore Food Hub.