Programs help gardeners get growing

NANAIMO – Information on food security also part of series.

By Tammy Toor

It seems like there is a lot more conversation lately around the topic of growing our own food. It makes a lot of sense to do so because growing our own food has so many advantages. The food tastes better, it saves us money, it is more environmentally responsible and the food produced is often healthier.

With that in mind, take a look at some of the programs being offered by the City of Nanaimo to help community members learn about backyard gardening:

Backyard fruit production –

Learn how to grow luscious fruits and berries in your own yard. Held Saturday (April 18).

Plant propagation – You can save money by easily propagating plants without the use of fancy equipment. Held May 9.

Grow your own groceries – This hands-on workshop will teach about soil preparation, composting, starting and planting seeds, harvesting, cooking tips and more. Held on May 23.

Heavenly herbs –

Taste, touch and smell a wonderful variety of delicious and beautiful culinary herbs that will add zest to your culinary creations. Everyone will go home with herbs to start in your garden. Held June 13.

Winter food gardening –

Take advantage of our West Coast climate and learn how to grow your own food throughout the fall and winter seasons. Held July 11.

In addition to the various programs that are being offered this season, Parks, Recreation and Environment is partnering with Nanaimo Area Land Trust for the first ever Community Inter-Action on Food Security.

Held on April 26 at Bowen Park, this event features a meaningful discussion on exploring a food security strategy for the Nanaimo area with local resource people and includes a lunch featuring locally grown wild foods.

Leading up to that event, Nancy Turner, renowned ethnoecologist and ethnobiologist, will be at Bowen Park on April 21, 7 p.m., discussing her book, Earth’s Blanket – Traditional Teachings for Sustainable Living.

Finally, did you know that there are community gardens found in the city where you can rent plots or volunteer? This is a great way to have a garden and produce food even if you don’t have the traditional backyard (see story below).

For more information on our programs, special events or community gardens, please visit our website at www.nanaimo.ca or call us at 250-756-5200.

Tammy Toor is a communications specialist with Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and Environment.

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