The Welland Legacy Orchard in View Royal, host to a Mother’s Day barbecue last year, provides fruit or those who need it most. A Canada 150 project is seeing Le Coteau Farms donate 150 fruit trees around the Capital Region to achieve a similar goal. Don Descoteau/News Gazette staff

The Welland Legacy Orchard in View Royal, host to a Mother’s Day barbecue last year, provides fruit or those who need it most. A Canada 150 project is seeing Le Coteau Farms donate 150 fruit trees around the Capital Region to achieve a similar goal. Don Descoteau/News Gazette staff

CANADA 150: Greater Victoria food tree project a throwback to 150 years ago

Donated trees will be placed and cared for by groups around the region

More than 500 fruit trees will be planted by more than 50 groups in the Capital Regional District as part of Canada’s 150th Birthday celebrations.

The initiative is a partnership between the Capital Region Food and Agriculture Roundtable, Le Coteau Nursery and the CRD. The partnership is being led by CRFAIR, co-ordinator of the Good Food Network, whose aim is to connect individuals and organizations building healthy and sustainable food systems.

The CRD and Regional Food and Agriculture Task Force support this initiative as part of the Regional Food and Agriculture Strategy.

The RFAS provides an in-depth exploration of regional food and agriculture objectives, issues and opportunities to guide action and foster leadership. The CRD states, “Food and agriculture, as a fundamental human endeavour, is critical for the future health and well being of our community.”

The food trees and shrubs were donated by Le Coteau Nursery in West Saanich. Rob Harris, from Le Coteau Nursery was the impetus behind the project. Linda Geggie, executive director of CRFAIR, said Harris is a “champion of local foodies” and he thinks with such a great climate we should be growing our own food. Le Coteau Nursery donated 150 food trees (nuts and fruit) to support the growth of community orchards on land that can be accessed by the public.

“Food is important,” said Geggie. “We want to take this effort across the region and grow healthy sustainable food.”

The initiative drew applicants from groups within the CRD, including First Nations and local governments, schools and community organizations.

Four different First Nations, as well as the Victoria Native Friendship Centre applied for fruit trees along with church organizations, one fire department and numerous elementary and secondary schools.

“That was really exciting how much interest there was. It was hard to make a decision, said Geggie of the first-year project.

With the success of this project, CRFAIR would welcome any additional food tree sponsors. For more information on how to donate or learn more about CRFAIR, contact Linda Geggie at 250-896-7004 or visit crfair.ca.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Canada 150