A food security initiative in Sooke is a blooming success.
The program, called My FED Farm, created by Food Eco District, is aims to help people affected by COVID-19 grow food in their backyard.
Sooke resident Stephen Hindrichs, with Sooke Region Food CHI, Transition Sooke and the Sooke Garden Club, have got things rolling in Sooke.
So far the group has 30 families registered, more than anticipated.
“It is going well. There has been quite a touching response from the people receiving the grow bags,” said Hindrichs, noting most people signed up are young families who want to teach their kids how to grow food.
“It’s great because I think it teaches an appreciation for whats involved in growing healthy food, and hopefully helps people understand the importance of supporting local farmers.”
When Greater Victoria residents sign up to the program, they receive a “garden package” for free. The packages include between two and five round planters, soil, three starter plants, seeds, delivery of the materials, an initial consult, as well as access to the program’s web series and #MyFEDFarm chat room.
Things look a little different in Sooke, as most of the supplies are sourced locally, Hindrichs said. Residents with more land also have the option of expanding their package to include a 4×4-foot raised garden bed.
Once people sign up, they are contacted from a Sooke volunteer, and people have the option to also be mentored by a member of the Sooke Garden Club when they receive their growing supplies.
“I am hoping this will continue forward. The support has been wonderful through donations from the community and from volunteers,” said Hindrichs, noting that the main goal of the initiative is to get more people growing their own food from home.
“It’s about helping people get started, gain a little more confidence and be more comfortable in the garden, and helping them realize it’s not too difficult to grow food.”
FED is based in downtown Victoria and hopes to some day create a district as recognizable as Chinatown, but with a focus on urban green spaces. It hopes to increase food awareness and security, community engagement, support local businesses, and increase climate action on Vancouver Island.
Anyone wishing to receive a grow kit, to volunteer or to donate, can sign up on the Food Eco District website at www.get-fed.ca. Those wishing to get involved or volunteer can also contact the Sooke Region Food CHI Society by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.