The Hastings Urban Farm is a market garden project coordinated by the PHS Community Services Society in partnership with the Hastings Folk Garden Society. It seeks to improve community health in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood through increased access to fresh & nutritious vegetables, naturalized spaces, gardening educations, hands-on skills training and meaningful volunteer opportunities.
The project has converted a derelict lot into a half-acre of productive growing area and a much needed community gathering space.
Some of the produce is sold to local restaurants, which helps recover costs for the project. Some is donated to community kitchens, aiding the efforts of those organizations to source local produce and prepare nutritious meals from whole, fresh ingredients. Most of our produce is distributed to the community through our weekly farm-gate market; we use sliding-scale pricing so that everyone can take home the produce they need, no matter what their financial situation. We also like to see the veggies bartered in exchange for volunteer farm labour.
With increased funding and sophistication of operations, the project aims to:
- produce 2000 pounds of vegetables,per year using organic farming practices
- hire a total of six part-time urban farmers
- engage thousands of community members through volunteerism and visits to the farm
- deliver an 8-month agricultural training program for residents of the Downtown Eastside
- offer support services for other gardens, urban farms, restaurants and community kitchens
Source: White Crow Farm Project