Libby McMinn stands in an area of Highlands Community Garden that is part of a food forest. (Rick Stiebel/News staff)

Highlands plants community food forest

The group received a grant from Tree Canada to help purchase trees

An environmentally responsible food forest grows in Highlands thanks to the community gardens committee.

The group started planting the food forest in May when the community gardens opened, said Libby McMinn, Co-chair of the Highlands Community Gardens, and recently finished planting the rest.

RELATED: Community garden sprouts in the Highlands

They wanted to replicate a forest-like ecosystem with plants for moisture retention, large trees, small trees, shrubs and vines. McMinn said she found through research that food foresting helps in adapting to climate change, there’s less disturbance to plants, more moisture retention, and good build up of bacterial and fungal activity.

“It’s very much a human food ecosystem with attracting pollinators for trees and annual crops,” McMinn said.

The community garden, on municipal land at 729 Finlayson Arm Rd. behind the community hall, is fenced in with the perimeter allocated to perennials and the trees.

“The food forest has annuals to perennials…there are berry bushes in amongst the trees and ground covers like strawberries,” she said. “There’s a wide variety of orchard trees: apples, pears, plums, cherries, almond and hazelnut. We also have the less common mulberry and persimmons.”

The group received a grant from Tree Canada, a non-profit organization dedicated to greener and healthier living for Canadians. The $4000 grant from the edible tree program helped to purchase roughly 30 trees, some lower level plants and perform site work for the forest.

The community garden has allotment beds that people can rent for their own use.

For anyone who is a Highland Parks and Recreation member, the cost is $10 to participate. Members are required to volunteer 12 hours per year tending to the garden and in turn have access to the harvest.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

lindsey.horsting@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Latke Mania returns to Jewish Community Centre of Victoria

Traditional latkes available at local deli until Dec. 20

$1,500 bursary created in memory of late Duncan musician returns for second year

Young Vancouver Island musicians in financial need can apply by Dec. 15

Greater Victoria residents recognized for International Volunteer Day

Thousands of people volunteer throughout the community every year

New survey finds 4.7 million women over 15 were victims of sexual assault in Canada

Some 1.2 million men (eight per cent) report having been sexually assaulted since age 15

More than a million square feet of rental units proposed for downtown Victoria development

The Harris Green development is proposed to take over two large lots on Yates Street

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Oscar Hickes: Longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Trustees ask for more help after tearful meeting on B.C. school’s ‘toxic’ stench

Enforcement has ‘no teeth,’ school trustee says, while kids become sick

One of B.C’s last surviving strip clubs baring all again for Christmas charity

25th annual event is Sunday and raises money for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

Most Read