Just a short walk away from UVic’s bustling campus fields, just off of Mackenzie Avenue, you’ll find a 90-plot community garden. The UVic Campus Community Garden (CCG) boasts individual allotment plots and garden plots used by advocacy groups and classes. They also have communal plots they’ve dubbed “giving gardens,” which are used to make donations to the University of Victoria Students’ Society (UVSS) Food Bank.
The garden’s mandate, “not only do we wish to promote the growth of healthy local produce but work to support the ecology of our area by planting local species and supporting pollinators,” is a testament to their commitment to sustainability.
The garden is primarily maintained by volunteers, plot renters, part-time staff and the Board of Directors. Anyone outside the university can grow food in the communal areas. Current UVic students, staff, or faculty members are eligible to rent plots.
You can get involved by volunteering at one of CCG’s weekly work parties, held every Friday at 3:00 pm. “Many students come to use the garden,” says Stephanie Enevoldsen, Garden Coordinator. “And we see the most at work parties. Sometimes we’ve had 25 volunteers at once!” During work parties, volunteers are asked to help with a variety of hands-on tasks. “Flipping compost, mulching, potting up plants, seeding, weeding, and watering” are some of the potential jobs Enevoldsen offers as examples.
The CCG also provides a variety of educational opportunities and workshops. “Because the garden is funded by UVSS student fees, we do as much as we can to provide educational opportunities and fun events for students and the general public,” says Enevoldsen. “Usually the workshops and events we coordinate are free to attend!”
Their last workshop, Sprouting 101, provided materials and information for people who wanted to learn about growing their own mason jar sprouts. Upcoming workshops include Brewing Kombucha 101 on Tuesday, February 6th, and an On-site Rainwater Catchment Design Workshop Series in February and March.
“A lot of the on-site workshops are a reflection of what the garden site needs,” says Enevoldsen. “Instructors are often found through connections that staff and the board of directors has, as well as reputable teachers in the community and people that we meet who are involved in the diverse aspects of gardening.”
Want to get involved in other ways? “We will have a table at the Explore UVic event on Saturday, February 17th, and we have a Spring Social coming up on Friday, March 23rd; both of which we would love volunteer help with!” says Enevoldsen. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
You can learn more about the UVic Campus Community Garden and sign up for their newsletter here.