I volunteer with the Vancouver Fruit Tree Project, and on a recent weekend trip to Victoria I learned about the Springtide Commons. It’s a special place: an edible permaculture garden maintained by and for the community. The oasis is the size of a few house lots, and plants are available for communal harvest.
“Spring Ridge Commons is Victoria’s oldest and largest public permaculture garden or community multi-layer food forest… It is an example of what is possible when you start with a gravel parking lot in a relatively low-income area near the city centre.”
On a cloudy springtime day, there was a lot of activity in the Commons. Victoria’s growing season is weeks ahead of Vancouver’s right now so there was a lot of plant growth to admire. As well, we met neighbours in the Commons, found kale, picked herbs, learned about more native plants, and destroyed some invasive caterpillars. Later on, a private permaculture class was listening intently to their instructor.
The Spring Ridge project is inspiring as to how to raise community gardening to another level. It makes growing food together part of an education and easily accessible to anyone walking by- and a fine way of sharing knowledge and communal resources for free.