By VanCity Buzz Staff
2013 was a record year for local food in Vancouver, with the City surpassing 4000 community garden plots, adding two new farmer’s markets and launching North America’s biggest urban orchard.
“The success and popularity of Vancouver’s local food sector continues to grow, and is putting us on track to meet or exceed our greenest city targets,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Whether it’s someone maintaining a community garden plot down the street, or a rapidly growing social enterprise like SOLEfood, Vancouverites are stepping up in bigger numbers to support local food production in neighbourhoods across the city. City Hall is proud to support our local food economy and I look forward to it growing even more in 2014.”
446 new community garden plots were built in 2013 on both city and non-city land, for a total of 4,166 garden plots. Farmer’s markets in Yaletown and Mt. Pleasant opened, bringing the total number of markets to 12 – up from five in 2009.
North America’s largest urban orchard opened in July at Main and Terminal. Operated by SOLEfood, the orchard has over 400 fruit-producing trees on a city-owned site that was previously a vacant gas station lot.
The City of Vancouver also approved its first-ever Food Strategy, providing a long-term framework for how the City can support local food jobs and enhance food security.