As populations continue to urbanize, and our cities continue the trend of densification - it's never been more important to maintain a connection with nature.
Growing food is perhaps the most intimate way to maintain that connection.
Thus, the Shipyards Garden District arose in 2018 as a collaboration between with City of North Vancouver, The Lower Lonsdale BIA, LifeSpace Gardens, and 20 local businesses.
Now, just wrapping up its 2nd year, the Shipyards Garden District continues to flourish with local shop owners cultivating fruits, vegetables, and herbs in the Lower Lonsdale area of North Vancouver.
What is the Shipyards Garden District?
Communities that grow together, grow together
The garden district is made up of 20 edible gardens located at the storefront of local businesses as well as 6 large edible gardens located on sidewalks and public spaces. Each business with an edible garden at their storefront has allocated a Garden Champion who helps to ensure the garden is well kept.
Below is an interactive map to guide you through the Garden District!
Click on the icons to view the gardens and the shop name that it grows in front.
What is planted in the garden?
Strengthening the connection between people and their food
A huge variety of fruits, vegetables, pollinator flowers, and herbs are planted!
Each garden box has a seasonal theme based on a recipe or garden subject; for example:
- The Shipyards Tomato Sauce featuring tomato and basil plants
- The Water Bottle Garden featuring a variety of herbs for suggested use to flavor tea and water
- The Pollinator Garden featuring specific flowers and plants that attract beneficial insects
Where does the harvested food go?
Growing healthy fruits, vegetables, and herbs for anyone to harvest
Each garden features a variety of edible plants and herbs that can be picked and eaten by anyone who walks by!
“if your hungry, take a bite”
More people are openly engaging with the gardens and harvesting the food that is grown! We often see people showing the gardens to children while snacking on peas and tomato or people gathering a few herbs for their dinners or to flavor their water and tea.
How are the gardens maintained throughout the year?
Providing education and awareness around sustainable food practices
In collaboration with local businesses LifeSpace Gardens replants each garden at the beginning of the spring, summer, and fall – the three main growing seasons in Vancouver. During these times you can often spot the planting crew getting around the district by foot or e-bike full of seeds and seedlings. General bi-weekly garden maintenance is shared between LifeSpace Gardens and the Garden Champions of each business.
Signage on each garden is updated each season as new veggies are planted or when plants become ready to harvest. The signs help provide info and education to the public on topics such as plant identification, how to harvest, and when to harvest.
Who makes the garden boxes and how are they different than other garden boxes?
Growing with low maintenance, self-watering edible gardens
LifeSpace Gardens are the garden builders and gardeners who constructed these beautiful gardens locally at their shop in Lower Lonsdale.
The gardens are all equip with a self-watering system which consists of a hidden water reservoir below the soil which allows for the plants to absorb water from the bottom up. This watering design has water conservation at the forefront and actually leads to bigger, healthier harvests since the plants can take up water any time they need it.
Due to the self-watering system, no daily watering is required! Water maintenance only consists of re-filling the water reservoirs once every week or two in the garden district in hot summer months and between longer periods in the cooler months.
What’s next for the Shipyards Garden District?
Offering season garden education to visitors and community members
2020 will mark year three of the district! We will start by planting the gardens in the spring time with cool-weather crops and roll out education plans and workshops for business owners and the community. Topics will include:
- Growing food in small spaces
- Simple growing for busy lives
- Growing low cost organic food
With a goal to grow the district, we hope to add more gardens and impact the community further on the benefits and power of growing food!
Stay up to date with events and happenings in the Shipyards Garden District...