Food forest coming to empty Chilliwack lot

By on October 27, 2016

The site of a new permaculture community garden to be planted this Saturday on Vedder Road near Garrison Crossing in Chilliwack. - Greg Laychak

The site of a new permaculture community garden to be planted Oct. 29 on Vedder Road near Garrison Crossing in Chilliwack.

— image credit: Greg Laychak
By  Paul J. Henderson – Chilliwack Times

Another empty city lot will soon be a hive of activity to be enjoyed by gardeners and foodies alike.

The Valley Permaculture Guild is inviting any and all out this Saturday for planting day for the Vedder Village Community Gardens and Food Forest Project.

The idea is to create a community food forest and garden located on the empty city lot on the west side of Vedder Road near the bottle depot and right next to the new Curly Kale eatery.

The Guild received a $4,000 grant for the project from the City of Chilliwack via the new Grassroots Grants Program just launched last spring.

The plan, according to Rachel Symington from the Valley Permaculture Guild, is to create raised garden beds, but also to plant fruit and nut trees all in accordance with permaculture principles.

“We will be creating a food forest; one of the oldest forms of land use and our most resilient agriculture system,” she said in the project application. “This low-maintenance, sustainable, plant-based food production and forestry system is based on woodland ecosystems, incorporating food crops and eventually providing shade to those utilizing the space.”

Rainwater will be captured and used on site.

Symington said she has been inspired by the generosity of the community partners involved.

“Creating functional green spaces throughout our community offers unique opportunities to increase local food security, improve physical and mental health, filter rainwater and so much more,” she said.

There have been a few delays, but planting day has arrived and volunteers will be on site from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29.

Free lunch will be provided by Curly Kale Eatery for volunteers, and free yoga after planting by Inner Vision Yoga. Other partners in the project include the City of Chilliwack and Dragonlily Gardens, an Abbotsford-based company that creates community gardens and other permaculture spaces.

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