My FED Farm, created by Food Eco District (FED), is aiming to help people affected by the COVID-19 grow food in their own back yard. In collaboration with Sooke Region Food CHI, Transition Sooke and the Sooke Garden Club, the program is extending its reach to Sooke. (Black Press file photo)

Food security initiative encourages Sooke residents to grow food at home

My FED Farm program offers free garden kits to those affected by COVID-19

A Greater Victoria food security initiative is extending its reach to Sooke.

The program, called My FED Farm, created by Food Eco District, is aiming to help people affected by COVID-19 grow food in their own backyard.

Sooke resident Stephen Hindrichs, in collaboration with Sooke Region Food CHI, Transition Sooke and the Sooke Garden Club, is helping get things started in Sooke.

Hindrichs been focusing on implementing food security strategies in Sooke for a couple of months, and more recently, caught word of what FED was doing in Victoria.

ALSO READ: Take a ride through Victoria’s growing urban agriculture movement

“When I found out about FED I thought, ‘Wow, this is exactly what we want to do here and they already have the program up and running.’ So I reached out and talked with them about how we could work together,” said Hindrichs.

“A lot of people are struggling right now, getting their food from the food bank or having a hard time affording healthy food, so this will help them.”

When Greater Victoria residents impacted by COVID-19 sign up to the program, they receive a “garden package” for free. The packages include between two and five round planters, soil, three starter plants, seeds, delivery of the materials, an initial consult, as well as access to the program’s web series and #MyFEDFarm chat room.

Hindrichs said things in Sooke will look a little different, because they plan to source most of the supplies, such as seeds and soil, from local donors. He added that because many people in Sooke have quite a bit of land, they also plan on expanding their package to include four-by-four-foot raised beds when appropriate.

“This is something fun people can do at home with their kids,” said Hindrichs. “And it can help people who are interested in growing food at home but are unsure of where or how to start, get started. It gives them a little bit of extra confidence.”

Amid the pandemic, many people may be feeling isolated, stressed out and worried, so gardening can help occupy their minds.

“It’s not just about putting food in our bellies,” Hindrichs said. “I think a lot of people are struggling emotionally with what’s going on and gardening can be incredibly good therapy.”

Even without the pandemic going on, Hindrichs said growing food locally is crucial for a strong community.

“I think we are starting to gain awareness that our system is quite fragile. All it takes is a disruption, whether it be a pandemic or an earthquake or an economic collapse, and suddenly, ‘Where is the food?’” said Hindrichs, noting that becoming more self sufficient allows him to not be as dependent on the current system.

“Local food production creates a resilient community. Food is so important because ultimately, we have to eat.”

ALSO READ: Grocers reassure customers about food supply as demand soars during coronavirus

FED said on its website that its goal with the initiative is to provide 500 homes with food gardens.

“Being the start of the growing season, we look to support families and laid off workers by providing home-based start up food gardens using simple and affordable supplies,” states the FED states website. “While the supply chain of food to the island has not been impacted by COVID-19, the mass layoffs present a tougher challenge in the months ahead.”

FED is based out of downtown Victoria and hopes to some day create a district as recognizable as Chinatown, but with a focus on urban green spaces. It hopes to increase food awareness and security, community engagement, support local businesses, and increase climate action on Vancouver Island.

“We build great spaces to be used as educational hubs for food security and sustainability,” according to FED. “We are highly collaborative and believe we can accomplish more together than alone.”

Anyone wishing to receive a grow kit, to volunteer or to donate, can sign up on the Food Eco District website at www.get-fed.ca.

gardeningSooke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke RCMP are looking to add more members on their force, but they will have to seek approval from the District of Sooke before doing so. They say they need five additional members to accommodate 24-hour coverage of the region. (File - Black Press Media)
Sooke needs more officers to accommodate 24-hour coverage

District’s official community plan calls for 1 officer per 1,000 people

The Royal Canadian Legion kicked off its annual poppy drive in Sooke on Wednesday with the first poppies presented to Mayor Maja Tait and T’Sou-ke Nation Chief Gordie Planes. Legion representatives included legion president Richard Steele, second from left, and poppy fund chair Al Stuart, right. (Kevin Laird – Sooke News Mirror)
Mayor, T’Sou-ke Nation chief receive first poppies of 2020

Minimal Remembrance Day ceremony planned

Felix Townsin, shown here with his sister, Lexi, who died on Oct. 19, 2019. Felix is a big part of a family initiative aimed at finding a cure for Blau Syndrome. (Photo contributed by the Townsin family)
Quest to cure Blau syndrome a family affair

John Stubbs student produces film for late little sister Lexi

An incident on Sooke Road is slowing traffic Wednesday evening. (Courtesy of Mona Hazeldine)
Sooke Road incident snarls evening traffic

Witnesses report two-vehicle collision

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Newly public Emily Carr painting depicts well-known Victoria view

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

MMFN First Nation has said that it will restrict access to portion of Highway 28 that passes through the Nation’s land until a road use agreement is reached. (Black Press file photo)
Vancouver Island First Nation blocks highway access to logging trucks in Gold River

Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation restricting access for Western Forest Products pending road deal

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

Cowichan Search and Rescue set up near the Silver Bridge in Duncan on Wednesday morning, Oct. 28, 2020 to rescue a dog from the Cowichan River. (Citizen file)
Cowichan Search and Rescue save dog from icy Cowichan River

Search and Rescue’s swiftwater team was called in

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 27

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The Calgary Zoo is aiding in recovery efforts for the Vancouver Island marmot, an endangered species. Pictured here, a marmot at Mount Washington. (Black Press file)
Despite challenges, 2020 good year for Vancouver Island marmot population

In 2019, the foundation counted 60 pups; this year, it reached 46

Most Read