Our community garden project, known as Feeding Ourselves and Others, or Serenity Farm, is a community partnership providing therapeutic food growing opportunities for people who have challenges including mental illness, addictions issues, and involvement with the criminal justice system. Through this program participants can gain experience working in an organic garden, develop stable and positive interactions with others, and improve the quality of their lives by producing their own organic food.
Referrals to the program come from the Victoria Integrated Court, the Downtown Assertive Community Treatment team and the Seven Oaks Facility. Participants can earn credit for work hours in the garden which can be applied to community work service.
With the help of volunteers, participants tend to over 30 raised beds in this 14,500 square foot garden located in the Blenkinsop Valley in Saanich.
Produce is sold at community markets, given to participants, and donated to local community agencies like the Mustard Seed Food Bank and Our Place. Participants can also receive a financial stipend for their participation.
The program which is a partnership between Victoria Integrated Court, Island Health Authority and the John Howard Society, has operated since 2012 and is funded by sales of produce, donations from the community, and grants from Foundations and the United Way of Greater Victoria.
For more information about our garden and volunteer opportunities please visit the website at feedingourselvesandothers.com.