The edible garden: Five years in, North Vancouver’s Loutet Farm a popular community focal point

Loutet Farm, the North Shore’s first and only urban farm and farm gate marketplace, came into existence with a groundbreaking ceremony in February 2011 at the underutilized south end of Loutet Park in the City of North Vancouver.

Five years later, Loutet has become a popular community focal point, with farm gate sales every Wednesday and Saturday, May through October. Managed by the Edible Garden Project, Loutet is supported through the North Shore Neighbourhood House in partnership with the City of North Vancouver and the University of British Columbia.

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New this year, at the first Saturday market of each month, local vendors will sell a variety of baked goods and fine crafts and art in addition to the farm’s fresh produce.

In 2015, Loutet Farm harvested more than 9,500 pounds of produce, bringing in $55,000 in revenue, with funds going back into farm operations, which allow the farm to also offer a multitude of gardening and farming workshops like beekeeping as well as hands-on learning opportunities for young and old.

Also in 2015, the Sutherland Secondary Schoolyard Market Garden was established to provide an additional stream of produce and give students and school communities the opportunity to learn about food and its connection to community land and health. Loutet Farm also hosts a wide range of events throughout the growing season.

Four hundred volunteers get their hands dirty in different tasks and jobs, helping to create a vibrant community hub. On Aug. 18 the Farm to Feast long-table dinner fundraiser for the Edible Garden Project takes place amongst the produce fields of the farm and includes a catered dinner along with silent and live auctions. For details about Loutet Farm, opening hours and programs check out ediblegardenproject.com/loutet-farm.

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