2022 Greener Greenspace Profile
Farmers on 57th
Located in Vancouver, BC, Farmers on 57th is an urban farm and garden on the grounds of George Pearson Centre, a Vancouver Coastal Health facility.
Design and Process
Initiated in 2009, the Farmers on 57th greenspace is an urban farm and garden located on the grounds of a Vancouver coastal health facility with over a hundred residents. The farm generates enough produce for over seventy-five Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members. In addition, there are over eighty community garden plots, a market flower garden, plantings of perennials, trees, shrubs and annuals that attract pollinators, sixty wheelchair-accessible garden plots and an orchard. In addition, Farmers on 57th operates a satellite garden in south Vancouver, where they partner with the South Vancouver Family Place to run a communal garden project with newcomers. In 2022, Farmers on 57th produced over 23,000 pounds of fruit and vegetables and is a model of innovation for revenue generation to support its operations.
Everyone who tends the farm and gardens are trained in ecological and regenerative land care practices and organic farming. To minimize resources and energy consumption, the year-to-year field and garden operations are human-powered. Staff and volunteers manually improve soil health by adding organic matter, including live crops, compost, leaves, straw and seed meal. Soil fertility comes from cover crops, mulches, OMRI-certified compost, Gaia Green 4-4-4, lime and manure. The farm and gardens are irrigated through an automated system modified throughout the growing season depending on available rainwater, temperature and sunshine and individual plant needs. Onsite composting is in place to minimize the import and export of greens as much as possible.
Farmers on 57th is a not-for-profit society that produces and sells food and other farm offerings and offers land-based programming for long-term care residents and the wider community of all ages and abilities. A small team of full-time and seasonal employees and approximately thirty-five weekly volunteers care for the gardens, lead educational workshops and engage the public on ecological land care.
More than seventy-five Community Supported Agriculture members receive twenty weekly harvests and accompanying newsletters with information on the farm’s growing practices. The organization also offers a 12-session Grow Your Own Food course to twenty people each year. The community gardeners with personal growing plots commit to only using ecological growing practices and are supported and educated in ecological literacy and food growing skills.
Farmers on 57th’s urban farm and gardens strengthen community resilience by growing food and providing education, and by thoughtfully and intentionally fostering social connections and therapeutic experiences. This work supports Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan, Vancouver Food Strategy, Healthy City Strategy, Vancouver Economic Action Strategy, Transportation 2040 Plan and Food Waste Targets.
For more information, visit Farmers on 57th’s website.
Watch the Farmers on 57th presentation on SOUL’s 2023 Webinar Series on Ecological Approaches to Urban Land Care.
Photos c/o Farmers on 57th
Greener Greenspaces is a recognition program for sites from across Canada that exemplify greener greenspace stewardship. The aim of the program is to showcase examples of ecologically-focused land care as a means to inspire others and to further the movement across Canada.See the full list of 2022 recognition recipients here