BACI’s garden plots growing community


Inclusive food production builds on Can You Dig It initiative
Thursday April 26, 2012 — Camille Jensen

The Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) is inviting the many people living in apartments, townhouses or even homes without garden areas to join the organization in growing fresh food and community.

BACI is offering annual four-by-eight-foot garden plots to community members who are interested in gardening and meeting their neighbours. Since it was launched last year, BACI has created 32 plots, with only four at its Filby Court location remaining.

Since last year, BACI has built 32 garden plots on its properties and plans to expand in the future.

The initiative expands on Can You Dig It, a model its sister organization posAbilities is pioneering that invites neighbours to establish an inclusive, food growing garden in their communities.

Travis tends to his garden.

“It brings the community into our area, basically,” Steve tells BACI Blast. “It’s an exchange of ideas, they get to know each other and develop relationships there.”

Steve adds gardening spans all cultures and because of this, allows people to learn about different cultural traditions and practices.

According to the Can You Dig It website, the gardens project that started in 2009 aims to nurture diversity by reaching out to include newcomers to Canada, seniors and youth in local food production.

Along with the physical and mental benefits of gardening, the initiative also promotes environmentally responsible land use, access to healthy food and donations to local food depots and community kitchens.

The give-back part of the initiative is meaningful for people who have a disability, who are often perceived as being on the receiving end of benefits.

BACI executive director Richard Faucher earlier told BACI Blast the organization is exploring more ways it can utilize food production for greater inclusion. Some of the ideas are having people who have a disability sell their produce at farmers’ markets or make food products to sell or swap like homemade sauces and jams.

To learn more about BACI’s gardens and Can You Dig It, click here.

If you have feedback on this story, or a BACI Blast story idea, contact camille(at)

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