The City of Port Alberni is embracing urban agriculture and enjoying the social, economic and environmental benefits of such activities. Urban agriculture supports greater food security, self-sufficiency, and is widely recognized as a healthy recreational activity. There are a number of opportunities to connect your skills and interests for local food with the greater community.
The City of Port Alberni supports community gardens as a positive activity that enhances the health and well-being of neighbourhoods. The City values existing community gardens and supports the creation of new community gardens on City-owned land. Community gardens are organized by community groups for community use. If you're interested in starting a community garden here's what you need to know:
First, talk with your neighbours and others in the area to find similarly interested community members. Together, identify a potential location(s) for the new garden to be submitted to the City of Port Alberni for review and consideration. If you're unsure about property ownership don't hesitate to contact us to request relevant property information.
The City accepts community garden applications year-round and they are processed on a first-come first-served basis. Please note that community gardens are expected to be developed, managed and maintained at no direct cost to the City.
Market gardens are similar to community gardens with the key difference being that market gardens are private enterprises, producing food for sale. In Port Alberni a market garden is the use of land on a limited scale for the growing, harvesting and selling of fruits, vegetables, edible plants and the like but specifically excludes the growing of mushrooms.
What you should know about market gardening on your property:
- You can sell produce (excluding mushrooms) you have grown in your home garden.
- Market gardening is the only type of home-based business that can be conducted outside.
- The total area which may be under cultivation on any given parcel shall not exceed more than 600m2 in area except where the lot size is greater than 2,400m2, in which case an urban market garden shall not exceed 25% of the lot area.
- Production shall be limited to the growing and harvesting of fruits, vegetables and edible plants, but specifically excludes the growing of mushrooms.
- On-site sales of edible plants shall be permitted within roadside stands for products grown on site provided that:
(a) the size of the roadside stand does not exceed a Gross floor area of 9 m2;
(b) on-site sales and roadside stands are limited to no more than 120 days within a calendar year; and
(c) the roadside stand is located on the property and does not impede sight lines from the driveway.
- No artificial lighting shall be used.
- No pesticides or herbicides shall be used.
- No un-composted manure shall be used.
- The market garden does not create noise, dust, vibration, odour, smoke, glare, fire hazard, or any other hazard or nuisance, to any greater or more frequent extent than that usually experienced in the applicable zone under normal circumstances wherein no market garden exists.
- An urban market garden shall not be permitted where a property has farm status classification, as defined under the BC Assessment Act.