Jelena Putnik shares her backyard garden using a garden-matching resource from the Young Agrarians. The resource connects property owners with people looking for space to grow food or plants. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Jelena Putnik shares her backyard garden using a garden-matching resource from the Young Agrarians. The resource connects property owners with people looking for space to grow food or plants. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Garden-sharing map connects Victoria landowners and gardeners

U-Map created by Young Agrarians after COVID-19 created uptick in garden matching requests

A new mapping system helps connect Greater Victoria property owners with gardeners looking for space to grow.

The Young Agrarians, a nation-wide non-profit farmer resource organization, has extended its farmland mapping program to include both rural and urban gardens, centralizing information for those looking for garden space to use and those with garden space to share.

The U-Map shows locations of gardens and farms with extra space or in need of helpers, listing the size, type and nature of the land for those looking, who can also post specifics of what they want. So far only a handful of Greater Victoria locations are listed, but community education coordinator Azja Martin hopes that will change.

“In light of COVID-19, we really saw an uptick in the number of people who were looking to get their hands into soil in urban settings,” she said

. “People wanted to take action … to help support their own food supply and also just being engaged in supporting our whole community in that.

READ ALSO: Victoria duo tackles food insecurity in Victoria with burlap sack gardens

Victoria’s Jelena Putnik can vouch for the benefits of sharing her outdoor space. Among fresh lavender, bean poles, nodding onion, parsnip, potatoes and unruly raspberry bushes, Putnik’s yard is bursting at the seams with life and growth. But she said sharing the space has offered a new kind of bounty.

In the last few years, Putnik has shared her Fernwood garden space with a few different people. Last year an older woman grew some food, and this year a PhD student is spending some time in Putnik’s garden.

“For the older woman it was connection and community, for the younger woman it [is] de-stressing,” Putnik said. “It feeds us all.”

Putnik negotiated different agreements for different gardeners based on bounty, costs and goals. Some only wanted a small portion of land, while others were looking to grow a substantial amount of food. The joy of sharing, she said, is finding a way that everyone gets what they need.

“Your hands are in the soil and you just calm down – it’s an incredible de-stresser. For different people it does different things.”

READ ALSO: Victoria’s community garden plots a hot commodity


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
nina.grossman@blackpress.ca Follow us on Instagram.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Capital Regional DistrictCity of Victoriagarden lifegardening

Just Posted

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Victoria for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

A couple wants the Regional District of Nanaimo to deal with roaming cats that are causing damage to gardens and killing wildlife. (Submitted Photo)
Roaming cats pose problem for Parksville Qualicum Beach area couple

Residents upset with felines damaging gardens, want RDN to take action

Parksville Golden Oldies Sports Association’s popular walking soccer league was one of several sports programs and activities that were cancelled following provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s latest announcement to ban indoor adult team sports. (PQB News file photo)
Adult sports shutdown ‘tough pill to swallow’ for some Vancouver Islanders

Adult recreation adjusting to new provincial COVID-19 orders

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Four new COVID-19 cases added to Saanich Peninsula Hospital outbreak

Inital round of patient testing is complete, staff testing continues

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

The opening day on Mount Washington this year was Dec. 4. Screenshot
Mount Washington opens on time, COVID-19 protocols in place

“We’re super excited - it’s been six months in the planning.”

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
PHSA bought faulty respirators; spent money on catering, renovations: Dix

Such spending included ‘unnecessary, unbudgeted renovations’ to the authority’s headquarters in Vancouver

Felled spruce and cedar trees waiting to be stripped, sorted and hauled down Island. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
Kwakiutl First Nation angry at logging in Douglas Treaty land

The nation is calling on government to honour the Douglas Treaty

Most Read