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Person working in the Sunset Nursery

July is harvest time at the Park Board’s Sunset Nursery

This spring, our staff began growing vegetables and herbs such as lettuce, Swiss chard, kale, and parsley at Sunset Nursery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and increased levels of food insecurity.

Camil Dumont

July 31 2020 –

Green thumbs at the Vancouver Park Board’s Sunset Nursery are growing produce that is being used to feed hundreds of Vancouver families, as well as provide meaningful employment for chefs and kitchen professionals.

“This spring, our staff began growing vegetables and herbs such as lettuce, Swiss chard, kale, and parsley at Sunset Nursery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and increased levels of food insecurity,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Camil Dumont.

“We recognize urban agriculture as a valuable food-focused activity that can contribute to community development, environmental awareness and benefits, positive social interaction, learning, health, exercise, wellness, and access to fresh food.”

Typically, Sunset Nursery (located at Main and 51st) is where about 300,000 annuals, most grown from seed, are propagated. The plants are shipped to parks and gardens throughout the city for landscaping.

Helping students and their families

Fresh Roots is one of the agencies now benefiting from the produce. It receives 10 to 16 crates a week for its LunchLAB: Chefs for Families program , which offers students and their families delicious, healthy meals, providing much-needed nourishment and meaningful employment for chefs and kitchen professionals who would otherwise not be working.

Crates, filled with mostly leafy vegetables, weigh five to 10 pounds each, but will get heavier as the nursery starts harvesting root vegetables. 

"The ultra-locally grown fresh produce generously donated by the Park Board is an important addition to the nutritious ingredients used to create meals for families. Fresh Roots , along with our program partner, Growing Chefs! in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Centre , and Ono Vancouver , have been providing more than 5,000 meals to 260 families every week since the beginning of April and have just confirmed we will be offering support throughout the summer,” said Alexa Pitoulis, Fresh Roots Interim Executive Director.

Vegetables from Sunset Nursery are also being going to Grandview Woodland Food Connection , a neighborhood food network working in partnership with Britannia Community Services Centre. The produce supplements an emergency food hamper program.