The Campbellton Neighbourhood Garden is a template for the sorts of urban agriculture projects will probably be needed in the future as communities strive towards sustainable local food production.

Documentary on making of Campbellton Neighbourhood Garden premieres

The 22-plot garden is in a portion of an underused urban park in an older and mixed-use neighbourhood of Campbell River

The Campbellton Neighbourhood Association hosted on Tuesday the premiere of its recently-completed 27-minute documentary film on the making earlier this year of the Campbellton Neighbourhood Garden.

The garden is important for numerous reasons, such as helping the four-years-old Neighbourhood Association demonstrate to people and businesses in the area that its works are useful, and helping the City of Campbell River achieve the ambitious food self-sufficiency strategy in its Sustainable Official Community Plan – plus of course providing healthy, fresh, affordable and organic food to its gardeners, even year-round!

But perhaps most important in the big picture is that the Campbellton Community Garden is a possible template for the sorts of many more such urban agriculture projects that probably will be needed more of in times ahead due to growing instabilities in global economic, social and environmental conditions.

Campbell River, for example, produces only about three per cent of the food its residents and visitors now eat, and the food on its grocery shelves would last the city only about three days, so clearly more needs to be done in that area for the benefit of everyone.

The 22-plot garden is in a portion of an underused urban park in an older and mixed-use neighbourhood of Campbell River; It is located on 15th Avenue near Petersen Road. The present facilities, which include fencing, water taps, a locked gate and a locked shed, are in the first of what is intended to be two phases, with the second phase timing depending on demand and donations.

The first phase was constructed from April through June entirely with volunteer labour and with materials either donated or sold at discounted prices by more than a dozen suppliers – some of the details of which are featured in the video, notably yellow cedar logs from Interfor that were milled into plot borders at White’s Mill. And despite the somewhat late start the garden still yielded good crops.

A 60-seconds-long promotional clip from the film can be viewed here

The film was commissioned by the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association from local film-maker Mark Job as director, photographer and editor. He was aided by co-director and stills photographer John Twigg (also secretary of the CNA), and by producer Ann Hazlett, a gardener and chair of the garden’s management committee, who conceived the idea of doing a documentary film on the garden project, pitched it to the CNA and assisted greatly in its filming.

The executive producers who pledged the start-up funding for the film were investment adviser Brian Shaw, chair of the CNA, and businessman Ted Arbour, a CNA director and longtime Campbellton resident. Other major sponsors of the video include Corby Lamb of Capacity Forest Management, Realtor Gary Jones, Christa Furnau of HYGRO Gardening Supplies, the Campbell River Mirror, the Beijing House Restaurant, the Quinsam Hotel and the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association.

An early three-minute version of the video was entered in B.C. Hydro’s Community Champions contest and received an honourable mention.

The garden project itself also received a sustainability award from the City of Campbell River, the presentation of which is included in the film.