St Vital has always been an agricultural community for the past two hundred years. Whether it was early Metis settlers growing grains to be milled at Louis Riel’s mill on the Seine, or dairies and market gardens feeding Winnipeg, or the community gardens and backyards of today St Vital is really good at growing food. Food production is still celebrated in St Vital at events like the St Vital Agricultural Fair and the many gardener groups that exist throughout the neighbourhood.
According to the City of Winnipeg, St Vital is home to five community garden sites and a schoolyard garden. That’s more public gardening than any other neighbourhood outside the downtown. The Bishop Grandin Greenway is also home to Winnipeg’s very first public orchard. Well done St Vital!
Winnipeg, believe it or not, is home to 155 farms, and St Vital holds most of Winnipeg’s farmland. Growing food is still an important part of St Vital’s economy, with receipts of over $32 million per year. Farmers in St Vital grow a whole host of crops from market garden vegetables for sale in Winnipeg to grains for export around the world.
Many properties in St Vital have plenty of space and excellent soil. What does that mean? Prime conditions for a little backyard gardening. Whether it is lettuce or an over producing zucchini plant, people in St Vital know the thrill of home grown vegetables.
St Vital is a place that grows food! Throughout the food assessment process we want to learn more about the food that is grown in St Vital, celebrate the great things that are already happening, and find ways to help facilitate this amazing work.