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The Food Cupboard Garden


The Food Cupboard Garden is a little urban farm where vegetables are grown for Nelson Food Cupboard customers. It is one more way we are trying to address community food security from many angles – people of low incomes have access to fresh, organic produce; we’re growing the produce instead of buying vegetables trucked in from elsewhere; and gardeners are learning valuable skills.

Under the guidance of a garden coordinator, gardeners plant, care for and harvest vegetables, berries and herbs. Gardeners come from the Food Cupboard’s customer base and the general public. They claim the gardening experience is beneficial to their physical and mental health, appreciate having a way to give back to the Food Cupboard, and are excited about the new skills they are acquiring.

The garden is on the site of the former Grizzelle’s greenhouses on the corner of Ward and Hoover Streets, just four blocks from the Food Cupboard. It’s a 9,000 square foot plot of land full of beans, squash, kale, raspberries, scallions, carrots, beets and much more.

The garden is also a veritable teaching ground. Students from LVR High School and Trafalgar Middle School have helped prepare the garden while learning about community food security and the food system. Younger children have enthusiastically visited the garden too.

This project is possible due to the support of many community partners including, Brooke and Sandi Leatherman who have donated the use of the land, the Columbia Basin Trust that provided funding for many aspects of the garden’s development, Community Food Centres Canada contributed to the built infrastructure, DDC Excavating that re-contoured the land, Eco-Habitat, Selkirk Irrigation and many more. For a complete list of donors please click Garden Donors.

The Garden Project will provide new and different ways for our supporters to get involved too. Gardeners can participate in work parties, helping with various projects, or general garden maintenance. Donations of garden tools and inputs are welcome, as are financial donations toward the project.

If you are interested in gardening with us, please contact Kim Charlesworth, our Garden Coordinator, at (250)354-1633. Email works too: We love help and our usual hours are 9-11 a.m., Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays. Please call ahead to confirm. 


Check out this short TV clip about the garden’s first year successes:
And this one about the garden’s creation:

Garden Donors

Columbia Basin Trust
Brooke & Sandi Leatherman
Community Food Centers Canada
DDC Excavating,
Bloom Garden Design
Selkirk Irrigation
Urban Systems, Landscape Architecture
Deverney Engineering
Kootenay Lake Electric
Eco Habitat Architecture, Fence and space design
Glade Valley Garden – expertise
Limbwalker – mulch
Tom Cherry – Concrete Disposal
McNally Excavating – topsoil and sand
Andex Rentals & Sales – port a potty rental
Rolo Services – plumbing
Ron Bogusz – legal
Hippersons Home Hardware
Home Hardware
MacLeod Nine – structural engineering advice
Harrop Proctor Community Forest
Kootenay Career Development Society,
Cornerstone General Contracting,
Rob Wrangler – Trucking,
JY Contracting – trucking
Sabo Mobile Contracting – trucking
Dig Garden Center – azomite
Nelson Farmer’s Supply – peat moss
Ellison’s Market – seeds
Bee Glade Farm – strawberries
Maglio Building Center – fence supplies
Cowan Office Supplies – art supplies
Dulux Paints
Kootenay Country Store Coop
And the many, many individuals who donated supplies ranging from a picnic table, shed, hay, manure, transportation of materials, garden supplies, etc.