Sustainable Food Systems & Security
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to ensure that Winnipeggers continue to have access to fresh, local food. The City has committed to connecting residents with public resources, and expanding access to existing and new community programs that help to improve food security. These programs help people who lack access to healthy and affordable food, while also promoting the physical and mental health benefits of being outdoors.
The City is supporting urban food production by renting and leasing community garden plots, promoting healthy soil by providing access to free compost, providing access to City-owned facilities for farmers’ markets and farm deliveries, and encouraging residents to get into gardening by supporting Winnipeg Harvest’s Grow a Row program.
These actions are supported by the Winnipeg Food Council, a Citizen Advisory Committee established by City Council.
Emergency food resources
Please visit End Homelessness Winnipeg for information on community resources and services available for individuals experiencing homelessness.
Farmers’ markets & food pick-up hubs
The City partnered with Direct Farm Manitoba to support the distribution of local farm fresh products including vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs, honey, and dairy products by providing access to City land.
Food pick-up hubs are designated locations for Direct Farm Manitoba’s member farmers, or groups of farmers, to arrange scheduled drop-off/pick-up times with their customers.
Food pick-up hubs and farmers’ markets are anticipated to be open by June 2020 and continue through to the fall harvest season. There are a number of farmers’ markets offered throughout Winnipeg and beyond.
Farmers’ markets can safely operate following appropriate guidelines and at the discretion of community centres and other facility managers. The Province of Manitoba has released COVID-19 guidance for farmers’ markets. Direct Farm Manitoba also has guidelines for farmers’ markets.
The following is a list of City locations that offer farmers’ markets or food pick up hubs in 2020:
|City-owned site||Farmers’ market name||Date and Hours of Operation||Address|
|Lord Roberts Community Centre||South Osborne Farmers’ Market||June 17 – September 23
Wednesdays, 4 – 8 p.m.
|725 Kylemore Ave.|
|R.A. Steen Community Centre||Wolseley Farmers’ Market||June 9 – October 20
Tuesdays & Thursdays
3 – 6:30 p.m.
|980 Palmerston Ave.|
|Bronx Park Community Centre||Bronx Park Farmers’ Market||June 6 – September 26
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
|720 Henderson Hwy.|
|Central Park||Winnipeg Central Global Market||400 Cumberland Ave.|
|City-owned site||Food pick-up hub name||Address|
|St. Vital Arena – Parking Lot||Direct Farm Manitoba – South Food Hub||580 St Anne’s Road|
|The Forks – Surface Parking Lot||Direct Farm Manitoba – Central Food Hub||106 Israel Asper Way|
For more information on other locations of farmers’ markets in Winnipeg, please visit Direct Farm Manitoba’s website.
Community gardens can transform empty lots into green, living spaces. Neighbourhoods often experience a positive environmental, economic, and social impact from their community gardens. The community group handles all aspects of garden membership, maintenance, and programming. Groups enter into a lease agreement with the City.
The benefits of community gardens include:
- Provide opportunities for individuals and community groups to grow gardens
- Improve our connection to the sources of food
- Strengthen our neighbourhood connection
- Add to the enjoyment of our green space
- Promote an awareness of the environment
All City allotment plots are rented for 2020. Contact your local community centre to see what may be available in your neighbourhood and refer to the guidelines for community gardens operating during the COVID-19
Free compost may be provided to community gardens on City property. For more information on this opportunity, please phone 204-832-5865 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gardening from the comfort of your home is a practical way to get outside and get exercise while maintaining safe distancing guidelines. The City encourages green thumbs to learn about how to garden in our climate by talking to your local garden centre expert, joining a community horticultural society, or reviewing these additional resources and tips on how to garden:
- Winnipeg Harvest Grow-A-Row: Since 1986, Winnipeg Harvest’s Grow-A-Row program has yielded millions of pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables for people in need. The City Hall Campus will be participating in the Grow-A-Row program by planting vegetables in its gardens this year, in addition to its Indigenous gardens and flower beds. These vegetables will be harvested and donated to Winnipeg Harvest at the end of the growing season.
- A Community Gardener’s Guidebook: A Month To Month Guide: Covering the Basics in Gardening in Winnipeg: This guidebook was compiled as a result of requests from the North End Community by the North End Food Security Network.
- Fruit Share: Fruit Share is a volunteer-led organization dedicated to picking, sharing and enjoying fresh fruit growing in backyards throughout Manitoba.
- Winnipeg Public Library list of garden resources
- City of Winnipeg Parks map
- Province of Manitoba Information on Gardening and Soil Contaminants
- Getty Stewart gardening resources
- Evergreen tools and resources for urban agriculture
- North Dakota State University – resources for Zone 3 gardeners
Composting is the natural process of breaking down organic material, such as kitchen and yard waste, to produce a nutrient-rich, soil-like material. The process works with the help of micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi combined with air and moisture.
For more information on how to compost, visit: City of Winnipeg – Composting
With urban beekeeping becoming more acceptable and popular in other major cities across Canada, the City of Winnipeg is looking at expanding opportunities through by-law amendments.
Beekeeping is currently permitted downtown and is also possible in agricultural areas through conditional use and a public hearing.
City Hall hosts an urban beehive on its rooftop to support honey production or supplement urban pollination. The production of local sweeteners such as honey has a role to play in supporting local food systems. View more information on the different types and importance of pollinators.