A group of UVic students are bringing gardening to the heart of the city.
Curbside Farms was started by political science student Eric Buhne as a last-minute idea for a club. Because of COVID-19, the plant-based solution has turned into something much more.
“Because of the pandemic, we decided that this is a good time to try and help people get started on their gardening, so we sort of just tried to start making raised beds out of pallets,” said Buhne in front of his Victoria home.
Soon Curbside’s garden boxes began springing up around Greater Victoria, offering a compact solution to those without much gardening space. As the number of boxes grew, so did the list of people willing to help Buhne out.
“We have more people saying like hey we’d love to volunteer, so we’re getting a lot more uptake which is really great because we definitely need the help,” said Buhne.
Buhne currently has a rotating group of close friends who help dismantle pallets and construct the boxes. One of those friends is Kunimasa Nerome. The Okinawa, Japan native fell in love with the island as a UVic student and elected to stay in Canada during the pandemic to help with the project.
“It’s kind of a hands-on job. It really makes us feel like we’re doing something like we’re making change from scratch type of thing,” says Nerome as he stands proudly beside one of the pallets.
As for the future of Curbside Farms, Eric is currently working with several consultants to register Curbside Farms as an official co-operative.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to be fully operational with our website and all the services and the incorporation by the spring growing season,” says Buhne.