Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick has been focused on farmers' market development, and the latest program looks to get more people into gardening for their own use.

‘Grow Local BC’ province’s latest community contest

10 urban or semi-rural communities will get up to $25,000 each to help people get back to growing their own food

B.C. local governments have been told to enter contests for provincial funds numerous times in recent years, with grant applications sought for schools and green building projects.

In a kind of Municipal Survivor, a pot of money is allocated from the B.C. treasury and communities have to apply. The latest is Grow Local BC, where 10 lucky towns will get up to $25,000 each to help people produce their food locally.

The pilot project for “urban and semi-rural local governments and community organizations” was announced Friday at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Victoria. It funds communities to help people grow gardens for their own use.

Grow Local BC was promised in Premier Christy Clark’s speech from the throne in February 2016. Applications have to be in by Nov. 16, starting with an online quiz to see if your community is eligible.

Promoting local food has been a political issue since the incoming B.C. Liberal government scrapped the NDP’s “Buy BC” branding exercise for food stores. Successive agriculture ministers have argued that funding regional marketing efforts is more effective than a generic provincial label.

 

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