Five Acres Farm Revitalization
In 2015, Allan and Linda Torgerson, then owners of a five-acre parcel of land at 945 Park Avenue in Harewood, asked Craig Evans, founder of Growing Opportunities and Nanaimo Foodshare Society, how the land could be converted to food production.
Under Craig's leadership, a diverse group of community members and organizations got to work cleaning away farm scrap piles, removing rocks, ploughing the land, adding organic material to enrich the soil, and building fencing. Today, this former hayfield has been transformed into incredibly rich and productive agricultural land, capable of producing a large volume of local food for members of the community.
For years, Craig and his partner Jen Cody (director of Growing Opportunities), advocated for the City of Nanaimo to purchase and preserve the farm for community agriculture. The outpouring of public interest and support that followed the premiere of "Five Acres" helped make that dream a reality. In September 2019, City of Nanaimo purchased the land for $1.38 million.
This farm demonstrates the potential of human-scale agriculture. It invites the community to explore a farm ecosystem with all their senses and imagine a future where food production fosters rich biodiversity, healthy soils and thriving wetlands.
Up until recently, Nanaimo Foodshare Society and Growing Opportunities both worked on this land. As of the spring 2023 growing season, Nanaimo Foodshare Society, which holds the lease with City of Nanaimo, is operating the farm independently. While we are no longer farming on this land, Growing Opportunities is proud of our work on this important legacy project.
Watch the documentary "Five Acres"
This film, produced and directed by Paul Manly and Laurie MacMillan, showcases the important agricultural and historic value of Five Acres Farm in Harewood.