top of page
  • Facebook

Five Acres Farm Revitalization

Five Acres Farm logo

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.

In 2023, the City of Nanaimo proposed to subdivide the property in order to add housing on 1 to 3 acres, which would have changed the farm forever. Growing Opportunities lobbied to have the farm preserved in its original five acre state. The community rallied and in late December, City of Nanaimo voted to scrap the plan to add housing and keep the farm as is. The farm is currently known as Park Avenue farm and is leased to Nanaimo Foodshare Society. 

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.

bottom of page