British Columbia

Victoria council considers allowing sale of backyard fruits and vegetables in city

The distance from farm to table could get very short in Victoria if a council initiative on food security comes to pass.

'We’re hoping to bring the bylaw up to date ... and in fact encourage this type of thing'

Backyard apples often go to waste, Victoria city councillor Jeremy Loveday says. He wants to see that happen less often and improve food security by allowing residents to sell backyard fruit and veggies at urban roadside stands (Submitted by Jim Fitzgerald)

Victoria residents could soon benefit from the fruits — and vegetables — of their labour.

City council is considering letting residents sell backyard fruit and veggies at urban roadside stands to improve local food security.

Coun. Jeremy Loveday said current bylaws forbid produce-selling in areas not zoned for such an activity.

However he said he's not aware of anyone ever being ticketed for selling fruits and vegetables in areas that aren't already zoned, and said he is aware of some people who are already selling their backyard harvest. 

"In some ways, we're hoping to bring the bylaw up to date and allow other people to join in, and in fact encourage this type of thing," he told All Points West host Robyn Burns.

"I think there are many, many yards across this city that have apples that fall and rot on the ground. You grow kale, and one week you've got enough to put in your salad or your smoothie, and the next week, you've got way too much … so I think more often than not, this is going to encourage the food to be spread around."

Loveday envisions "seasonal business licenses" costing $25 for people who want to set up a neighbourhood produce stand and said those licenses will be valid for three months.

He says the next step will be to solicit public feedback about the idea. A public hearing on the matter will be held Aug. 25 at Victoria City Hall.

With files from CBC Radio One's All Points West

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Victoria council plants seeds of idea: backyard fruit and veggie sales in city