Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne is getting his victory garden ready for planting. (Contributed)

Similkameen mayor encourages residents to plant victory gardens

Experts are predicting a fresh produce shortage this summer

Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne is leading a practical movement — one with symbolism as well — encouraging residents to plant victory gardens in response to COVID-19.

“I am hoping that people will grow a garden big or small to help supplement what they would normally buy from the grocery store,” said Coyne in an interview with The Spotlight.

“Not everyone has an acre to grow food on but everyone has a window or a patio or a small spot in their yard that can be used to grow food. I am promoting all forms of gardening from container to square foot or traditional gardening.

“If you are lacking space then square foot and container gardening is the perfect solution to grow large quantities of food in a small space.”

Coyne launched a local Facebook group to engage would-be gardeners. It has 87 members who are already sharing tips and ideas.

Related: Princeton closes parks and mayor launches ‘virtual walk’ Facebook group

“There are multiple benefits to growing your own food,” said Coyne. “Not only does it get people outside, it allows people to take fresh food that they have grown and put it on their table all summer long. It also begins a move towards a secure local food source and food security.”

Experts are predicting a fresh produce shortage this summer, as many B.C. and Canadian farms are unable to hire the migrant workers they rely on annually. Selection is expected to be limited, and prices are expected to be high.

COVID-19 pushes Canadian food industry to tipping point: Federation of Agriculture

“With the prospect of the lack of fresh food on the grocery store shelves, I thought what is the easiest way to solve this problem?” said Coyne. “Gardens, victory gardens, were what kept food on the table during the war so why not a victory garden for today?”

The mayor is an experienced gardener as his family operates a successful market garden.

While his own victory garden is now “just dirt,” Coyne will be planting beets, carrots, lettuce, peas, corn, zucchini, bush beans, cabbage, squash, pumpkin, and herbs for drying and fresh use. “I am still looking for some onions and potatoes.”

To report a typo, email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Golden police seek Good Samaritan after house fire

An unidentified individual may have saved lives in the early-morning fire.

Revelstoke lawyer uses her good fortune to help others

For Melissa Klages, lawyer and owner of Arrow Law Corporation, being a… Continue reading

Revelstoke maternity team keeps mom grounded during COVID-19

Melyssa Hudson gave birth to her second child April 29

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for May 21

Items from Revelstoke newspapers, as gleaned and edited by Cathy English, curator… Continue reading

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Vancouver Foundation grants benefit Okanagan-Shuswap residents

Grants of up to $500 available for ideas that connect people socially or involve sharing skills

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Water quality advisory rescinded for Central Okanagan system

Turbidity levels improve enough to rescind advisory issued for Killiney Beach system May 11

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

UPDATE: Two sent to hospital following Okanagan highway accident

Drivers in head-on collision air-lifted to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries

Most Read