What is Grow a Row?

The concept is simple: there are lots of people growing fantastic food in their backyards, on their balconies, in the boulevards on their streets and in community gardens. There are moments in every garden when there are simply too many tomatoes to eat. Meanwhile, there are plenty of people in our community who don’t have access to this sort of wonderful fresh produce.

Easy Solution: Distribute extra produce from local gardens to local people who would like to eat it!


The Grow a Row project allows gardeners to help others in an innovative way while helping themselves by growing their own food. This national initiative began in 1986 in Winnipeg and has grown to include over 85 communities across Canada. The premise is simple – plant an extra row of vegetables to give to those in need! Visit the national Plant a Row, Grow a Row website for more information on what is happening in the rest of the country.

Here in Victoria, we are all aware of growing rates of poverty and homelessness. Many of us are also aware of growing concern around food security and the safety and transportation of our food. As a result, more and more people are turning to their backyards and community gardens to grow their own food.

Currently, our goal is to encourage gardeners (experienced or beginner) to commit to donating an extra row of produce from their gardens. Gardeners will have access to convenient weekly drop-off locations where staff and volunteers will weigh all the fruit and vegetables and give it to local transition centers such as Our Place Society, school food programs and community food banks.