Western Living Magazine
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Three Vancouver urban farmers turn their passion for growingand their business savvyinto a gardening revolution.
When the trio behind Vancouver’s Victory Gardens look at a lawn or garden, they see not just grass and soil, but untapped potential. Combining their shared passions for environmentalism and sustainability, co-founders Lisa Giroday, Sandra Lopuch and Sam Philips started their community-minded gardening business in March of 2012 to help Vancouverites build and nourish their own veggie patches. Since then, they’ve been working sustainable gardening into urban lives by offering organic horticultural services, presenting gardening workshops for those who are ready to grow their own food, and operating a one-stop-shop for locally sourced gardening supplies.Although they take their name from the famous Victory Gardens of the Second World War, it’s far from being a wartime callback. “We chose the name Victory Gardens because it illustrates what we stand for: community participation and solidarity toward self-sufficiency,” explains Giroday. “It reflects the gravitas we wanted to bring to our work.”
Last year, they tackled a number of high-profile projects, including designing a window display for Lululemon Lab and constructing a garden (along with a training and maintenance plan) for award-winning Vancouver vegetarian eatery the Acorn. They also managed to find time to win the 2013 National Co-op challenge—the $25,000 they brought home will fund future projects like an educational YouTube series that shows viewers how to start their own urban gardens. Whether they’re sowing vegetable seeds or the seeds of knowledge, for these agricultural activists, everything is coming up roses.