The Great Northern Way Urban Orchard is a hub of food security research and organic growing in the heart of post-industrial Vancouver.
The Orchard is located on the Great Northern Way Campus (GNWC) at the southern edge of the False Creek flats, an area identified in Vancouver's Greenest City 2020 Action Plan as a burgeoning hub of green development and innovation. The heart of the campus has been transformed by Evergreen into a 10,000-square-foot multi-use fruit and nut orchard – a public space where urban agriculture engages and inspires the community.
The Orchard provides opportunities for original research on innovative urban food production methods in marginal growing conditions, such as toxic, compacted soils on concrete-covered landscapes, and improves understanding of future trends in urban agriculture. The site features a wide variety of organic crops, including apples , hazelnut trees, raspberries, strawberries, currants, huckleberries, service berries and more. All crops are grown in large planter boxes (using dwarf root stock), allowing the orchard to be moved with a forklift – testing the viability of a mobile urban orchard.
The Orchard also serves as a community learning space, where visitors can explore best practices for organic farming and contribute to local food security in a tangible way. Evergreen hosts two annual celebrations at the Urban Orchard: a Spring Planting Celebration and a Heritage Harvest Festival in the fall, along with year-round school programming and community workshops. We also offer volunteer opportunities for community members to help maintain the Orchard.
To learn more, contact Helen Beynon, Community Development Coordinator.
One of our most popular orchard programs is our Fruit Tree Workshop Series – free, hands-on seminars that will help you grow healthy and productive fruit trees in the city.
Can’t make it out to the workshops? Check out these short learning modules based on the workshop content:
Fruit Tree Production: A Brief Guide to Growing Your Own Fruit in the City (PDF, 670 kB)
Fruit Tree Budding: A Brief Guide to Creating Your Own Fruit Tree (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Fruit Tree Canopy Management: A Brief Guide to Pruning, Training and Tree Growth (PDF, 1.3 MB)
Integrated Pest Management: A Brief Guide to Pest Management for Fruit Trees (PDF, 1.3 MB)
“Evergreen’s Urban Orchard fills an important niche that will build capacity for urban organic fruit tree cultivation by individuals and community groups alike, helping build a valuable food security network. Evergreen’s efforts to educate urbanites on the proper methods for growing organic fruit trees in an urban setting are well conceived, timely and valuable.”
— Kent Mullinix, PhD, Director, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security, Institute for Sustainable Horticulture, Kwantlen Polytechnic University