Glasshouse and raised beds

Increase Food Production

This land sustained Indigenous communities long before James Dunsmuir established a working farm at Hatley Castle. Your gift will transform the four-acre Walled Garden into a model organic garden and living lab that boosts food security and feeds the community.

Strengthening food security

For centuries—well before global pandemics reinforced the value of self-sufficiency—local families found sustenance on the shores of Esquimalt Lagoon.

Indigenous communities harvested food and medicine from the land and sea long before James Dunsmuir established a working farm, complete with piggery, pear trees and a large kitchen garden, to serve Hatley Castle in the early 1900s.

With donor support, Dunsmuir’s original four-acre Walled Garden will be transformed into a thriving food production garden that once again feeds the community.

From advancing organic soil science to exploring Indigenous harvest rituals, the revitalized garden has limitless potential to serve as a living lab for diverse communities from across our region.

Hands holding a grate full of fresh vegetables
Bee on purple flowers

Protecting the pollinators

The reigning monarchs of Hatley Castle are queen bees. Literally.

The old tennis courts at Royal Roads University are home to a honey bee apiary—two thriving hives that help pollinate our gardens, protect native species, and sustain bee populations.

Bee health is critically important to global health: bees are the most important pollinator of fruits, vegetables, and flowers, and more than a third of the world’s crop production depends on bees for pollination.

The world needs more bees, and your gift will help us expand our apiary. And bonus: with more bees comes the prospect of hyper-local honey.