FILLED – LAND OPPORTUNITY: Retreat Centre Garden Seeking a Keen Grower – Nanaimo, BC

Posted by Azja Jones Martin on February 18, 2020

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Bethlehem Centre Garden is a quiet space located in South Nanaimo on the shores of Westwood Lake. Please see our website: and our Facebook page for more information and pictures of the property and our Retreat Centre.

This year we are hoping to find an individual that has a genuine interest in developing a smaller area of land. This person should have a deep love of gardening and quiet places. Ideally this person will want to take over the management and development of our small organic garden ie; soil prep, planting, weeding, harvesting and help with production of the harvest. This individual could also work around the property and grounds, including but not limited to, identifying wild edibles and planting herbs, creating an organic compost area, helping to build trails/paths, building a small green house, building a small tool shed etc.

Bethlehem Centre would consider all options in trade with a suitable person. We could do 80/20 split of the harvest in exchange for the work? Alternatively, we could offer shared accommodation and 3 meals per day for the season (April – October or longer for right person) in trade for work in the garden or on the property 5 days per week 6.5 hrs per day). BCS is also open to discussing any other option that presents itself and that we can reach an equitable agreement on.


Bethlehem Centre property is 6.5 acres in total. The Bethlehem Centre Garden is approximately 9100 square feet (.21/acre).

Currently the garden includes:

  • 21 blueberry trees, pear tree, two apple trees, yellow plum tree, raspberry canes (3yrs), mason bee house.
  • Fully Fenced with truck access (1) & man gates (2)
  • Water access
  • Road access
  • The Soil: As far as I know the soil hasn’t been tested, but generally speaking the Vancouver Island soil is often found to be high in acid. The garden area is basically flat. However, we have a French drain in one corner of the garden and the soil still gets saturated there. I think a new drain will help that situation. The soil is really dense in some spots but we rototill regularly. We put 5 yards of topsoil and manure mix last year and I planted winter rye (for the first time) last fall.
  • Rototiller, assorted hand tools, wheelbarrow, water hoses, fan type sprinklers, water/timer system (Rain Bird)
  • We could provide some new soil where required, assorted seeds or starter plants, (your choice).

We would love to continue to produce organic vegetable & fruit crops from this garden. Currently we are not entertaining the notion of chickens or any livestock on the property.

Please feel free to bring your ideas!



Margot Bodchon CCC, Chef/Operations

Bethlehem Centre – 2371 Arbot Road, Nanaimo, BC V9R 6S9

1-250-754-3254 ext 724 |

Learn more about the land (and other Land Listings in your region) on the Young Agrarians UMAP. For more about the B.C. Land Matching Program, please visit

The B.C. Land Matching Program is funded on Vancouver Island by the Province of British Columbia, with support from Cowichan Valley Regional District and the Real Estate Foundation of B.C.


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