New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Farming The Front Yard!

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A lengthly interview with two of City Farmer’s founders by Richard Whittaker, publisher of “Works and Conversation” magazine.

Bob Woodsworth:  “I did my Master’s in environmental economics in 1970. Dan Phelps, a physicist, and I did this huge study of energy movement through the city and nobody was doing an energy analysis of everything. Is it worthwhile getting into your car and recycling your glass bottles at a depot that’s ten miles away? Is that energy efficient? So energy was really foremost in my mind. I just thought food was an obvious example. If you could grow it, and recompost it, it would undercut a massive amount of energy transport. So it was an obvious one to study.”


“I got a teaching degree and went to Simon Fraser for a year. As a part of that I went to a four-month training at a school north of here and it had a vegetable garden. I thought, this is absolutely the way we should be going as a society! Because teaching about growing food to an elementary or even to a high school class is basic. You could do so many wonderful unit projects. You’d have your food unit, your physics unit, your biology unit etc. in grade five or six or eight, or whatever. You’d have a garden plot in a school for the study of growing food as opposed to having a plot just for kicking a football around.”

“But the one thing we always felt from the beginning was that City Farmer and everything to do with growing food is positive! There is no negativity here! It’s a positive thing! You don’t have to be negative toward anyone. It’s sort of like planting trees in Africa. Who could say that it’s a bad thing to plant trees in Africa? There’s a group that plants trees in Africa. So it’s an interesting vehicle for social change that is completely positive! And there are other groups who are not like that even though they are in the same territory.”

Link to the interview.