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Posts from — September 2008

World Food Garden – ‘Facebook to save the planet’


“All users have to do is click their location on the website map and choose their veggies. Once a person has started a garden, he or she can add a small carrot representing that garden to the World Map of Small Food Gardens. This map is configured to let browsers find ideas or connections with other gardeners for sharing tips, seeds, recipes, and whatever else they need to know or swap in quest of the perfect small vegetable garden.”

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September 30, 2008   Comments Off

Horseradish – Fresh Today from the Garden

Horseradish – Fresh Today From Our Garden from Michael Levenston on Vimeo.
Also see alternative HD High Definition version on YouTube.

Maria pulled up a horseradish root today, cleaned and grated it, added a touch of white vinegar and let me taste it just minutes from the ground. Wow! If you like the flavour of horseradish on oysters, prime rib, or steaks, why wouldn’t you have a patch growing in your garden.

Blogger Durgan’s web page on processing horseradish root here.

How to harvest horseradish here.

How to plant horseradish here.

September 30, 2008   Comments Off

1875-1877 ‘The Gardeners’ – Oil on Canvas


by Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894)
The Gardeners
Oil on canvas, 1875-1877

See larger image here.

September 29, 2008   Comments Off

Developer Expands Downtown Community Garden in Vancouver

Onni Community Gardens in Vancouver BC from Michael Levenston on Vimeo. See HD quality by clicking on screen.
Also see alternative HD High Definition version on YouTube.

400 People on Waiting-list Prompt Developer to Build Second Garden.

Onni opened its second garden in late September under sunny skies. Earlier this year, Mike Clark talked to us as the developer was about to open its first community garden. Once again he provides us with details about the second site, which is located adjacent to the first one.

Just 3 weeks ago, the downtown Vancouver city block was covered in buildings. They were removed and new garden beds, paths and an irrigation system were installed. This has to be a ‘Guinness Book of Records’ record for the development of a new community garden.

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September 29, 2008   Comments Off

‘Edible City’ documentary – their new trailer

Edible City Trailer 1 from East Bay Pictures on Vimeo. See HD quality by clicking through on the screen. 9 minutes long.

Edible City is a documentary film that explores the issues of food justice, security, and sovereignty through a comprehensive view of urban farming in the Bay Area – a grassroots effort that sees people responding to climate change, rising food costs and gas prices, and increasing health concerns by strengthening connections to the food they eat and reaching out to their local communities.

See Edible City’s web site here.

September 28, 2008   Comments Off

Defiant Gardens – ‘Small pleasures must correct great tragedies’


In this December 1914 photograph, a British soldier of the London Rifle Brigade poses proudly behind his garden, festooned with stoneware rum jugs (on the extreme right). In the months to come, this location at Ploegsteert Wood in the Ypres Salient in Belgium would become the scene of horrific fighting. From the NPR website – from Imperial War Museum.

Kenneth Helphand published Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime in 2006.

“Kenneth Helphand, writes about war gardens — not just victory gardens, grown in time of scarcity, but those planted on hostile fronts, including Eastern Europe’s ghettos and the Japanese-American internment camps of World War II. Helphand calls the gardens an act of defiance.”

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September 28, 2008   Comments Off

Korean TV – SBS Morning Wide – Films at City Farmer


SBS Morning Wide is a variety, morning news show in Korea, which covers local, nationwide, and global issues. The show is very much like ABC’s Good Morning America or CBS Early Show in the U.S. This segment’s subtitle is ‘City Design Projects and World Famous Sustainable Cities in the Pacific Northwest’.

Charles Kim/Field Producer, Ji-eun Kim/Producer Director and Hyoo Joo Park/Cameraperson visited the Compost Demonstration Garden yesterday to shoot a segment on urban agriculture.

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September 26, 2008   Comments Off

Over 1000 People Wait for Garden Plots in Portland

Location of Community Gardens in Portland, Oregon.

Demand grows for community gardens in Portland

By KGW Staff, Portland, Oregon
September 24, 2008

If you’re trying to get a plot in the city’s community gardens — get ready for a long wait. More than 1,000 people are waiting and there are only 1,200 plots available citywide.

The only expansion planned is 22 new plots in Southeast Portland. Volunteers say it’s not nearly enough to cope with record demand.

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September 25, 2008   1 Comment

Edamame Harvested at City Farmer

Edamame Harvested at City Farmer from Michael Levenston on Vimeo.
Also see alternative HD High Definition version on YouTube.

We all like to snack on salted edamame with our sushi when we dine out at a Japanese restaurant. But you can see in this video that they grow well in a home garden. Sharon chose our variety from the Salt Spring Seeds catalogue but there are also varieties in the West Coast Seeds lineup.

Wikipedia says: “The Japanese name edamame is commonly used in some English-speaking countries to refer to the dish. The Japanese name literally means “twig bean”, and is a reference to the short stem attached to the pod. This term originally referred to young soybeans in general. Over time, however, the prevalence of the salt-boiled preparation meant that the term edamame now often refers specifically to this dish.”

September 25, 2008   Comments Off

New book – Healthy City Harvests: Generating evidence to guide policy on urban agriculture


from Makerere University Press, 250 pages
Editors: Donald Cole, Diana Lee-Smith and George Nasinyama (Will be going to press in the next few weeks.)

“In an era of global urban food crises and rapid, unplanned
city growth, how can urban agriculture be transformed from a
potential source of health risks into a vehicle for healthier
urban households and local environments?”

• A novel guide to integrating agriculture and public health into urban policy
• “Policy dialogue” to engage researchers and policy makers in support of agriculture-based livelihoods of low income urban families
• A science-based approach to dealing with public health and food safety concerns
• Essential reading for professionals and academics involved in agriculture and the environment, public health, and urban planning and management

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September 24, 2008   1 Comment

Urban Aboriginal Community – The Garden Project at UBC Farm

Aboriginal Community Kitchen Gardens at UBC Farm, Vancouver, BC

Since 2002, members of the Musqueam First Nation have grown vegetables on the farm site for their community kitchen project. With an interest in expanding the potential benefits of this community nutrition project, the farm initiated a new pilot program in 2005. In collaboration with 17 different agencies working on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES), a plot of land on the farm is dedicated towards the DTES Aboriginal Community Kitchen Garden Project.

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September 23, 2008   Comments Off

Richmond BC’s Garden City Lands – Urban Agriculture Potential


Land ruling could be a tipping point – The decision on Richmond’s Garden City Lands will have far-reaching implications for agricultural lands

By Wendy Holm, The Vancouver Sun
23 Sept 2008
Wendy Holm is an agrologist, economist and farm columnist.

Excerpts from the article:

The use of the land for urban agriculture was dismissed out of hand (“not commercial agriculture”).

What nonsense. Enlightened communities around the world are racing to develop strong urban agriculture within their cities. Terms that five years ago were unheard of are today in common use: Food security, food democracy, food sovereignty, food miles, slow food. The community interest is clear.

Urban agriculture is the new darling of cities around the globe for good reason. Vancouver, blessed with good climate and good planning, has the land base, human capital and infrastructure capacity to quickly catch up — offering new models for Lower Mainland communities, the rest of Canada and the world.

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September 23, 2008   1 Comment

Collingwood Neighbourhood House Rooftop Garden

Collingwood Neighbourhood House Rooftop Garden from Michael Levenston on Vimeo. See HD version. Click screen.
Also see alternative HD High Definition version on YouTube.

Heidi Sinclair has spent the last few years developing this roof garden at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House in Vancouver BC. She gives Mike of City Farmer a brief tour of the newly opened community resource.

“This past winter, the rooftop garden of Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH) went under some serious construction; the old wooden plant boxes were removed from the upstairs deck and permanent flower beds made of cement were installed. The construction, finished in time for spring planting, has meant that the Renfrew Collingwood Food Security Institute (RCFSI) has been able to grow and harvest large amounts of fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables on the CNH rooftop.

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September 22, 2008   Comments Off

Hawk Visits and Eats Lunch at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden

Hawk Visits and Eats Lunch at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden from City Farmer on Vimeo. See HD version. Click screen.
Also see alternative HD High Definition version on YouTube.

Videos shot by Maria Keating.

Maria videos a hawk dining on a chickadee in our cherry tree at City Farmer’s garden. We can’t tell if this is a Coopers Hawk or a Sharp-shinned Hawk. For 30 minutes the hawk concentrated on his meal, while some crows looked on with interest and a black squirrel travelled its highway of branches nearby.

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September 22, 2008   Comments Off

85 Year Old Has Worked his Garden Plot for More Than 70 Years

Photo by Stuart Gradon.

Historic community garden in line for city protection in Calgary, Alberta

Kim Guttormson, Calgary Herald
September 18, 2008

Marshall Libicz stands in the garden plot he’s worked on and off for more than 70 years, strawberries, zucchini, parsnip and beets at his feet.

“It’s got a history,” the 85-year-old says of the 825 square-metre lot where residents of Bridgeland/Riverside have grown food since the 1920s. “We thought we were going to lose it.”

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September 19, 2008   Comments Off