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Chinese market gardeners in the City of Burnaby BC continue to practice urban agriculture

BigBendFarmsmallPhoto of a Big Bend farm next to suburban homes in the crowded municipality of Burnaby. Photo by Michael Levenston. Larger version here. (2MB)

Highly productive Chinese-Canadian market gardens in the Big Bend area of Burnaby

In 1979, John Jeavons, a California intensive grower, visited City Farmer and toured the Chinese market gardens in Burnaby. He was astounded at the productivity of these urban farms. They were producing for the urban market in the 1800’s and continue to do so today.

The importance of the Chinese-Canadian market gardens in the Big Bend area of Burnaby was described in 1912 by The British Columbian as such: “The Chinese farmers have been for years developing and reaping the benefits of the rich soil. By draining the land with a series of ditches, the [growers] have reduced what was once little better than a cranberry marsh into a richly productive farming area which is one of the most valuable assets to…Burnaby.”

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May 3, 2010   1 Comment

Philadelphia high school is a farm school

philfarm

The FFA chapter at W.B. Saul High School teaches inner city youngsters all about farming and brings new recruits to those planning careers in agriculture. See video report here.

America’s Heartland – Episode 513 – Urban Agriculture

Philadelphia, the birthplace of America, the city of brotherly love. But, right in the middle of one of the largest cities in the country is a high school whose students have a heart for the heartland. When these teens leave their classrooms and books – it’s all about cow pens and brooms.

That’s daily life at W.B. Saul High School, a farm school so to speak with one of the largest FFA chapters in the country. Students spend half the day in class – and for the other half – it’s all ag!

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May 3, 2010   Comments Off on Philadelphia high school is a farm school

The pig man and pig bins of WW2

dogfoodbinDog carrying pig food to pig bin

Feeding food scraps to livestock in World War II

This practice is not common today and it is banned in most countries due to animal health concerns. But in England during the war, the activity was promoted and seniors, who grew up in England, remember the Pig Man.

Revised extracts from ‘A Sheltered Childhood ~ Wartime Family Memories of an East Acton Child’
Contributed by Brian Brooks
The Brooks family lived at 18 The Green, East Acton, West London.

“Not only paper and metal had to be salvaged but now food swill to feed animals, such as pigs, as well. This would help meat rationing. A round metal bin and lid, nick-named the ‘Pig Bin’, was put by the lamppost opposite The Bye, beside the path to the public air raid shelter on The Green. This was for everybody’s food scraps and meat bones. The bin was emptied every few days by unhappy-looking POW’s in a very smelly lorry.
The bin became very dented and the lid wouldn’t fit on properly. It also split and smelly yellowy gunge oozed out. People started to avoid walking too close to it because of the smell, unlike the flies which loved it. It was my job (more war work for me!) to take the food scraps to the pig bin.

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May 3, 2010   2 Comments

‘Urban Farmer’ defined as – the trend for young jam tart types to dress in country regalia

jam

Three definitions of “urban farmer” at Urban Dictionary

From Wikipedia: Urban Dictionary is a Web-based dictionary of slang words and phrases. As of April 2010, the site contains over 4.85 million definitions. Submissions are regulated by volunteer editors and rated by site visitors.

1. Urban Farmer

April 28, 2010 Urban Word of the Day

A person who constantly plays Farmville and acts like they know everything about a real farm — but all they do is live in the city, sit at a computer, and at a certain time, need to stop what they are doing to farm their imaginary crops.

Example: “Carly won’t shut up about her stupid farm and throwing sheep. What an urban farmer.”

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May 3, 2010   Comments Off on ‘Urban Farmer’ defined as – the trend for young jam tart types to dress in country regalia