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Montreal: The growing pains of urban agriculture

montanimGarden animator Vera Martynkiw helps Aisha Alvarez measure some of the edible flowers she picked at the St-Thomas collective garden in N.D.G., which organizes kid-friendly activities. Peter Mccabe / Montreal Gazette

There are 128 hectares of Montreal land being used for urban agriculture initiatives, with the participation of 42 per cent of Montrealers.

Donna Nebenzahl,
Montreal Gazette
More from Donna Nebenzahl,
August 1, 2015


But as it expands, urban agriculture must walk a fine line. In densely populated neighbourhoods, there are many factors to consider.

In N.D.G., for example, a sidewalk gardening project was scuttled after a condo owner claimed that the vegetable beds deterred renters from the ground floor space he owns. A proposal to house chickens in community gardens in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve has started this month, but the SPCA is worried that these animals will be neglected or abandoned in their urban setting.

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Urban Agriculture in Bogota, Columbia


We wanted to create projects to build a social network, by creating urban gardens. There are currently about 25 gardens in that area.

Bogota Post
July 31


Maria Elena Villamil, born and raised in the Perseverancia barrio, owns an urban farm where she has been growing her own fruit and vegetables for the past eight years. “I did two years of training with SENA in urban agriculture to better understand how I could grow and produce here. We couldn’t grow in the soil, there’s a really old cypress tree that was stealing all the nutrients, so we created raised beds.”

“We grow crops that are traditional to the Sabana de Bogota, during the past eight years that’s been a total of 80 different crops. I’ve grown 15 types of lettuce, eight types of potatoes, four types of corn, three types of celery, six types of tomatoes… we change each year,” she explains.

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Farm Animals at City Farms in London, England

londfarmsLeonie Olu-Williams, Leah Cronin and Gene Brathwaite at Vauxhall City Farm.

A farm isn’t a farm without animals, and at Vauxhall City Farm they have plenty.

By Kate Gould
South London
July 2015


Surrey Docks Farm is a working city farm occupying a 2.2 acre site on the Thames Path in Rotherhithe. It is open seven days a week and is free to get in.

Animals reared on the farm include a herd of goats, sheep, cattle, pigs, ducks, geese, chickens, turkeys, bees and donkeys.

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Vancouver Food Gardens: Seeds of a better community

Gardeners collect the bounty at High Top Hub, the shared community garden at Bosa False Creek.
Photograph by: Dan Lum

Food gardens have the power to create instant community in urban environments

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
August 6, 2015


A white paper released earlier this year by the Happiness Research Institute put it bluntly: “Loneliness kills.”

The institute cites studies suggesting that loneliness among the elderly can be a significant health risk and lead to dementia and depression. A 2010 meta-analysis of 148 studies on social relationships and mortality involving 308,000 participants found that people with strong social connections are 50 per cent more likely to survive the period of the study regardless of age, sex and pre-existing health conditions.

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