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Rising food prices in Calgary create fertile environment for urban permaculture food garden

percaJohn Berlie’s yard has been converted to a food producing permaculture garden. Calgary Herald.

“Even without a yard, you can still have window boxes for herbs that would otherwise be expensive to buy.”

By Sharon Crowther
Calgary Herald
Apr 16, 2016

Excerpt:

Jon and his wife Jamie bought their Coventry Hills home in 2013 and in less than three years transformed their “weed infested” front and backyard, totalling less than 2,000 square feet, into a garden producing more than a hundred varieties of fruit, vegetables and herbs.

“The front yard is a forrest garden, the idea is that everything growing there should be edible or have medicinal value: currants, apples, pears, rhubarb, echinacea. We also put in a fruit hedge by the pavement. There’s a daycare three houses along from us and the kids love to steal the raspberries in summer: that’s why it’s there, we want kids to see where fruit comes from.

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April 20, 2016   Comments Off on Rising food prices in Calgary create fertile environment for urban permaculture food garden

Canada: Ottawa’s urban farmers cross the fowl line, as hobby comes home to roost

outlKeeping backyard chickens is against the law in Canada’s capital city. Photo by Bruce Deachman.

McGregor thinks the city should amend By-law 2003-77 to allow backyard hens, joining Vancouver, Victoria, Kingston, Red Deer, Montreal, Saint John, Moncton, Fredericton, Cornerbrook, Brampton, Guelph and numerous other Canadian municipalities that permit backyard chickens.

By Bruce Deachman
Ottawa Citizen
Apr 16, 2016

Excerpt:

She first got the idea more than a decade ago when she and her husband toured an off-the-grid house where the owners kept chickens. “They were all what I’d call funky chickens — heritage breeds — and after that I decided I wanted chickens.”

They made the leap four years ago, when they attended a bird auction and paid about $20 each for two hens: a Barred Rock and a Polish hen — Polly — the latter most notable for its showy crest of feathers.

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April 20, 2016   Comments Off on Canada: Ottawa’s urban farmers cross the fowl line, as hobby comes home to roost

Why urban agriculture isn’t a panacea for Africa’s food crisis

sfrIn the last few years, Cape Town has witnessed the proliferation of hundreds of community gardens and urban farms.

It is clear that urban agriculture can have significant benefits for some participating households. But we are concerned about the absence of wider evidence supporting its potential to address food insecurity beyond those households.

By Gareth Haysom, Researcher at the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town
Jane Battersby, Senior Researcher in Urban Food Security and Food Systems, University of Cape Town
Economies
April 15, 2016

Excerpt:

Proponents of urban agriculture offer figures suggesting that as many as 40% of African urban residents are involved in some form of agriculture. Such figures require far greater interrogation. In the case of Cape Town in South Africa, research conducted in low-income areas of the city in 2008 found that less than 5% of poor residents were involved in any form of urban agriculture. In reality, those most active in urban agriculture were found to be wealthier people in low-income areas.

Context is a further determining factor. Research shows that in towns where the municipal boundary extended into areas with more rural characteristics, urban agriculture was higher.

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April 20, 2016   Comments Off on Why urban agriculture isn’t a panacea for Africa’s food crisis