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Urban farm in Calgary celebrates third year as demand soars amid slumping economy

paulhPaul Hughes and his son Mac, centre, work the soil with the help of some Grow Calgary volunteers, Anne-Claire Antoine, left, and Isabel Graefendorf, right, from the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) in Calgary on Monday May 19, 2014. Grow Calgary donates all the food harvested to the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank. (Jenn Pierce/Calgary Herald)

In 2014, Hughes made a request to the provincial government for an additional 254 hectares of land on the transportation utility corridor that would be used to grow everything from carrots to cabbage, zucchini and turnips.

By Trevor Howell
Calgary Herald
May 14, 2016


Over the past three years, Grow Calgary has become Canada’s largest urban agricultural farm, attracted a core group of roughly 50 people, hundreds of more occasional volunteers, hosted tours for schools and community groups and donated truckloads of fresh produce to the Calgary Food Bank.

“We started with a chunk of grassland and now we’re this robust program that’s … delivered hundreds of truckloads of food to the Food Bank and now dealing with 16 different organizations,” said Hughes, who wants to grow the operation into the world’s largest urban farm.

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Food And The Cities


Food policies for sustainable cities

By Andrea Calori and Andrea Magarini
Edizioni Ambiente
October 2015
Pages 200

Food systems sustainability is strongly influenced by world urbanization: since 2008, more than half of the world’s population lives in a city, which is an ecosystem that depends on other resources to acquire what is needed (energy, water, soil, food, etc.) and to dispose of what is not metabolized (waste, scrap, emissions, etc.). Besides, world urbanization also shapes the imbalances between global wealth production as measured in GDP and the many facets of well-being, sustainability, and the resilience of social and environmental systems against external shocks.

The first part of the book examines the fundamental elements of agro-food cycles, that represent crucial factors of the urban metabolism and its social, economic, and environmental dimensions; these elements constitute the “urban infrastructure,” along with social services, public transportation, health care, education, waste and water management. They are a fundamental component of in the urban life that is inseparable from citizens’ basic rights and needs, individual lifestyles and cultures, the socio-economic structure, and the city’s relationship with the surrounding environment.

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