New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Canada: Urban agriculture takes root in Winnipeg

Kal Barteski’s artwork based on this week’s conversation.

The city already has a community garden coordinator. It would be great to hire an urban agriculture coordinator to explore how to use all types of city spaces for small-scale agriculture and market gardening or even urban U-picks.

By Jason Syvixay
Winnipeg Free Press
08/19/2017

Excerpt:

How can the City of Winnipeg help urban agriculture flourish?

Giesbrecht: I think the city can implement rather simple things. They could provide free or low-rent on underutilized public spaces to agricultural entrepreneurs instead of paying city staff to maintain these areas. They can put calls out for seasonal market gardens on their vacant or derelict lots much as they do with food trucks or hot dog vendors. In lieu of rent or a user fee, the city could also ask these operators to donate a portion of their products or profits to a local shelter or food bank.

The city and Business Improvement Zones (BIZs) could help complete the urban agriculture life cycle by making their commercial kitchens in community centres or other venues available for low-rent — so small micro business owners can transform their vegetation harvests into dyes, perfumes, jams, ciders, and salsas. Working in Arborg last year, we noticed this service is already on the go in smaller Manitoba communities. BIZs, Food Growers Guilds and Chambers of Commerce could help promote and market local products, making that essential connection to the end-users that some growers just don’t have.

Read the complete article here.