New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — Canada

Canada: De-Colonizing Local Ecology: Learning Medicinal And Food Uses Of Native Plants

Charles Dickens Elementary in Vancouver – The beginning of our project this year included designing and building a geodesic greenhouse. The students used applied skills criteria and Math to plan, design and build a working greenhouse. This greenhouse will be used to extend the growing season at our school.

Science World’s BC Green Games


Charles Dicken’s Elementary School has been working on an outdoor learning space for several years. The original building design included Leeds environmental criteria, which included a rooftop garden. Over the last few years we have been developing the outdoor garden into a dynamic learning space as part of a 3 year plan. This year our goal is to integrate aboriginal food and medicine plants into our outdoor learning space. Dickens has a long time running Green Team/ environmental club that includes year round activities.

[

April 16, 2018   No Comments

Canada: Concrete Garden Magazine

Grow – A short film by Concrete Garden Magazine – about urban agriculture in Victoria, B.C. from Concrete Garden Magazine on Vimeo.

The five students decided that people needed to be more informed and open to the idea of food grown in urban settings, whether that was through community farms, backyard gardening, or just by supporting local farmers.

Concrete Garden is a quarterly print magazine about sustainable urban agriculture based in Victoria, B.C. We feature compelling stories on our food system, local businesses, Indigenous food practices and food sovereignty, green architecture, and global ecological issues from a local perspective.

Concrete Garden is dedicated to decolonizing agriculture and food communities throughout our work. We humbly acknowledge that this magazine is produced on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish – the Lekwungen and W?SÁNE? peoples.

[

April 12, 2018   No Comments

Canada: Vancouver’s Rain City Strategy

City Farmer’s green roof is featured for a few seconds starting at [0.41].

City of Vancouver
March 2018

The City of Vancouver has set a target to capture and treat 90% of Vancouver’s average annual rainfall by using green infrastructure tools and design guidelines on public and private property.

In the natural environment, rain is absorbed and filtered by plants and soils. In cities, this natural water cycle is disrupted and rainwater flows across pavement and rooftops.

[

April 9, 2018   No Comments

Canada: City Farmer – a United Nations ‘Feed Your City’ Selection

Link to the exhibit. Click image to see larger file.

City Farmer’s ‘Demonstration Garden’ Official Feed Your City 2017 exhibit selection

City Farmer’s ‘Demonstration Garden’ in Vancouver, Canada

City Farmer Society celebrates its ‘40th anniversary’ in 2018. We have been promoting urban agriculture since 1978 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Our near half-acre ‘Demonstration Garden’ was started in 1981 and continues to operate 37 years later in the heart of the city.

Before securing the garden, we worked out of a downtown office, publishing our newspaper named ‘City Farmer’. We also offered urban farming courses at Continuing Education, University of British Columbia.

The Vancouver Demonstration Garden is our way of welcoming people to a hands-on, organic, food gardening experience. Visitors learn to grow food from our professional staff, six days a week, and also get to taste city produced vegetables, fruits and herbs. ‘Locally’, we reach over two and half million people in Greater Vancouver, and ‘globally’ our websites reach millions of readers.

[

April 6, 2018   No Comments

Canada: “We no longer own a shovel” – Langley, BC, community garden ravaged by thieves

Gardening tools, copper wiring and entire trees are just some of the things that have been stolen from the site, according to Smith, who estimates that they have lost $15,000 worth of equipment to theft.

By Tiffany Goodwein
CTV Vancouver
March 29, 2018


A popular community garden in Langley is forced to close its doors for the season because of rampant theft.

“We were getting things stolen every single day in January and February,” said Amanda Smith of the Maples Discovery Gardens Community Co-op.

[

April 5, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: “We no longer own a shovel” – Langley, BC, community garden ravaged by thieves

Canada: Growing food with fish poop: how these ‘farmers of the future’ are feeding Toronto

Brandon Hebor, left, and Steven Bourne founded agritech start-up Ripple Farms in 2016. (Petar Valkov/CBC)

Ripple Farms is bringing the farm to the city, one shipping container at a time

By Julia Whalen
CBC News
Mar 26, 2018


Bourne and Hebor say one of their favourite parts of owning the business is the engagement piece. They do educational workshops for children and adults alike to teach them about aquaponics, agriculture, and why Ripple Farms matters.

“If we go into a presentation and Steve and I say, ‘We’re farmers of the future,’ people are like, ‘Well, what does a farmer of the future look like?'” Hebor said.

[

April 1, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: Growing food with fish poop: how these ‘farmers of the future’ are feeding Toronto

Canada: A Garden On Every Corner

Broadway and MacDonald.

In Vancouver, British Columbia, one social enterprise looks to make the most of unused urban space by converting empty lots into temporary community gardens.

By Chris Reid
Vancouver Community Garden Builders
Mar 27, 2018

There used to be a gas station at the corner of Cambie and 16th Avenue in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. Today the site hosts 100 raised garden beds and provides growing space for roughly the same number of gardeners, many of whom are families living in nearby apartments and condominiums.

The project is the result of a partnership between Wesgroup, a local developer, and Vancouver Community Garden Builders, a local social enterprise. Together the pair opened six new gardens in 2017, which equals 600 new garden beds. In total, VCGB manages eight projects with close to 800 beds, or 16,000 square feet of urban growing space.

[

March 28, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: A Garden On Every Corner

Canada: New docu-series focuses on therapeutic horticulture for the visually impaired

The Growing Sense documentary series follows new friends Milena Khazanavicius (right), a visually impaired gardening enthusiast, and Rosmarie Lohnes from the Helping Nature Heal company on a season’s worth of planting, harvesting and healing. (MARK PIKE)

“I became a therapeutic horticulturalist instead of a horticultural therapist, and now I mentor and assist people who may or may not have a strict medical diagnosis but who believe that nature can heal them,” she says.

By Lisa Cochrane
Chronicle Herald
Mar 19, 2018


“They focus on scent and textures, the sound of the wind. All the senses, not just the visual,” Oakes said.

They also tackle some of Lohnes’ more challenging landscaping projects, all with an eco-friendly twist.

Along the way, according to a Tell Tale release, the characters explore the many benefits of community gardening, the healing powers of connecting with nature and the satisfaction of growing one’s own food. And keeping AMI-tv’s mandate in mind, they share helpful tips for gardeners of all abilities, including those living with sight loss.

[

March 28, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: New docu-series focuses on therapeutic horticulture for the visually impaired

Canada: ‘Seed Voyage’ App Connects The Home Grower With The Urban Consumer

Seed Voyage Featured on CTV Toronto. Feb 2018

A grower could make about $500 on 100 square feet per summer

By Dushan Batrovic, Shawn Sowten
Seed Voyage Website
(Must see. Mike)

From their site:

Our platform is designed with one thing in mind – to connect growers and eaters so that they can buy and sell their locally grown produce. The home gardener signs up on and inputs two key things – their address and the foods they are growing. The local eater signs up and inputs their region of interest (for example, within 5 km of their house) and the foods they are interested in buying. When the produce is ripe and ready for harvest, the grower will send notification and any eaters with matching preferences will be alerted. They will confirm purchase and pick up the goods at the growers house. All transactions are electronic so need to make change at the door. There are no fees for signing up, only a small transaction fee when goods are sold. Simple as that.

[

March 27, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: ‘Seed Voyage’ App Connects The Home Grower With The Urban Consumer

Canada: Grow your own clothes – East Vancouver group is fanatical about fabric

Rebecca Graham (right) processes the flax plants to make linen, while Sharon Kallis holds a linen blanket. Jennifer Gauthier / Vancouver Freelance

If you join this club and plant some flax seeds you could end up with a home-grown linen handkerchief

By Tessa Vikander
Mar 15 2018


Even with the latest genetic modifications, jeans and T-shirts still don’t grow on trees as fully formed garments. And, for better or worse, cotton and linen is still grown in fields, and processed rigorously before it’s woven into fabric.

Despite these constraints, there’s an ambitious group of fabric fanatics in Vancouver who are growing their own clothes, and you too could join them in a course called the Linen Grower’s Club. That is, as long as you have access to a 4m x 4m plot of land to grow flax plants, and are okay with the fact that it might take a year before you have processed the plants and spun enough linen to weave a handkerchief.

[

March 24, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: Grow your own clothes – East Vancouver group is fanatical about fabric

Backyard Bounty: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Organic Gardening in the Pacific Northwest

Packed with a wealth of information specific to the Pacific Northwest

By Linda A. Gilkeson
New Society Publishers.

Now completely updated and expanded, Backyard Bounty will demystify gardening, bringing it back to the down-to-earth, environmentally practical activity that anyone can enjoy.

Planning your garden and preparing the soil
Organic fertilizers and simplified composting
Planting for winter harvests and intensive planting schedules
Adapting to weird weather and the changing climate

[

March 20, 2018   Comments Off on Backyard Bounty: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Organic Gardening in the Pacific Northwest

Canada: A Growing Concern – How to Keep Farmland in the Hands of Canadian Farmers

Some witnesses said there is still a risk that farmland owned by non-agricultural investors will not be used for agriculture and will eventually be sold for other purposes. To this end, strengthening the legislative framework for farmland protection would make a major difference.

Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry
The Honourable Diane F. Grifin, Chair
The Honourable Ghislain Maltais, Deputy Chair
March 2018
(Must see. Mike)


In the course of other work, the Committee heard concerns regarding the rising costs of farmland in Canada, including how families could pass their farms from generation to generation and the ability of new entrants to afford to buy land.

The family farm has been the backbone of rural Canada for generations. The Committee felt it would be remiss if it did not undertake a study on the acquisition of farmland in Canada and its potential impact on the farming sector to address these concerns.

The first part of the report focuses on the use of farmland and changes in farmland values. The second part of the report explains changes in farmland values and their impact on farmland availability. The final part of the report outlines ways to ensure access to farmland for future generations of Canadians.

[

March 19, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: A Growing Concern – How to Keep Farmland in the Hands of Canadian Farmers

Canada: The future of farming is female

Lisa Lundgard driving a tractor and tilling the soil on The Homestead, a small-scale farm in Goodfare, Alta.

Perhaps the biggest barrier facing women today is the rising cost of farmland. Over the past 10 years, the average value of farmland in Alberta has gone up annually between 4.4 per cent and 17.4 per cent.

By Trina Moyles
Globe And Mail
March 8, 2018


But women such as Cathryn Sprague, a 29-year-old farmer in Edmonton, aren’t letting the issue of land stop them from growing food. Several years ago, Ms. Sprague and her business partner, Ryan Mason, launched Reclaim Farm, one of the first urban-farming operations in Edmonton. Ms. Sprague set her sights on idle urban land plots. She asked owners for permission to repurpose the land to grow vegetables, often in exchange for providing them with weekly supplies of fresh produce.

[

March 14, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: The future of farming is female

Canada: Urban chickens (banned in Ottawa) are flocking to Gatineau

Carmen and Matthew Chase show off their three chickens their family has in the backyard of their Gatineau home Sunday March 4, 2018. Two-year-old Errol, five-year-old Ewan and seven-year-old Edmund pose with their dad as Carmen gets the third chicken who just wasn’t ready for a photo shoot. Ashley Fraser / Postmedia

City proposes to expand its small experiment in urban farming to allow coops for 200 homes.

By Tom Spears
Ottawa Citizen
Mar 5, 2018


Building the coop “took an enormous amount of time,” Carmen said. It’s insulated, though not heated, and the Chases picked a large design.

“Finding a coop and finding the time to build it is going to be your largest input of time,” she said.

They buy feed from a commercial chicken farm, which is also where the chickens came from. Luckily, they haven’t had trouble with predators breaking into the coop, though squirrels were sneaking in to steal food for a while. The engineer fixed that.

[

March 13, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: Urban chickens (banned in Ottawa) are flocking to Gatineau

Vancouver, Canada: Urban Agriculture Garden Guide

Manual For Starting And Designing Urban Agriculture Projects

The Urban Agriculture Project Design Manual was produced by Anežka Gocová for the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and the City of Vancouver as an initiative of the Greenest City Scholar program.
(No date.)


This guide is intended to aid the collaboration between residents and City staff in starting, designing and carrying out an Urban Agriculture project in the City of Vancouver.

Choosing A Site:
Where is your project located? Is the proposed project for the entire site or a portion of it? Include a street address or a nearby address for reference as well as an air photo with the site marked. (You can use GoogleMaps and VanMaps to do this). Feel free to include photos of the site itself. This can sometimes be a very frustrating process especially if your proposal gets rejected based on site selection. Make sure to consult with City and Park Board staff and current caretakers of the site, they will likely have great insight into which sites are most suitable.

[

March 5, 2018   Comments Off on Vancouver, Canada: Urban Agriculture Garden Guide