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Category — Canada

New policy for urban agriculture proposed by the Vancouver Park Board

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Kitsilano Community Garden. Photo by MicaDogg.

What’s new in the proposed policy

The proposed Urban Agriculture Policy includes:

1. An expanded definition of the policy for agriculture project that covers:

Collaborative and shared gardening

Educational-, arts-, and culturally-focused gardening

Fruit and nut trees

Hobby beekeeping

Pollinator gardens

[Read more →]

December 16, 2014   No Comments

Halifax shelter builds first-ever community garden

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Colleen Ritchie, spokesperson for Shelter Nova Scotia, poses for a photo in a newly built community garden near Metro Turning Point.Photo by Jeff Harper.

Planting seeds of ‘positive change’

By Haley Ryan
Metro
Dec 4, 2014

Excerpt:

An empty lot beside a men’s shelter in downtown Halifax is now the site of a community garden, bringing a sense of purpose for those who stay there and “positive change for themselves.”

Shelter Nova Scotia spokeswoman Colleen Ritchie said the 4,500-square-foot garden went in beside the Metro Turning Point on Barrington Street earlier this week after receiving funds from area councillor, Waye Mason.

[Read more →]

December 15, 2014   No Comments

Gardens grow another day on the Arbutus Corridor in Vancouver

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Co-op residents’ community gardens destroyed by CPR.

“The gardeners that I knew whose gardens were destroyed in the first round-up around Marine Drive lived in co-ops.”

By Katie Hyslop
Magaphone Magazine
December 2014

Excerpt:

“There really isn’t a need for a railway to go through this area that they’ve made us aware of,” Levenston says of CPR. “But there’s a huge need for green space in this city as the city grows busier and busier, as the price of houses goes up, as people lose their gardens as [they] move into high rises. This [the Arbutus Corridor] is a gem.”

Levenston adds losing the green space of the corridor would be akin to losing half of Stanley Park. Instead of selling the land back to the city, he maintains CPR should donate it back to the people of Vancouver.

[Read more →]

December 9, 2014   No Comments

Metal contamination found in Vancouver community garden, brownfield sites

oakcg16 Oaks Community Garden in Vancouver. A recent study detected metal contamination associated with high traffic ares in the soil. Photograph by: Arlen Redekop.
Soil research suggests study required before growing food on land near busy transportation corridors

By Randy Shore,
Vancouver Sun
December 2, 2014

Excerpt:

An eight-month study of Vancouver garden and agricultural soils has found levels of lead and other metals above the most stringent Canadian standards for human health.

Samples taken from the 16 Oaks community garden averaged 219 parts per million of lead, which exceeds the standard of 70 to 140 ppm for agricultural, residential and park land set by the Canadian Council of Environment Ministers.

[Read more →]

December 2, 2014   Comments Off

Cows in your Backyard? The challenges and opportunities of near urban agriculture

carriemarill
Painting bycCarrie Marill.

Only five per cent of Ontario’s land base is suitable for farming and we are losing agriculturally productive land at an alarming rate. According to Statistics Canada, we lost 260,000 hectares of farmland between 2006 and 2011. Our food security depends on us protecting farmlands for future generations.

Greenbelt Program Manager
Environmental Defence
Nov 18, 2014

Excerpt:

Consider the case of Vaughan resident and farm owner Gilllian Evans. Located in the Greenbelt, Gill’s family farm has been in the family for generations. The farm is right next door, to a proposed housing development. The development includes land within the Greenbelt but as the development application pre-dated the Greenbelt legislation it can go ahead. Gill has been trying to gain support from Vaughan Council to provide buffers between the new housing development and her existing farm.

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November 26, 2014   Comments Off

Concordia University Greenhouses Provide Students with a Year-Round Urban Refuge

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Sprouting Green Thumbs on Campus

By Jessica Cabana
The Link
November 18, 2014

Excerpt:

Since the Concordia Greenhouse focuses on urban sustainability and community building and raising awareness of the issues surrounding food security, the new greenhouse would focus on food production and urban agriculture.

Summer is the best growing season in Montreal and, to maximize growth production, seedlings can be started in greenhouses.

[Read more →]

November 25, 2014   Comments Off

Canada’s largest urban farm feeds the needy

Our future is growing right in your backyard

Alberta Primetime
Nov 2014

On an 11-acre parcel of land just west of Canada Olympic Park, a group of dedicated volunteers turned the soil and harvested the first crop on Canada’s largest urban agricultural farm. Our goal is to grow fresh produce for the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank to ensure all Calgarians have access to healthy, local food.

[Read more →]

November 24, 2014   Comments Off

Twins who keep urban chickens score wins at Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

twins
Matthew Patel, left, holds a Light Sussex, and twin brother Andrew holds a Red Dorking in the backyard of their Leaside home. They got into the backyard chicken business a few years back — and this year they exhibited 17 chickens at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair — scoring a number of wins. Photo by David Cooper.

Andrew and Matthew Patel have an unusual hobby – they are backyard chicken farmers

By: Vanessa Lu Business
Vancouver Sun
Nov 15 2014

Excerpt:

“It was the most amazing thing ever,” said Andrew, who has become an advocate for the underground chicken farming movement. “We didn’t expect to win anything,” added Matthew, in a fast-paced interview where the twins finish each other’s sentences.

They had been to the fair for the last few years, fascinated by the poultry competition, but decided this year was their last chance because they are planning to head off to university next fall.

[Read more →]

November 22, 2014   Comments Off

Montreal cubic farmer aims to grow 500 heads of lettuce a year in a single square foot

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Richard Groome, president and CEO of Les Aliments Urban Barns Inc., shows his Cubic Farming facility in Mirabel, Quebec. Photo by Christinne Muschi for National Post.

Where ‘Star Trek meets farming’

Excerpt:

Urban Barns, opened this past June, is home to the first realized cubic farm from which, it is expected, as many as 500 heads of lettuce will grow each year from a single square foot of industrial space. It takes less than 30 days to grow a head of greens here, where conditions are always optimum. The produce is organic, and pesticide, herbicide and fungicide-free and if the playbook is followed, they will be picked and, within hours, be on a shelf at a nearby IGA.

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November 21, 2014   Comments Off

“Just Eat It” – Watch full movie on-line!

eatit
See the full movie here.

Have you ever fed your grandmother food from a dumpster?

Knowledge Network
75 minutes, 2014

Jen Rustemeyer has. She and her life/business partner, Grant Baldwin, have spent the last few years wading through garbage – sometimes literally, but also in a broader philosophical sort of way.

In their first documentary, The Clean Bin Project, the B.C. couple committed to living as waste-free as possible for one year, to buying no more landfill-bound stuff. This idea resonated with people. Rustemeyer and Baldwin were invited to schools to complete waste audits and were blown away by how much perfectly good food was being tossed in a country where 1 in 10 people is food insecure.

[Read more →]

November 16, 2014   Comments Off

Rooftop greenhouse in northern British Columbia community of Hazelton

hazelThe building that houses the Skeena Bakery and Cleaner’s Laundromat with the greenhouse on its roof (photo: Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition, SWCC)

The SWCC hopes that the greenhouse will soon be able to produce food year round with the installation of a heat recovery system.

By Lauren Robert
Evergreen
Nov 2, 2014

Excerpt:

Despite its young roots, the Skeena Garden Project has seen great success and has become a great asset to the community – “At our open house in June, we had over 200 people come out to tour the Greenhouse and to sample our “solar chili” made with greenhouse tomatoes in our solar-cooker that the group built themselves!” exclaimed Greg Horne, Skeena Energy Solutions Coordinator. The 15 beds of the greenhouse are filled with a variety of vegetables including: tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, corn, zucchini, and squash, among many others.

[Read more →]

November 14, 2014   Comments Off

‘City Farmer News’ Celebrates 20 Years On-line

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Country count on the original City Farmer web site.

This web site began in October 1994 as ‘Urban Agriculture Notes’

By Michael Levenston
Editor of City Farmer News
Nov 14, 2014

Watching life on the Internet, or as local Vancouver writer William Gibson named it, ‘Cyberspace’, has been our modern habit for approximately a quarter century.

In 1994 City Farmer Society began to connect with people across the globe via the ‘World Wide Web’ to share their stories about growing food in the city.

We originally started this news service on paper in 1978 by producing an eight page tabloid. But that couldn’t compare with the ease and global reach of the wired Net. Stories sent in at 1AM were re-circulated to a global audience by 1:15AM.

[Read more →]

November 14, 2014   Comments Off

City Farmer’s Cream of the Crop Pollinator Ale

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Celebrate Compost!

November 10, 2014

Here at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden we take our craft seriously. Compost is what powers us, and this year we wanted to celebrate the fruits of our labours in a ‘Home Grown Brew’ kind of way.

We acquired some locally sourced hop rhizomes and created a large container garden, which we filled with a combination of our own backyard compost, vermi-compost and municipal made compost. The beautiful lantern-like cones and the tallness of the trellised hop plants surprised visitors and they were a wonderful addition to our garden tours.

The current booming Pacific North West Craft Beer industry has made people ‘hop aware’ and excited about ‘do-it-yourself’ signature beer.

[Read more →]

November 10, 2014   Comments Off

Kelowna Fruit Tree Project brings in more than 36,000 pounds of food from backyards

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Casey Hamilton: ‘ We have so many apples right now we can’t give them away.’

About 30 per cent of the fruit is split between the volunteers and homeowners

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
Nov 8, 2014

Excerpt:

The Okanagan is the most productive fruit- growing region in Canada, and what began as a committee of the Central Okanagan Food Policy Council quickly took on a life of its own. Hamilton organized 85 picks this season, in backyards and a handful of orchards, exceeding the project’s goal of 25,000 pounds of fruit by more than 10,000 pounds.

In just three years, the organization has grown to more than 400 volunteers in Kelowna and Penticton, some of them the very people the fresh fruit was meant to benefit, including people with developmental disabilities and people transitioning from street life.

[Read more →]

November 9, 2014   Comments Off

New Vancouver Community Garden in SE False Creek

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Photos By Michael Levenston. Click on image for larger file.

By Chris Reid
Shifting Growth
Nov 3, 2014

The new Southeast False Creek Temporary Community Garden is up and running with 222 community garden beds and seating for the emerging False Creek community. This space is temporarily being used as a community garden for local community members to grow food. The garden will last (likely) for 2 years and we’ll keep everyone posted about the garden timelines.

[Read more →]

November 3, 2014   Comments Off