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Category — Canada

GrowTO Urban Agriculture Action Plan, Toronto

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Urban Food Policy Snapshot

By Cameron St. Germain
New York City Food Policy Centre
May 9, 2017

Excerpt:

Progress to date

Numerous urban agriculture projects have popped up in Toronto since the GrowTO action plan was adopted. They are located in empty lots, on rooftops, in schoolyards, and on residents’ personal property.

Entrepreneurs and community organizers have looked to urban farming opportunities as a means of supporting economic development, the creation of small businesses, and to build up and enhance communities. Many farmers are now exploring ways to grow indoors or in shipping containers using hydroponics, or other systems, in addition to the many programs and businesses growing outside and in public spaces.

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May 17, 2017   No Comments

Canada: Alberta Community Garden helps women in Rwanda

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Shirley Ross won the University of Alberta’s Community Advocate Award Monday for her work at the university’s two-acre Green and Gold Community Garden.

A team of 100 volunteers grow more than 60 varieties of vegetables and sell them, with all proceeds going to the Tubahumurize Association in Rwanda to help women who have been traumatized by genocide and domestic abuse.

By Kevin Maimann
Metro
May 15 2017

Excerpt:

The garden is the association’s core source of funding and helps finance trauma counselling, health education, sewing and embroidery training and small business loans for the women.

“With the counselling programs that are provided, sometimes they’re speaking for the first time about their experience. They can be part of groups where they know that they’re not alone,” Ross said. “It helps them both socially but also economically.”

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May 16, 2017   No Comments

Canada: Immigrant showcases gardening talents at urban farm in Halifax

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Amber Bhujel, a Nepali-Bhutanese immigrant, has been growing mustard greens, kale, and cilantro in his two handmade greenhouses during the winter at the Common Roots Urban Farm in Halifax. Photo Haley Ryan.

Amber Bhujel uses make shift greenhouse to keep his garden plot at Common Roots Urban Farm growing throughout the winter.

By Nicole Gnazdowsky
Metro
May 07 2017

Excerpt:

This winter the Nepali-Bhutanese immigrant successfully grew a garden of mustard seed and cilantro, by building a makeshift greenhouse out of sheets of plastic, sticks and bricks.

Bhujel comes from a long line of farmers in Bhutan; he lived as a refugee in Nepal for almost 20 years before moving to Canada in 2011.

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May 15, 2017   No Comments

British Columbia boasts the highest proportion of female farmers in Canada, according to 2016 agriculture census

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Elana Evans (left) and Maddy Clerk (right) operate City Beet Farm in Vancouver. (City Beet Farm)

Urban farming and women

By Belle Puri
CBC
May 12, 2017

Excerpt:

City Beet Farm is a commitment between the two farmers and a community of homeowners.

The pair grow a wide diversity of vegetables and flowers on 16 properties in the city.

Homeowners receive a weekly box of vegetables in exchange for the use of their land.

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May 13, 2017   No Comments

Vancouver’s Indigenous community fights to save native plants at risk

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Lori Snyder believes that indigenous plants should be incorporated into daily diets to improve lifestyle (Sharon Nadeem)

Indigenous herbalists are working to preserve their traditional sources of food and medicine

By Sharon Nadeem, Seher Asaf,
CBC News
May 07, 2017

Excerpt:

A tiny park in central Vancouver surrounded by skyscrapers, a stadium and a concrete parking lot looks like the kind of place that would be hostile to indigenous plants.

But to Métis herbalist Lori Snyder, Hinge Park is a “treasure trove.” She visits the park to fill her basket with indigenous plants, and conducts tours to share her knowledge of traditional medicines.

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May 12, 2017   No Comments

Canada: An urban farm beneath BC Hydro power lines in Langley?

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Plans call for cultivation of urban agriculture along the 23 acre (9.4 ha) BC Hydro transmission right-of-way.

The City of Langley, along with the Metro Vancouver regional authority and Kwantlen Polytechnic University have announced plans for a Langley Urban Agriculture Demonstration Project.

By Monique Tamminga
Langley Times
May 3, 2017

Excerpt:

“This project aims to bring compatible urban farming to a power line corridor in an established single family residential neighbourhood,” said Roy Beddow, deputy director of Development Services and Economic Development at the City of Langley.

“In addition to demonstrating the potential for local food production, the project will also create community partnerships and educational opportunities while enhancing amenity values in a utility corridor.”

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May 9, 2017   No Comments

The New Farm: Our Ten Years on the Front Lines of the Good Food Revolution

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Just released: The inspiring story of a family that quit the rat race and left the city to live out their ideals on an organic farm

By Brent Preston
Penguin Random House Canada
May 2017

It’s true that Brent Preston and Gillian Flies did leave the city and move to the country, and they did make a lot of stupid mistakes, some of which are pretty funny in hindsight. But their goal from the beginning was to build a real farm, one that would sustain their family, heal their environment, and nourish their community. It was a goal that was achieved not through bucolic self-reflection, but through a decade of grinding toil and perseverance.

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May 5, 2017   Comments Off on The New Farm: Our Ten Years on the Front Lines of the Good Food Revolution

Cannabis plants spotted growing at Vancouver City Hall community garden promptly removed after report

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On April 24, Ian Young photographed cannabis plants growing in this planter at the Vancouver City Hall community garden. When the Straight went to the garden to confirm that the plants were there, they had already been removed. Photo by Amanda Siebert.

“I want to live in a country where you see cannabis growing in somebody’s front yard, and it’s not a big deal,” he said.

By Amanda Siebert
Georgia Straight
April 25th, 2017

Excerpt:

The campaign calls on “all freedom-loving Canadians to grow a cannabis victory garden” and, in instructions posted on OverGrow Canada’s website, Larsen suggests that these seeds be planted “at City Hall, in front of the local police station, in storefront planters, and other highly visible places.”

“I hope [the plants] are from our campaign, but I know we’re not the only ones with the same idea,” Larsen told the Straight by phone this afternoon. “Regardless, if they’re my seeds or someone else’s, I hope that it keeps happening.”

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May 3, 2017   Comments Off on Cannabis plants spotted growing at Vancouver City Hall community garden promptly removed after report

Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut: Teacher in remote Inuit community teaches students to garden

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Qikiqtarjuaq formerly known as Broughton Island is a community located on the island of the same name in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada. The island is known for Arctic wildlife and whale watching. At the 2016 census the population was 598.

Malcolm, who teaches at the Inuksuit School, is trying to help combat food insecurity for his students by teaching them to grow their own fruits and vegetables.

By Ellen Brait
The Star
April 26, 2017

Excerpt:

Malcolm said he plans to offer gardening as a weekly science project or after school extra-curricular, only for students who are interested.

“There is a lot of interest among students,” he said. “They love planting stuff and growing in class too. It’s a novelty for them to see plants bearing fruit because you just don’t see it in the wild here.”

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April 27, 2017   Comments Off on Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut: Teacher in remote Inuit community teaches students to garden

City Farmer Gets New “.eco” Domain Name

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City Farmer’s new website [www.cityfarmer.eco] features our Compost Demonstration Garden and our coming 40th anniversary next year. Visit the site here.

Leading global brands like Tesla, Google and LG have bought .eco domain names, taken the .eco pledge and set up .eco profiles.

Press Release
Dot ECO
April 25, 2017

Excerpt:

VANCOUVER, BC – Starting today, businesses, organizations and individuals can own a .eco domain, the new dedicated environmental domain extension for people and brands committed to positive change for the planet. The .eco domain comes to market following a nine-year collaborative effort among more than 50 environmental non-profits, all with a shared vision to bring a trusted symbol of environmental responsibility to the Internet.

“Consumers will recognize .eco as the new global identity for brands and organizations committed to positive environmental change,” said Trevor Bowden, co-founder of .eco and Big Room Inc., a certified B Corporation located in Vancouver, BC. “Early .eco domain holders have already inspired a positive ripple effect, encouraging other brands to register and promoting transparency and a new level of accountability in how companies broadcast their social, environmental and CSR mandates.”

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April 26, 2017   Comments Off on City Farmer Gets New “.eco” Domain Name

Canada’s New Cannabis Laws Will Allow Personal Cultivation

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A limit of four plants per residence. A maximum height limit of 100 cm on the plants

A Framework for the Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis in Canada
Government of Canada
Nov 30, 2016
Ch 3, Section 5

Excerpt:

It is currently legal to grow and produce tobacco for personal use in Canada (up to 15 kg of tobacco or cigars), just as it is legal to produce wine or beer at a residence for personal use. Wine-making, home brewing of beer and curing personally grown tobacco is undertaken primarily by advocates and connoisseurs in the post-Prohibition era. It is assumed that, over time, personally cultivated cannabis will follow the same course.

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April 18, 2017   Comments Off on Canada’s New Cannabis Laws Will Allow Personal Cultivation

Canada: Community group plans urban farm school in Fredericton, New Brunswick

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A farming school in Fredericton’s north side. (N.B. Community Harvest Gardens)

The location makes it convenient for people living in the city to walk, bike or take a bus to school and learn how to farm.

By Terrence McEachern
CBC News
Apr 09, 2017

Excerpt:

Edee Klee wants to bring farming back as a viable career option in the New Brunswick.

A passionate gardener, Klee is part of a group that is planning to set up a teaching farm — but not one in the middle of the country. Rather, this farm school would occupy eight acres of land in Fredericton

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April 17, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Community group plans urban farm school in Fredericton, New Brunswick

Vancouver, BC, community gardens – a gift from developers who get tax break

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Chris Reid is the executive director at Shifting Growth, which sets up community gardens in undeveloped properties throughout the Lower Mainland. Reid is pictured Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the Alma community garden in Vancouver, B.C. Jason Payne / PNG

An unexpected offshoot of the initiative is the success of their pre-fab raised garden boxes, which are set on pallets for drainage

By Denise Ryan
Vancouver Sun
Apr 14, 2017

Excerpt:

“The site has been empty for many years and we thought this would be a great way to give back to the community and do something useful while we go through the development process,” said Kevin Cheung, Landa’s CEO in a statement.

Shifting Growth doesn’t solicit developers because there are enough developers willing to assume the risk and responsibility for the garden projects in exchange for a tax break from the B.C. Assessment Authority. If a vacant lot houses a temporary community garden it will be taxed at a lower rate than on a business site.

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April 15, 2017   Comments Off on Vancouver, BC, community gardens – a gift from developers who get tax break

Urban farm in Victoria, BC, expands, hopes to grow 10,000 lbs of produce

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Click on image for larger file.

Topsoil’s new space includes 15,000 square feet to grow fresh produce and offers more sun exposure.

CTV Vancouver Island
April 7, 2017

Excerpt:

The local food producer works with chefs in Victoria at the beginning of the season and customizes what it grows based on what the chefs need.

The founder of the business says the open site allows them to operate in full transparency.

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April 13, 2017   Comments Off on Urban farm in Victoria, BC, expands, hopes to grow 10,000 lbs of produce

Vancouver, BC, farmer told by city she can’t raise chickens on farmland

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Robin Friesen (left) and partner Jordan Maynard on their Vancouver farm. ARLEN REDEKOP / PNG

“I didn’t take (the bylaw officer) seriously. This is Agricultural Land Reserve land. I told him to go back and read the laws.”

By Glenda Luymes
Vancouver Sun
April 9, 2017

Excerpt:

But what Friesen and her partner Jordan Maynard didn’t know was that although their little piece of top-quality farmland in Vancouver’s Southlands neighbourhood is technically in the ALR, it is also subject to a condition that affects no other farmland in B.C.

According to the both the City of Vancouver and the Agricultural Land Commission, the ALR land in Southlands is governed by city bylaws on such things as noise, smell and the number of chickens a farmer can keep, rather than the provincial Right to Farm Act that normally governs ALR land. The provincial legislation allows farmers to keep livestock and tend crops that might irritate neighbours in an urban setting.

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April 10, 2017   Comments Off on Vancouver, BC, farmer told by city she can’t raise chickens on farmland