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

Category — Canada

Edmonton’s Reclaim Urban Farm is ‘intentionally political’ in boosting local food

recalimReclaim Urban Farm’s Ryan Mason and Cathryn Sprague pick beets, soon to be made into borscht at St. John’s Institute. Photograph by John Lucas, Edmonton Journal.

Will also teach gardening, cooking skills to disabled adults

By Liane Faulder
Edmonton Journal
August 13, 2014

Excerpt:

“It’s intentionally political,” says Mason of the farm, noting urban agriculture educates the community, generates conversations about issues such as food security and offers a model of how to make food production part of daily life.

[Read more →]

August 20, 2014   No Comments

Outrage as CP Rail begins clearing gardens, structures, along the Arbutus Corridor in Vancouver BC


Global News.

“They are shocked and heartbroken by what has happened, with some shouting “shame, shame” at operators who came to clear the gardens and trees.

By Matthew Robinson
Vancouver Sun
August 14, 2014

Excerpt:

VANCOUVER – Gerry Oldman had half an hour Thursday morning to salvage as many vegetables as he could from a community garden he tended along the Arbutus Corridor before work crews hired by Canadian Pacific moved in and tore up his plants and raised beds.

The rail company had warned residents along the track weeks ago that it was restarting operations on the line and gave them until Aug. 1 to remove their property from its land before it would be removed for them.

The company made good on the threat two weeks after the deadline when a trackhoe and backhoe operated by A & B Rail Services Ltd. laid waste to about 150 metres of community gardens located south of Southwest Marine Drive.

[Read more →]

August 15, 2014   No Comments

Santropol Roulant’s rooftop garden in Montreal an ‘oasis’

strou
Santropol Roulant’s rooftop garden in Montreal an ‘oasis’.

The cost of building a green roof has been substantial — about $20,000 to build the drainage and irrigation system and another $200,000 to strengthen the building’s structural capacity.

By Christopher Curtis
The Gazette
July 30, 2014

Excerpt:

“Kids come here and they see an eggplant, and they’re not crazy about eggplants when they see it on their dinner plate, but they see it in the garden and their eyes almost pop out of their heads,” said Noémie Desbiens-Riendeau, the co-manager of Santropol’s urban agriculture program. “It’s very touching, it’s nice. It’s almost magical.”

[Read more →]

August 8, 2014   No Comments

‘In Da Garden’ – Rap video protest against CP Railway threatening Vancouver gardens

Lyrics by Gabriel

Go go go go go
Go CP, It’s your railway,
We going to garden like its our railway
We going to eat brocolli like its our railway
and you know we don’t give a **** it’s not your railway!

[Read more →]

July 29, 2014   Comments Off

Edmonton Urban farmer facing fine for backyard chickens

animedmon

Kossowan doesn’t plan to fight the city about the complaint as he believes the bylaw will change eventually.

CBC News
Jul 21, 2014

Excerpt:

“I apparently have three days to rectify the situation which I find a bit unusually short … or they will issue me a $500 fine for having hens in my backyard,” Kossowan told the CBC’s Tim Adams Monday.

City council will consider making changes this summer to the bylaw to allow people to keep backyard chickens. However, animal control officer Sabrina Bergin says until the changes are actually made, poultry is still prohibited within the city limits.

[Read more →]

July 22, 2014   Comments Off

1949 commuter train film shows Vancouver corridor land which today is in ‘community gardens versus railway dispute’

1949 film of the Interurban rail service from downtown Vancouver to Marpole and the Fraser River

Vancouver Arbutus Corridor Community Gardens could lose 60-70% of garden land space

City of Richmond Archives
Published on July 21, 2014

This clip shows the B.C.E.R. Lulu Island Line interurban on its run from downtown Vancouver through the Arbutus corridor to Marpole and the Fraser River Trestle. Filmed by tram enthusiast Ted Clark around 1949, the original 16 mm film underwent conservation treatment in 2012 and then was digitized. The complete film on DVD, along with a detailed shot list, can be purchased at the City of Richmond Archives for $20.00.

[Read more →]

July 21, 2014   Comments Off

Milross Community Garden celebrates honey bees in Vancouver

hives
Amacon’s Lilliana de Cotiis presents $10,000 cheque to Sarah Common from Hives for Humanity. Photo by Michael Levenston.

“Just having the community garden here is great, but having the hives here and the awareness that it raises about pollinators and the challenges facing honeybees is something else again,” said Melissa Howey.

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
July 14, 2014

Excerpt:

“We think these workshops are a great way to engage with the gardeners and with the public about honeybees and native pollinators as well,” said Shannon Common, community liaison with Hives for Humanity. “The gardens, the hives and the living walls we have been making here are a great demonstration of innovative use of urban space.”

Hives for Humanity maintains 40 of the garden boxes to act as a pollinator meadow, and a herb garden that is open to about 90 registered gardeners.

[Read more →]

July 15, 2014   Comments Off

Project highlights Vancouver’s farming potential

vancgarde
More and more people in Vancouver are letting professionals take over their yard to grow vegetables. Photograph by: Gerry Kahrmann , Vancouver Sun.

By combining laser mapping, 3-D imaging and water use data, a UBC study is pinpointing where food can be grown in the urban jungle

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
July 13, 2014

Excerpt:

Researchers are using 3-D modelling and water use data to learn just how much food can be grown in Vancouver and how much more water that will require as we morph into a truly edible city.

The project is using laser mapping from aircraft flown over the city to determine where food can be grown successfully in yards, parks and private lands by estimating the amount of solar energy and evapotranspiration, a fancy way of describing how much water returns to the atmosphere through plants and general evaporation.

[Read more →]

July 14, 2014   Comments Off

Vancouver could lose more than 10% of community garden plots due to Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) decision

rail3sm
CPR train passing the Maple Street Community Gardens in 2001. Photo by Sharon Slack taken at the corner of 6th Avenue and Maple Street. Click on image for larger file.

Approximately 425 of the 4000 community gardens plots in Vancouver will be affected

Vancouver Arbutus Corridor could lose 60-70% of gardening land space.

Below is a letter to the President of CPR from a longtime community gardener in the Maple Community Garden.

By Deirdre Phillips
Maple Street Community Gardener
July 9th, 2014
(Must read. Mike)

To:
E. Hunter Harrison, CEO CP Rail (care of Ed Greenberg)
Chief Executive Officer and Director
Canadian Pacific
Wellington, Florida

“We have historic ties with communities along our tracks and our programs make contributions to the quality of life in these towns and cities.” CP Rail

Dear E. Hunter Harrison,

The above quote from your “Community Investment” section on your website is in complete contradiction to the power play that you and your executives are posing with the City of Vancouver – whom you refer to as ‘other parties’. You are threatening to destroy all the community gardens by July 31st, 2014 along the Arbutus Corridor simply because you can’t get what you are looking for in your negotiations with the City of Vancouver for the 66 foot wide ribbon of land along the Arbutus Corridor.

Your threat to remove what you call ‘excess vegetation’ along the tracks in the Arbutus Corridor by July 31st, 2014 is pure manipulation and quite a transparent attempt to get all of the community gardeners along the corridor to do your dirty work for you by putting pressure on the City of Vancouver. Yes, all of us gardeners love organic dirt but not dirty politics and your goal to maximize profits for your shareholders.

[Read more →]

July 10, 2014   Comments Off

Fire ant infestation complicates Vancouver community garden removal

fireantIn the four years since European fire ants were first discovered in B.C., their presence has been confirmed in at least 25 locations throughout Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

Canadian Pacific rail has ordered encroaching gardens removed but city worries ants will spread

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
July 7, 2014

Excerpt:

Canadian Pacific orders to dismantle and remove community gardens along the Arbutus Corridor could be delayed by an infestation of European fire ants in the garden plots near East Boulevard and 68th Avenue.

These tenacious pests are nearly impossible to eradicate and are being spread throughout southwestern B.C. by the movement of infested plants and soil, said Rob Higgins, a biologist at Thompson Rivers University.

About 30 colonies have been identified near the CP rail right-of-way in Kerrisdale, but the rest of the corridor should be surveyed before any plants or soil are removed, he said.

[Read more →]

July 8, 2014   Comments Off

Toronto’s commercial aquaponics farm showcases “farming of the future”

grow
Aquaponics at The Working Centre Kitchener, Ontario.

There are many small-scale aquaponic farms in the city right now, but most are just hobby farms running in people’s basements.

By Phoebe Ho, Yan Zhonghua
Xinhuanet
2014-06-28

Excerpt:

TORONTO, June 27 (Xinhua) — There’s lush green lettuce, plump tomatoes and fragrant basil all growing in a bed of water in a 2, 000-sq-ft (about 186 square meters) greenhouse in Toronto, the largest city of Canada.

It’s all part of a pilot project an urban farmer is hoping will help showcase the benefits of a waste-free system which combines aquaculture and hydroponics. He’s hoping the large-scale commercial aquaponics farm he built nearly two months ago will help persuade others into making the switch from conventional farming.

[Read more →]

July 7, 2014   Comments Off

Edible yards proliferate in Vancouver neighbourhoods

citybe
Each conversion from sod to vegetables inspires neighbours to do the same.

Ralphs and Warren — the twentysomething proprietors of City Beet Farm — maintain 17 yard gardens all within ten blocks of each other, essential because they move themselves and their produce by bicycle.

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
July 6, 2014

Excerpt:

Most of the vegetables are sold to individuals and families through CSAs — Community Supported Agriculture — with a season-long subscription to weekly food baskets that cost from $330 to $460 for enough to supply two people, to around $700 for a family.

City Beet has 45 subscribers for its small box and 15 for the large, plus they run a weekly public market every Friday at Mighty Oak Cafe on West 18th. Inner City has 40 family CSA subscribers, eight restaurant subscribers and provides each yard owner with a subscription. A rotating cast of volunteers who help mainly with harvesting are also paid in vegetables.

[Read more →]

July 7, 2014   Comments Off

Vancouver’s Urban Agriculture Entrepreneurs

rideuaAaron Quesnel delivers fresh greens year-round to restaurants throughout Vancouver. Photo by Nik West.

For those who aspire to farm in the big city, the terrain is rough and strewn with obstacles. But urban agriculture can also be a viable business for hardworking souls, such as Aaron Quesnel, with an in-demand product–microgreens used by some of Vancouver’s top chefs–and a good story to share

Richard Littlemore
BC Business
July 1, 2014

Exempt:

Quesnel is the founder and president of Sky Harvest, which is the optimistic-sounding name of a business that, in May 2013, started selling produce generated in a 13-square-metre indoor farm, located in an unlovely and under-used storefront building on Powell Street in East Vancouver.

Quesnel and a skeleton staff plant, grow, harvest and deliver microgreens, the “nutrient-dense, visually appealing and flavourful” early shoots from a host of salad-friendly vegetables. Sky Harvest currently offers 13 varieties, including arugula, kale, radish, sorrel, cilantro, sunflower and peas. They harvest most crops after only a week, when they’re past the point of being “sprouts” but not yet “baby greens.”

[Read more →]

July 5, 2014   Comments Off

CP Rail orders Vancouver rail corridor community gardens to be removed by end of July

cpr
Members of Vancouver non profit ‘the world in a garden’ surprised to hear CPR map puts half this shed on its property. They say city told them its on city land. That’s a kids beekeeping school in background.

CP Rail is carrying out land survey of disused Arbutus rail line, and is giving residents a July 31 deadline

By Steve Lus
CBC News
Jul 03, 2014

Excerpt:

In a letter to residents, the company said it has placed surveying stakes along the borders of its land, and will remove any property left after July 31, such as sheds, storage containers, vehicles and community gardens.

The company admits a dispute with the city over the railway’s right to develop the land is behind the efforts to reactivate the line, which has not been used in about 15 years.

In recent years the inactive right of way has become a popular dog walking spot, and sprouted community fruit and vegetable gardens, but the railway has been trying to get plans for a property development approved.

[Read more →]

July 3, 2014   Comments Off

Urban agriculture takes root at University of Manitoba

uofm
Students — mostly city slickers — grow three varieties of tomatoes, jalapeno, bell peppers, beets, lettuce and herbs in new course.

“The course brings together people with new perspectives and interests to discuss what roles cities play in feeding themselves.”

By Crystal Jorgenson
UM Today
June 11, 2014

Excerpt:

What students in the course Urban Agriculture (PLNT 1000), offered by the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, quickly discovered is that an examination of small-scale agriculture in urban settings opens up larger discussions about global food security, environmental health and community development.

The University 1 level course was envisioned and designed by Plant Science professor Anita Brûlé-Babel four years ago as a way for students to explore urban food production. The course covers the principles of vegetable, fruit and herb production, landscape plants, and utilization of natural systems for composting, water management and reduced pesticide use.

[Read more →]

July 2, 2014   Comments Off