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Category — Canada

Grow What You Eat, Eat What You Grow

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The Green Man’s Guide to Living & Eating Sustainably All Year Round

By Randy Shore
Arsenal Pulp Press
Sep 12 2014

Randy Shore’s father and grandfather grew up on farms, yet he didn’t even know how to grow a radish. Author of “The Green Man” column in the Vancouver Sun, he spent five years teaching himself how to grow food for his family, and then how to use the resulting bounty to create imaginative and nourishing meals the year round. In Grow What You Eat, Randy reveals the secrets to creating and maintaining a thriving vegetable garden, from how to make your own fertilizer to precise instructions on how best to grow specific produce; he also offers advice for those with balcony or container gardens and others who live in small urban spaces. He then shows how to showcase your bounty with delicious, nutrient-packed recipes (both vegetarian and not), including instructions on canning, pickling, and curing, proving how easy and fulfilling it is to be a self-reliant expert in your garden and your kitchen.

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February 10, 2016   No Comments

Vancouver city requirements curb urban farming enthusiasm

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Yet if Vancouver policies support urban farming, bylaws and regulations are another matter.

By Peter Mitham
Business Vancouver
Feb. 9, 2016

Excerpt:

City staff confirmed that council is set to receive and consider a new policy by month’s end “to support and better enable urban farming,” but it will be limited to recommendations; bylaws and an actual business licence legitimating urban farms remain some ways off.

Staff also declined to address other issues facing urban farms, such as compliance with civic zoning and fire code.

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February 10, 2016   No Comments

Ottawa’s second-largest community garden threatened by proposed Carlington health centre rezoning

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The community garden contains 150 plots and has been around for more than 20 years.

By Matthew Pearson
Ottawa Citizen
February 3, 2016

Excerpt:

The planning committee will vote next week on zoning changes to allow a community health centre in Carlington to build new housing units for seniors, but the proposed addition could come at the cost of a large community garden.

The Carlington Community Health Centre at 900 Merivale Rd. wants to build a four-storey addition with 42 one-bedroom units, as well as expand the health centre. Current zoning for the site doesn’t permit residential units and restricts the community health and resource centre to a smaller share of the building’s footprint.

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February 5, 2016   No Comments

Canada: Richmond, BC ‘Spirulina’ farm now in operation

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Algabloom International’s staff toast their nomination for a pair of Small Business BC Awards with a shot of spirulina algae, a long-lived species of algae, said to have a host of health benefits.

Pondering the future with a ‘superfood’– blue green algae

Philip Raphael
Richmond News
January 28, 2016

Excerpt:

Algabloom International is the creation of Soheyl and Susan Mottahedeh, who set up shop about a year ago to start growing the spirulina species which is often called a “super food” for its claims to provide health benefits that far outstrip other foods rich in minerals, protein and antioxidant properties.

Working from their River Road premises, where they employ 10 people, their 3,300-square-foot operation’s capacity can grow about 28 kilos of algae a day.

“We’re algae farmers,” said Soheyl proudly.

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January 30, 2016   No Comments

Webinar: Producing Compost for Urban Agriculture: Needs and Opportunities

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Presented by: Bruce Berry, Almost Urban Vegetables – Date: Wednesday February 3rd, 2016

By the Compost Council of Canada

Bruce Berry and Marilyn Firth run Almost Urban Vegetables, a 10-acre family farm, in St. Norbert, Manitoba, on the south edge of Winnipeg.

Eight years ago, they left an urban lifestyle to follow the dream of growing food and living simply.

An engineer by trade, Bruce manages the “how we’ll do it” – the logistics of materials, water, harvesting and equipment.

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January 28, 2016   No Comments

Urban farming is growing in Toronto, but needs nurturing

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Toronto Star Illustration.

Since a food strategy was named one of the Toronto Star’s top 10 Big Ideas, Toronto has begun creating community gardens in hydro corridors, updated its food strategy and signed a global accord.

By: May Warren
Toronto Star
Jan 05, 2016

Excerpt:

Rhonda Teitel-Payne of Toronto Urban Growers, a group also involved with the CEED garden project, said tweaking the city’s green-roof bylaw to allow food gardens is one example of small changes that could have a big impact on urban agriculture.

“There’s a lot of neighbourhoods that don’t have open land, per se, but you can still grow quite a lot on a rooftop,” she said.

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January 6, 2016   Comments Off on Urban farming is growing in Toronto, but needs nurturing

A New Year at Vancouver’s Compost Demonstration Garden

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A Hidden Landmark in Vancouver, BC

Started in 1981, the Vancouver Compost Garden welcomes hundreds of visitors each year. It’s almost half acre of gardens showcases many attractions such as mason bees houses and bee hotels, electric and bear proof compost bins, planted mulberries, Saskatoon berries, wasabi roots and asparagus, a Hobbit-like clay tool shed and so much more.

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January 5, 2016   Comments Off on A New Year at Vancouver’s Compost Demonstration Garden

City Farmer’s “Windstorm Wet Hopper Session Ale”

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We made 70 “rocket” bottles of ale this year.

Our beer was produced after largest power outage in BC Hydro history took down our cottonwood tree – “the widow-maker”.

Wishing our readers a Happy New Year!

Maria rescued hops from our back lot after a late summer wind storm took down the huge cottonwood tree at the corner of her garden.

About the storm, from the BC Hydro news release:

On Saturday, August 29, the Lower Mainland and parts of Vancouver Island were hit with a significant windstorm. It was quick and intense, and surprised national weather agencies.

710,000 customers in the Lower Mainland and parts of Vancouver Island lost power at some point on the weekend due to this storm – this represents half of all BC Hydro customers in these regions. It was the largest outage in BC Hydro history. Drought-weakened trees fell across hundreds of our power lines, causing widespread outages.

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December 31, 2015   Comments Off on City Farmer’s “Windstorm Wet Hopper Session Ale”

Merry Christmas from City Farmer

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Best wishes from the staff at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden.

2150 Maple Street
Vancouver, BC
Canada
604-736-2250

December 24, 2015   Comments Off on Merry Christmas from City Farmer

In Greater Vancouver: The Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) Farm School

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June Sparrow, TFN Farm School student.

Many indigenous people are striving to protect their heritage and the health of their culturally determined foods.

The Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) Farm School is a collaboration between the TFN and the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems (ISFS) at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU). First of its kind, the school fuses sustainable agriculture and traditional indigenous food systems as tools to build community and create dialogue around land stewardship for the future.

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December 19, 2015   Comments Off on In Greater Vancouver: The Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) Farm School

City of Vancouver mansion owners using farm credit to cut taxes

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Properties larger than two acres and with an agricultural income of just $2,500 a year are eligible for farm status with BC Assessment – even if its owners live in a mega mansion.

By Mi-Jung Lee
CTV Vancouver
December 17, 2015

Excerpt:

Maynard says she doesn’t mind the area’s rapid growth and influx of millionaires, but doesn’t think it’s fair when people build “barns” to store their vintage cars.
“That’s what bothers me – it’s really cheating,” she said. “I don’t think it’s fair.”

For example, one waterfront estate that used to be assessed at $6.6 million has had its property tax halved; another 2.3 acre property was assessed as a farm worth just $117,000.

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December 18, 2015   Comments Off on City of Vancouver mansion owners using farm credit to cut taxes

Urban farmer shares wealth in Kelowna, BC

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Curtis Stone, left, shows off an impressive cucumber.

He’s developed his urban farming business into a successful, profitable company by using borrowed and leased backyards from members of the community.

By Nicholas Johansen
Castanet
Dec 4, 2015

Excerpt:

Stone “rents” the land from the homeowner by delivering them a basket of fresh produce every week.

“Our overhead is very low because of that, because we’re always producing food,” he said.

He’s been successful by selling his crop directly to a number of key chefs in town.

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December 12, 2015   Comments Off on Urban farmer shares wealth in Kelowna, BC

City of Surrey, BC, wants 80% of the food served to be locally grown

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Blueberry farm in Surrey, BC

My goal is to take the knowledge, skills and abilities of our young farmers and provide them with some lease-hold agreement, financing, so we can have some young agricultural people in the system to start producing food in the City of Surrey for the people of Surrey,” he said.

By Stefania Seccia
24 hours
December 2, 2015

Excerpt:

“The number-one thing that stops anybody farming in the city is the cost of the land,” he said. “But there’s plenty of room out there today, around the city, that’s not being fully utilized for agricultural purposes.”

With the dwindling number of farmers, compounded by unused agricultural land often being bought by private firms hoping to remove the ALR designation, Starchuk said the project might be the missing link to spawn new interest in harvesting that a younger population may have thought impossible.

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December 10, 2015   Comments Off on City of Surrey, BC, wants 80% of the food served to be locally grown

Urban Farms: The New Frontier for Female Farmers

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Vanessa Hamel in her basement farm, where she grow micro greens. Photo by Imelda Raby.

Vanessa Hanel is a twenty-nine year old female farmer living in the heart of grain-and-cattle country in Calgary, Alberta. Hanel didn’t grow up on a farm, but developed a passion for agriculture in her early twenties. After sowing her first handful of seeds in a community garden plot, she grew hooked on growing food and, eventually, farming.

By Trina Moyles
Modern Farmer
December 3, 2015

Excerpt:

Instead of facing the improbability of purchasing land and equipment necessary to farm—which can cost upwards of $1.5 million dollars—the solution for the young urbanite, like Hanel, could be looking within the city—or even in her own home. In early 2015, Hanel started up Micro YYC, an urban farming and micro greens operation in Calgary. She bypassed the barrier of accessing land altogether by “farming” in her basement, investing only $3,000 in industry shelves, grow lights, seed trays, and seeds.

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December 5, 2015   Comments Off on Urban Farms: The New Frontier for Female Farmers

Vancouver’s Fresh Roots is one of four organizations in Canada with large-scale schoolyard market gardens

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Our spinach, lettuce, cilantro, and parsley are all protected from the elements to ensure they are ready to harvest in March.

Fresh Roots Newsletter
November 2015

Excerpt from Fresh Roots Newsletter:

This past month, Fresh Roots attended the Farm to Cafeteria Conference in Montreal. What an incredible adventure! Over 450 people from across the country who are engaged in helping bring delicious, healthy, local food to the plates and minds of students. Fresh Roots was asked to speak about our innovative and inspiring collaboration with the Vancouver School Board, what we’ve learned, and what we’re excited to grow into the future.

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December 2, 2015   Comments Off on Vancouver’s Fresh Roots is one of four organizations in Canada with large-scale schoolyard market gardens