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Category — Canada

Look no further than a Vancouver apartment complex to see the latest food trend in action

backy
Tenant gardeners, from left, Sarah Anton, Evan Doan, Christine Cheveldave (landlady), Gordon Rudy, Gosia Piasecka (at back), Katie Fritz, Robin Young and Genevieve Beaulieu Roy in their thriving organic garden in East Vancouver. Photograph by: Steve Bosch.

The tenants, all in their 20s, have taken over more and more lawn areas at the complex and carved out spaces for growing food.

By Steve Whysall
Vancouver Sun
August 28, 2014

Excerpt:

Tenants each have their own individual garden spots where they are free to grow what they prefer, but there is a community plot shared by the entire group

However, in reality, produce from all the plots is freely shared and everyone is permitted to harvest what they need from any of the spaces.

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August 29, 2014   No Comments

Can Urban Agriculture Work on a Commercial Scale?

luf
Montreal’s Lufa Farms developed an e-commerce model for fresh food. Farming the world’s cities will require marketing savvy as much as skill at growing food in urban settings.

An urban farm in Montreal is scaling the industry “with more software than farmers.”

By Flavie Halais
City Lab
Aug 22, 2014

Excerpt:

Lufa is also developing its own in-house technology. The company has just received a patent for a system that allows it to grow 30 percent more food on the same area. Meanwhile, the IT team is developing a suite of iPad apps for greenhouse management. One of them, which helps manage insect populations, will soon be made available to all organic growers. “We’ve decided it’s too valuable for us not to be going out to the world and saying, ‘Use it for free,’” says Hage.

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August 26, 2014   No Comments

District of North Vancouver won’t allow people to sell backyard produce

nvanYou can’t sell these in North Vancouver District.

“The district of North Vancouver isn’t zoned for agriculture so selling produce grown here isn’t allowed.”

By Karen van Blankenstein
Weed’em and Reap
Aug 23, 2014

Excerpt:

What would you call Weed ‘em & Reap? Is it a farm? Does a quarter acre (if the house was gone and you could use the entire property) qualify? There are no tractors or combines or cows or chickens here. No employees. I really don’t think it resembles a farm at all. Now that my two eldest kids are out of the house, I don’t even think it could qualify as a zoo anymore.

So is it a garden? Raised planter beds, very small greenhouse, lots of food plants in containers interspersed with the ornamentals… looks like a garden to me. Except maybe for the fact that I hold sales every Sunday and have gone through the process to have all my seedlings and produce certified organic. That’s a little “farmish”.

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August 25, 2014   No Comments

Mayor of Calgary warms to urban chicken project

calgmay
Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he supports a trial for backyard chickens in a limited number of Calgary households to see how urban chickens might fare legally in the city.

Hughes, leader of the Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Klub plans to take more councillors on his tour of Calgary’s illegal but responsible coops.

By Jason Markusoff
Calgary Herald
August 24, 2014

Excerpt:

Fortunes have improved for Calgarians who want to be legal hen-raisers, four years after council voted 11-3 against permitting backyard coops.

Only four of those 2010 skeptics remain on council, and one of them — Coun. Ray Jones — wants to help lead the way on resurrecting plans for an urban chickens pilot project.

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August 25, 2014   No Comments

Canadian parliamentary budget officer wants to put bees on Parliament Hill

parlJean-Denis Fréchette is the quintessential mild-mannered bureaucrat.

Fréchette also has his eye on the parcel of land west of Centre Block that famously used to foster stray felines.

Nick Taylor-Vaisey
Macleans
August 5, 2014

Excerpt:

Still, those hardy bees are hours away from Fréchette’s long-time residence in the nation’s capital, a distance that has turned the policy wonk into a wannabe urban farmer, one among a growing class of city dwellers who hope to bring the charms of the hinterland—be it chickens or bees—into heavily populated neighbourhoods. But he doesn’t hope to restrict bees to his own backyard: Fréchette wants to make a home for them on Parliament Hill. He says a rooftop in the area would make an ideal home for an apiary, similar to the sky-high hives atop the Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto or the Vancouver Convention Centre. (Laureen Harper might approve. The Prime Minister’s wife recently appeared stoic during a run-in with the Royal York’s famous bees.)

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August 22, 2014   No Comments

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.

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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.

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August 15, 2014   Comments Off

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.”

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August 8, 2014   Comments Off

‘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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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