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Category — Canada

Community Gardener finds 1984 Harrowsmith Magazine with article about City Farmer

harrowsmith1984012Cover of 1984 issue.

Red Celery in the Sunshine talks about setting up City Farmer’s gardens in the backyard of the Vancouver Energy Information Centre, near Maple Street and Sixth Avenue … where it still is!!”

By Maureen Temme
Webkeeper: Community Gardens London, Ontario
March 25, 2015

Excerpts from her blog “Saving the world in my spare time”:

Now, if you follow these columns, you’ll have heard me mention – thank – Michael Levenston for articles I’ve run across on his site City Farmer. City Farmer must surely be Canada’s longest running urban agriculture website, and even non-profit (1978!): City Farmer, Canada’s Office of Urban Agriculture.

The article I just ran across is titled Red Celery in the Sunshine, and is from Harrowsmith, April/May 1984.

The article talks about urban agriculture, biodynamics, food in the community, the importance of living soil, volunteers … all the things some of us are trying to get across to some people today!

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March 26, 2015   No Comments

City Farmer’s Cob Shed with Green Roof is 12 Years Old



The outside layer of clay belonged to famous Haida artist Bill Reid

Sculptor, George Rammell, donated Haida artist Bill Reid’s clay. “The clay I provided belonged to Haida artist Bill Reid. It provided the form for many of Bill’s sculpture projects including the “Whale” at the aquarium, and the huge bronze “Spirit Canoe” at the Vancouver airport. I also used it for my bear track project where I had a Grizzly Bear walk over 15 meters of clay from which I cast the event. It’s great to know this clay, that has such a history on the Coast, now forms the surfaces on your project.”

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March 22, 2015   No Comments

City Farmer’s Introduction to Organic Food Gardening


Learn how to grow your own vegetables in an urban environment

City Farmer’s hands on organic food gardening course includes:

Site planning/design/soil preparation
Choice of seeds-plants/starting seeds
Companion-succession planting/harvesting/composting
Organic gardening techniques/natural pest control/bugs
Container gardening
Waterwise gardening
Birds and mammals in the garden

$50. CALL TO REGISTER: 604.736-2250

Still two classes left.

Introduction to Organic Food Gardening
Saturdays 9:30am-1pm in March 21, 28, 2015

Course Instructor: Sharon Slack, Head Gardener, City Farmer

Location: Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden
2150 Maple Street at 6th Avenue in Kitsilano

March 19, 2015   No Comments

City Farmer’s Gardening Workshops for Children


Workshops held at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden in Kitsilano

Are you keen for your children to grow up with an appreciation of nature? City Farmer’s gardening workshops will give kids hands-on learning at our organic demonstration garden in Kitsilano. Children will learn about the lifecycle of the garden in six workshops running from Spring to Fall:


Sunday May 10th – Spring Planting
Sunday June 7th – Worms in the Garden
Sunday July 5th – Bugs and Bees
Sunday August 9th – Flowers
Sunday Sept 13th – Fall Harvesting
Sunday October 4th – Putting the Garden to Bed and Seed Saving

Workshops run from 9.30am – 11.00am.

$20 per workshop or $100 for all six.

Contact City Farmer at 604 736 2250 to register.

Click on image for larger file.

March 19, 2015   No Comments

Thunder Bay, Ontario Food Strategy looking for potential urban agriculture projects

Thunder Bay Food Strategy coordinator Kendal Donahue says they are looking for public input on potential locations for urban agriculture projects.Photo Jodi Lundmark,

“Cities are growing food on boulevards. They’re growing food on rooftops.”

By Jodi Lundmark,
Mar 4, 2015


Anyone with an idea of an area in their neighbourhood that could be turned into a community garden, a pollination corridor or a compost system can submit their idea online by April 1.

“The food strategy is about building up community resilience in terms of local food systems,” said Donahue, adding they want people to start thinking differently about where a new project could go or where they could add on to an existing community garden.

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March 12, 2015   Comments Off

Conference: ‘Exploring the Economics of Urban Agriculture and Resilience’


‘Grey to Green’ – Toronto, Ontario – June 1,2 2015

Steven Peck, GRP, Hon. ASLA
Founder and President
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

It will be three years since the highly successful Urban Agriculture Summit in Toronto and many new developments in the field have taken place across North America and around the world. On June 1-2, 2015, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities will be hosting Grey to Green in Toronto – with a focus on local and regional food systems and resilience.

Some of the leading-edge issues and developments that will be discussed at Grey to Green in 2015 include the following:

Designing for food and the bottom line – how designing buildings with food production in mind can reduce costs, generate improved rents, increase property value and improve employee efficiency.

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March 7, 2015   Comments Off

Vancouver’s parks allow food production, including fruit and nut orchards and beekeeping

The Oak Meadows Park pollinator garden at West 37th and Oak is home to a pollinator hotel (pictured), made from a retired phone booth. The centrepiece of this pollinator’s paradise, the hotel is filled with tubes, nooks and crannies attractive to insects. The 1,500-square-foot pollinator garden is part of a network of bee-friendly biodiversity that extends into VanDusen Gardens. Photograph by: Jason Payne, VANCOUVER SUN

At the Beaconsfield Community Garden there are plans to build an outdoor bread oven.

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
Feb 25, 2015


Vancouver’s oldest park-based community garden is also one of its biggest, at 3.3 acres. Strathcona Community Garden was created in 1985, divided into one-third allotment gardens, one-third natural plant and animal habitat and the balance is a unique espalier fruit orchard. The site features the Eco-Pavilion meeting space, greenhouse and beehives.

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March 5, 2015   Comments Off

7E Edition De L’école D’été Sur L’agriculture Urbaine


Une 7e édition pour ce qui est plus qu’une semaine de formation : un lieu de réseautage, de discussion, de transformation…

1 thème : économie circulaire et agriculture urbaine / 5 volets de formation

Pour une 7e édition, du 10 au 14 août 2014, se tiendra à l’Université du Québec à Montréal, l’École d’été sur l’agriculture urbaine du Laboratoire d’agriculture urbaine (AU/LAB) et du Collectif de recherche en aménagement paysager et agriculture urbaine durable (CRAPAUD).

Cet événement, organisé avec la collaboration de l’Institut des sciences de l’environnement de l’UQÀM (ISE), réunit chaque année près de 200 participant(e)s issu(e)s de l’ensemble du Québec et de la Francophonie pour 5 jours de formation intensive s’articulant autour d’un apprentissage à la fois théorique et pratique.

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March 4, 2015   Comments Off

Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) destroys hundreds of beautiful community gardens in Vancouver

Gardens gone. Photos by Michael Levenston.

Bulldozers, backhoes, weed wackers, chainsaws and shovels destroy a city treasure

Michael Levenston
City Farmer
March 3, 2015

Since the 1980’s, neighbours have built award winning community gardens along the abandoned railway line running through Kitsilano. In just a few days, this past week, Maple Community Garden, Cypress Community Garden, Pine Street Gardens and Fir Street Garden have been bulldozed, leaving a tiny strip of broken plots along the city boulevard. Trees, shrubs and plants purchased over the past 30 years are gone. The CPR crews have flattened the landscape and left a barren wasteland. CPR will replace the natural beauty created by neighbours, with parked railcars covered with graffiti.

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March 3, 2015   Comments Off

Alberta writer has close relationship with food, farming

foodsh Her book can be found here.

dee Hobsbawn-Smith is winning international literary awards for her portrayal of Alberta farmers

By Steven Biggs
Country Guide
Feb 11, 2015


In 1998, she started giving “Foodie Tootle” tours to city folks, taking them by bus to farms and ranches, ending the tours with on-farm dinners. Over the 12 years she did the tours, she took more than 600 people to over 50 farms and ranches.

Her own story is deeply entwined with food and farming. “I grew up drinking raw milk,” says Hobsbawn-Smith as she talks about being a farmer’s daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter. Raised in Saskatchewan, she moved to Calgary in the 1980s, becoming a cook, caterer, restaurateur, and classically trained chef.

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February 21, 2015   Comments Off

New urban agriculture policy starts buzz in Vancouver city parks

This spring, adults and children will be “buzz-scaping” at Strathcona’s 3.5-hectare Trillium North Park. That is, the Strathcona Food Security Committee is constructing a pollinator house frame.

Get ready for innovative community food and agriculture uses in parks

City of Vancouver
February 17 2015


Everyone’s a foodie nowadays, and the Vancouver Park Board recognizes that.

To reflect the growing and diverse interest in local food production and cultivation, we have adopted a new Urban Agriculture Policy that aims to broaden the types of food-related projects considered in parks, including one-off and pilot projects.

The policy also:

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February 18, 2015   Comments Off

Clean soil to be required for food crops in Vancouver community gardens

The Vancouver Park Board will be mandating that community gardens and local agriculture projects be planted in soil free of urban contaminants.
Photograph by: Jason Payne, Vancouver Sun.

Nearly 80 per cent of people who responded during a public consultation period approved of the draft revisions

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
February 5, 2015


VANCOUVER — New Vancouver Park Board guidelines will require that edible plants grown in community gardens and agricultural projects be planted in soil free of urban contaminants.

New soil and barriers must be used where the quality of the existing soil is not known, and the Park Board will ensure that affordable soil testing will be available to growers, according to a draft of the new Urban Agriculture Policy expected to be approved later this month.

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February 6, 2015   Comments Off

From music man to urban farmer


Green City Acres, a commercial urban micro farm in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.

By Shayna Tanen
Gainsville Com
January 23, 2015


He generates around $50,000 a year on about one-quarter of an acre of land, and he will show Gainesville residents how to make money by starting their own suburban micro farms.

“You can start farming anywhere and produce a considerable amount of product with really simple techniques,” Stone said.

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February 1, 2015   Comments Off

Judge says Canadian Pacific Railway can bulldoze sheds and smash through community gardens in Vancouver

CP Rail says it will take a couple of weeks to study the Supreme Court ruling before deciding when to restart the repair operations on the Arbutus corridor rail line, above.
Photograph by: Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun

Vancouver City loses bid to stop CP Rail’s Arbutus corridor plan

Brent Jang And Ian Bailey
The Globe and Mail
Jan. 20 2015,


Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. was within its rights to bulldoze some sheds and smash through community gardens along its unused Arbutus corridor, a judge has ruled, and the company can forge ahead with plans to store railcars on the abandoned line.

“The City did not and cannot claim any property interest in the Arbutus corridor, nor can the City assert such rights on behalf of others in response to the proposed use of the corridor” by CP, Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson of B.C. Supreme Court wrote in his judgment released Tuesday.

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January 21, 2015   Comments Off

City of Vancouver Food Strategy: What Feeds Us

Published on Jan 15, 2015
City of Vancouver: Thien Phan, Wendy Mendes, James O’Neill
Film Maker: Farzine MacRae, MacRae Multimedia (

Launched in January 2013, the City of Vancouver’s Food Strategy represents the culmination of over ten years of policy, planning and community organizing towards the creation of a healthy, just and sustainable food system. None of this would be possible without the creativity and dedication of countless individuals, community groups, and local businesses. This video highlights some key areas that have made a big impact in Vancouver.

Vancouver Food Policy information.

January 15, 2015   Comments Off