New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Canada

No Guff Vegetable Gardening

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Donna Balzer is a Calgary-based horticulturist with a broad background in horticulture and 30 years experience in everything from native perennials to cultural landscapes.

By Donna Balzer and Steven Biggs
No Guff Press
2012

In our book, you get the advice of TWO experts—and our points of view are not always the same. Look for “He Says” and “She Says” throughout the book.

You get the professional insights of horticulturists. We make sense of products and trends and give you thoughtful opinions.

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September 27, 2016   No Comments

Sea To Sky Aquaponics operates out of Squamish, British Columbia

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Large Hydroponic Garden. Footprint : 52×32?. Capacity: 60 baby kale plants; growth rate is approximately 3 weeks from date of seedling transplant.

Aquaponics educational program provides a hands on learning approach and is relevant to the biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and industrial arts curriculums

Excerpts From Sea To Sky Aquaponics website:

Sea To Sky Aquaponics’ vision is to educate and empower people to grow their own food. With awareness about the benefits of sustainable agriculture increasing, people are demanding alternatives to the industrialized food system. The benefits of our systems are many.

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September 18, 2016   No Comments

1982 article about Vancouver’s City Farmer – “Making Farmers Outa City Folk”

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Michael Levenston and Joan MacNab check swiss chard in Strathcona backyard. Click on image for larger file.
(See: Revisiting the garden in the photo after almost 40 years – – At the end of this post. September, 2016.)

By Elizabeth Godley
Vancouver Sun
Feb 15, 1982

If Vancouverites plowed under their lawns and boulevards and planted beans or potatoes, brussels sprouts or kale – they could supply the entire Lower Mainland with fresh veggies.

But before you run for the rototiller, Michael Levenston isn’t really serious. it’s just that, as a member at a volunteer organization called City Farmer, he’d like city folk to start thinking about urban agriculture.

According to Levenston’s calculations, there are about 2,600 hectares of potentially arable land in the City of Vancouver alone not counting parks, cemeteries, golf courses or land in more sparsely populated suburbs – that could, given half a chance, grow food.

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September 17, 2016   No Comments

Manitoba’s Open Farm Day – Opening the barn doors to the city

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Aurora Farm in St. Norbert, Manitoba.

“I’m about medium sized,” Toms remarked about his farm operation. “I’ve got 100 cows and about 800 acres of grain,” he added.

By Tony Eu
Neepawa Banner/Neepawa Press
Sept 9, 2016

Excerpt:

“I started up about five years ago,” Toms said about participating in Open Farm Day. “I read it in the newspaper and I thought it’d be a good way for people from the urban communities, the cities and that, to connect with farmers,” he explained.

When asked what he thought about Open Farm Day, Toms replied, “It’s a way for people from urban centres to have a chance to go to the farms and see the different farms. It’s a good way for them to connect with the farmers and see what’s happening out in rural Manitoba.”

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September 16, 2016   No Comments

Street Food tells story of downtown Vancouver’s social enterprise farm

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Michael Ableman with Alain Guy (background) at the False Creek Sole Food farm in downtown Vancouver. ARLEN REDEKOP / PNG. Click on image for larger file.

Sole Food, a five-acre farm in the city’s grittiest neighbourhood that employs people who have been abandoned by society

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
September 14, 2016

Excerpt:

Q: You use the word incongruent to describe the Sole Food farm site on the Downtown Eastside. How has the feeling in the neighbourhood evolved?

A: When people close their eyes and think of a farm they see a pastoral scene with fences and a barn, rows of food and cows grazing. In our case, that visual is very different. Our farms float in a sea of roadways and tall buildings and along the alleys in some hard parts of Vancouver.

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September 15, 2016   No Comments

Canada: Québec Parliament Building has a food garden

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“This [Québec Parliament Building garden] is a message that it sends to Québec, it is a message that it sends to the world in general as to say yes, urban agriculture is something we recognize and yes, it’s interesting. Let’s put your hands in the earth.”

By Kathryn Chiffer and Les Urbainculteurs
Foodtank
Sept 7, 2016

Excerpt from Les Urbainculteurs:

In June 2013, we opened the gardens of the National Assembly of Quebec: a historic moment for Les Urbainculteurs and very symbolic for urban agriculture in Quebec and elsewhere. Nearly 130 species of plants grow there in the ground and Smart Pots, totaling nearly 2,000 ft2 culture. In addition to the organic vegetables, Le Parlementaire restaurant can enjoy many fruits, herbs and medicinal plants. Two hives have also taken place on the Assembly’s roof.

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September 13, 2016   Comments Off on Canada: Québec Parliament Building has a food garden

City Farmer: Chamomile Growing in our Fairy Garden

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Chamomile Growing in the Fairy Garden from Michael Levenston on Vimeo.

Ceramic Fairy Houses made by artist Melissa Hume

Maria harvests chamomile in the Fairy Garden at Vancouver’s Compost Demonstration Garden.

Children love to see where the fairies live in our garden. Their colourful, ceramic homes are set in an area beneath the stump and roots of a massive cottonwood tree which fell in the Vancouver windstorm of Aug 29, 2015.

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September 12, 2016   Comments Off on City Farmer: Chamomile Growing in our Fairy Garden

Ottawa’s ‘Britannia Backyard Edibles’ looking for room to grow their business

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Madeleine Maltby and Matthew Mason-Phillips are working hard to grow their business, Britannia Backyard Edibles. (Laurie Fagan/CBC)

“It’s almost become pathological … Wherever I’m walking or driving I’m always scanning. ‘What kind of backyard is that? What could I grow?'”

By Laurie Fagan
CBC News
Sep 05, 2016

Excerpt:

Along with Madeleine Maltby, 27, Mason-Phillips co-owns Britannia Backyard Edibles, an urban farming operation now in its second year. Together they’ve transformed 10 backyards — and one front yard — into vegetable garden.

Mason-Phillips says there’s a good supply of fertile but underused green space in central Ottawa that could be put to work for food production.

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September 11, 2016   Comments Off on Ottawa’s ‘Britannia Backyard Edibles’ looking for room to grow their business

Canada: Winnipeg newcomers reap benefits of North End community garden

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Sita Gurung, from Bhutan, gardens in Winnipeg.

Sita Gurung, who moved to Winnipeg from Bhutan with her husband and young daughter five years ago, says the garden has provided her family with fresh mustard leaves, onions, radishes, tomatoes and more.

By: Matt Kieltyka
Metro
Sep 02 2016

Excerpt:

Since opening in May, the “Garden of Nations” has been a source of fresh, healthy food and companionship for 15 families still adjusting to life in Canada.

“It’s a really tough journey for a lot of people,” said Amy Henderson, newcomer program co-ordinator at Food Matters Manitoba. “When they get here they think their troubles are over, but there’s still a lot of adjusting and they have to learn a new language. The support is there at first, but then it dries up after a while and it can be really stressful and hard to afford healthy food.”

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September 10, 2016   Comments Off on Canada: Winnipeg newcomers reap benefits of North End community garden

Toronto’s 12 allotment gardens are in full bloom, as city folk prove you can grow local.

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Leslie St. allotment garden. Richard Caron, water, and his wife Susan, moved from the Beach to a downtown apartment two years ago and Susan was eager to find a space to flex her green thumb. Photo by Andrew Wallace.

“The groundhogs are having a great time in our garden,” Caron said. “We’ll have to do something about that next year.”

By Katrina Clarke
The Star
Sept. 2, 2016

Except:

Leasing a plot at one of the 12 outdoor gardens spread across the city gives the chance to exercise your green thumb, meet fellow urban gardeners and plant whatever your heart desires — so long as it’s legal.

And now is the best time to check out the gardens in full bloom.

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September 9, 2016   Comments Off on Toronto’s 12 allotment gardens are in full bloom, as city folk prove you can grow local.

City Farmer’s Garden: Who Is Stealing Our Grapes?

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Who Is Stealing Our Grapes? from Michael Levenston on Vimeo.

It’s harvest time but each morning we find our grapes on the ground

By Michael Levenston
City Farmer
Sept 8, 2016

We grow delicious, seeded grapes at the Compost Demonstration garden in Vancouver BC. Staff and visitors make grape juice from the fruit. However, at this time of year, just as they ripen, we find grapes scattered on the ground beneath the old vines that grow on a pergola.

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September 8, 2016   Comments Off on City Farmer’s Garden: Who Is Stealing Our Grapes?

Northern Canada: Yellowknife Farmers’ Market seeks land within city zoned for agriculture

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‘We have been listening very closely to the community,’ says Tracey Williams (left), Food Security Coordinator for the Yellowknife Farmers’ Market. (submitted by Tracey Williams)

They made a really good case for why it is important to produce more food locally,’ said Mayor Mark Heyck. (CBC)

By Mitch Wiles
CBC News
Sep 02, 2016

Excerpt:

“One of the recurring themes that was constantly being brought up was an interest in some kind of land being identified in Yellowknife… for urban farming or agricultural production,” said Tracey Williams, Food Security Coordinator for the Yellowknife Farmers’ Market.

“There is no zoning, there is no policy, there are no bylaws that talk about agricultural production within the city boundaries.”

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September 7, 2016   Comments Off on Northern Canada: Yellowknife Farmers’ Market seeks land within city zoned for agriculture

Ottawa: Gardens to be demolished as part of Hydro One upgrade

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Geoff Radnor gestures to one of his neighbour’s gardens, planted in the mid-80s in the transmission line right-of-way. (Stu Mills/CBC)

‘I don’t understand why they don’t just put the tower up and let us work the rest,’ says one resident

Stu Mills
CBC News
Sept 7, 2016

Excerpt:

Residents in the Riverview neighbourhood say Hydro One is taking a “scorched earth” policy to their community vegetable gardens.

The electricity provider plans to upgrade the towers and twin the existing, single 115 kV transmission line between the Overbrook Transformer Station on Coventry Road and Balena Park in the Riverview neighbourhood next April.

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September 7, 2016   Comments Off on Ottawa: Gardens to be demolished as part of Hydro One upgrade

Victoria, BC’s Urban Agriculture Proposals go to Council Public Hearings

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Mason Street City Farm.

The mayor says she expects the changes to pass — except for the part about changing the city’s Official Community Plan to make agriculture “subservient” to development.

By Katherine Dedyna
Times Colonist
Sept. 3, 2016

Excerpt:

The bylaw changes would allow raw, unprocessed food such as fruits, nuts, seeds, eggs and honey to be grown, harvested and sold by farmers within the city.

Growers would require a $100 annual business licence to sell goods off-site. On-site sales — through a farmstand, for example — would require either an annual licence or a three-month licence, available for $25.

Farmstand hours would be limited to 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., except on Sundays, when the hours would be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Loading of delivery trucks would be limited to once a day during the same hours.

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September 4, 2016   Comments Off on Victoria, BC’s Urban Agriculture Proposals go to Council Public Hearings

Vancouver Chefs Grow Their Own

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Andrea Carlson of Burdock & Co. stands amongst the ginger and edible flowers in her restaurant’s urban garden. – Dan Toulgoet photo

Vancouver restaurants are taking the 100-mile diet a step further and growing their own ingredients here in the city

By Robert Mangelsdorf
Westender
Aug 31, 2016

Excerpt:

“Growing the botanicals was definitely something that was instilled in me working at the Sooke Harbour House on Vancouver Island,” she says. “It’s an incredibly inspired place. I learned a ton there, that ethos, and had an opportunity to experience on a daily basis the opportunities of the plants as they present themselves.

“Now it’s about the flower,” she continues, “then it’s the seed, then it’s about the fruit, then it’s the root. It’s not just about saying we have beets and tomatoes to work with. We have this entire world of potential from these plants, that’s what gets me excited when it comes to creating menus.”

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September 1, 2016   Comments Off on Vancouver Chefs Grow Their Own