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Category — Canada

Urban farming a growing trend in Toronto

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scadCrate Garden. Staff photo/Justin Skinner. Rachel Kimel, left, and Deena DelZotto of the Bowery Project lead the initiative to build a crate garden outside of Scadding Court Community Centre, on Thursday.

Scadding Court Community Centre and Yorkdale Shopping Centre welcome innovative ‘crate’ gardens

By Justin Skinner
Inside Toronto
City Centre Mirror
May 24, 2016

Excerpt:

At Scadding Court Community Centre, a new crate garden installed by urban gardening initiative The Bowery Project and local volunteers will see 250 square feet of food being grown.

It features 500 milk crates stacked two crates high, with plants being grown in the uppermost crate. Given that soil in cities often contains contaminants, the two-crate stacks help ensure the soil in which the food is grown is clean and free of toxins.

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May 29, 2016   No Comments

Vancouver Trending: Urban farming on the grow

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whel A wheelbarrow in the fields at UBC Farm. Amy Logan/For Metro

Vancouver is experiencing an urban farming renaissance of sorts and the city has even launched a two-year pilot project to help legitimize farming in the city.

By Amy Logan
For Metro
May 20 2016

Excerpt:

“There’s an enthusiasm, a sense of resilience and civic engagement,” said Marcela Crowe, Executive Director of the Vancouver Urban Farming Society (VUFS).

The city recently adopted a two-year urban farming pilot. The goal of the project is to “help legitimize urban farming from a land use perspective, and create a consistent approach to urban farming inquiries,” according to the City’s Urban Farming Policy Report.

Besides Vancouver’s long growing season and focus on sustainability, the city’s efforts to promote local agriculture may account for a boom in urban farming. Vancouver aims to increase citywide and neighbourhood food assets by 50 per cent above 2010 levels.

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May 21, 2016   No Comments

You can now rent chickens in British Columbia

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“I’ve already booked all my rentals for 2016,” said Fraser. “There’s a wait list. We sold out by February and people just started getting their orders.”

Vancouver Sun
May 12, 2016

Excerpt:

“Renting is the way to try it out without committing to buying and building your own coop and raising your own chicks, and finding out they are actually roosters instead of hens,” said Fraser. who lives in Saanich, a suburb of Victoria. “It’s a way for you and your family to try out chickens. They are fun to have around.”

Rent The Chicken comes with two or four egg-laying hens, a mobile coop, food and water dishes, and a food supply, including dried meal worms, which chickens apparently love.

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May 20, 2016   No Comments

Commercial urban farm partnerships to take over Calgary’s city land

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oikeFilmmaker Kai Cabodyna aka “Wabi Sabi Libra,” left with Dennis Scanland, Kate Stenson, Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra and Kye Kocher stand in front of the lot that could soon be an urban commercial farm operation. Photo Helen Pike.

City councillor Gian Carlo-Carra is hoping to partner with growers to bring urban farms to Bridgeland

By: Helen Pike
Metro
May 13 2016

Excerpt:

“We really want to make urban agriculture and urban farming a viable thing in Calgary,” said Carra. “We’re also trying to take this amazing place, this great neighbourhood of Bridgeland-Riverside and recognize the historic practice of farming vacant lots.”

The lots, which form various phases of “The Bridges,” a mixed-use development project led by the City of Calgary, are still stagnant and moving slowly. So, in the meantime, Carra is hoping something else will grow in the area.

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May 19, 2016   No Comments

Urban farm in Calgary celebrates third year as demand soars amid slumping economy

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paulhPaul Hughes and his son Mac, centre, work the soil with the help of some Grow Calgary volunteers, Anne-Claire Antoine, left, and Isabel Graefendorf, right, from the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) in Calgary on Monday May 19, 2014. Grow Calgary donates all the food harvested to the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank. (Jenn Pierce/Calgary Herald)

In 2014, Hughes made a request to the provincial government for an additional 254 hectares of land on the transportation utility corridor that would be used to grow everything from carrots to cabbage, zucchini and turnips.

By Trevor Howell
Calgary Herald
May 14, 2016

Excerpt:

Over the past three years, Grow Calgary has become Canada’s largest urban agricultural farm, attracted a core group of roughly 50 people, hundreds of more occasional volunteers, hosted tours for schools and community groups and donated truckloads of fresh produce to the Calgary Food Bank.

“We started with a chunk of grassland and now we’re this robust program that’s … delivered hundreds of truckloads of food to the Food Bank and now dealing with 16 different organizations,” said Hughes, who wants to grow the operation into the world’s largest urban farm.

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May 15, 2016   Comments Off on Urban farm in Calgary celebrates third year as demand soars amid slumping economy

Shorebird finds protection in Moncton-area community garden – New Brunswick, Canada

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kildThe white-bellied killdeer, described as “very vocal” is a shorebird you can find without going to the beach. (Alain Clavette)

“I think a mother killdeer could not have chosen a better place for a nest,” said Clavette.

By Paul Hantiuk
CBC News
May 07, 2016

Excerpts:

Community gardeners near the Moncton Area Control Centre were expecting to dig in for another planting season but instead found a killdeer had set up a nest right in the middle of their plot.

Charles Daigle, a photographer who works for NAV Canada in Riverview, found the bird when he went to till the garden. He has since done his best to make sure it would be protected.

“We’re going to be delayed a bit of course. I’m in charge of the garden but I talked to the people who are in charge of the building and basically we all made the decision unanimously to give the bird some space and let it do its thing.”

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May 14, 2016   Comments Off on Shorebird finds protection in Moncton-area community garden – New Brunswick, Canada

A tiny backyard urban ‘commercial’ farm in Vancouver BC

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Kitz Kitz Farm. Photo by Michael Levenston. Click on image for larger file.

Welcome to KitzFarm!

From Leigh Wilson’s website
May 8 2016

Salad pick today;
Chard
Rocket
Red and yellow mustard
Baby beet tops
Mizuna
Sorrel
Celeriac
And a green onion

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May 12, 2016   Comments Off on A tiny backyard urban ‘commercial’ farm in Vancouver BC

Vancouver farmers’ land growth being limited by mansion owners

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sothlHome in the Southlands, City of Vancouver. Photo by Stephen Rees.

“There are so many farmers who want to get into this kind of land. It would be nice if [the owners] had an incentive.”

By Francis Bula
Globe and Mail
May 5, 2016

Excerpt:

That kind of standoff throughout the region has Metro Vancouver exploring ways to change the tax system so that people who own agricultural land will be encouraged to use it for farming. The region is also looking at ways to take away the benefits from people who make it look like they are farming when they really aren’t.

All of that matters because Metro Vancouver has more farmland within its boundaries than any other North American city and because the region’s 2,600 farms produce the highest revenues in the province. It’s estimated that a hectare of land can produce at least $36,000 worth of vegetables in a year.

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May 6, 2016   Comments Off on Vancouver farmers’ land growth being limited by mansion owners

Garden book from Manitoulin Island, Northern Ontario

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burted

82-year-old Ed Burt shares his secrets

By Michael Erskine
The Manitoulin Express
April 15, 2016

Excerpt:

he first learned the art and science of gardening at the foot of his grandfather 82 years ago at the age of five— and a lot of the knowledge he has acquired over the years is contained in his new book, ‘My Journey in the Garden: Ed Burt’s Way of Growing Food’.

“When my grandparents came to Manitoulin they experienced some especially rough winters,” he said. “We didn’t have the transportation we have now. The railroad was 40-50 miles away and if you didn’t have a horse, it was a long way away.” Adding to the distance, the roads in those days were not ploughed in the winter and few people had a car or truck to travel the roads even if the snow wasn’t an obstacle. Growing and storing food wasn’t a hobby or pastime in those early days, it was a survival skill. “I grew up in that environment,” said Mr. Burt.

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April 30, 2016   Comments Off on Garden book from Manitoulin Island, Northern Ontario

Toronto: Bell Manor Community Garden users talk about the benefits of growing in a ‘magical place’

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Welcome to Bell Manor Community Garden.

Stonegate Community Health Centre releases video in support of their food efforts

Etobicoke Guardian
Apr 23, 2016

Excerpt:

“Many of our residents live on fixed or low incomes. Providing the opportunity to grow their own fresh, healthy food is often a necessity, not a luxury,” Julia Graham, Stonegate CHC’s community food program co-ordinator, said in a statement.

In recent years, the garden has come to serve an even greater need, as the nearby Valu-Mart, which provided the only walkable access to fresh food in the community, was closed two years ago to make way for condominiums.

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April 27, 2016   Comments Off on Toronto: Bell Manor Community Garden users talk about the benefits of growing in a ‘magical place’

Sewing the seeds for a new community garden at King Edward Park in Peterborough, Ontario

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peterb

Co-ordinators Chantilly, left, and Natalie Stephenson toss earth at the future site of the King Edward Community Garden next to George St. on Tuesday April 19, 2016 at King Edward Park in Peterborough, Ont. Clifford Skarstedt/Peterborough Examiner/Postmedia Network

By Joelle Kovach
Peterborough Examiner
April 20, 2016

Excerpt:

The new garden was approved Tuesday night by the city’s board of parks and recreation.

The garden will be north of the splash pad (near the park’s border with the neighbouring property, Duffus Funeral Home).

The idea is to create a large vegetable garden with 21 plots. Each plot will be large enough to grow produce to feed a family of four.

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April 24, 2016   Comments Off on Sewing the seeds for a new community garden at King Edward Park in Peterborough, Ontario

Real estate speculation threatens future of Metro Vancouver farmland

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kentm

KPU studies agriculture real estate speculation as it threatens the future of an economically viable bioregion in Richmond and Southwest B.C.

By Graeme Wood
Richmond News
April 22, 2016

Excerpt:

Presently, about one-third of farmed land in Metro Vancouver is leased.

Furthermore, Mullinix estimates some 44,000 acres of farmable land is not in production in Metro Vancouver.

Adding to the pressures is the increase in estate homes being built on ALR land. Such mansions are numerous in Richmond and set a new price benchmark based on its value as a luxury residential property instead of a working farm, according to the report.

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April 23, 2016   Comments Off on Real estate speculation threatens future of Metro Vancouver farmland

Rising food prices in Calgary create fertile environment for urban permaculture food garden

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percaJohn Berlie’s yard has been converted to a food producing permaculture garden. Calgary Herald.

“Even without a yard, you can still have window boxes for herbs that would otherwise be expensive to buy.”

By Sharon Crowther
Calgary Herald
Apr 16, 2016

Excerpt:

Jon and his wife Jamie bought their Coventry Hills home in 2013 and in less than three years transformed their “weed infested” front and backyard, totalling less than 2,000 square feet, into a garden producing more than a hundred varieties of fruit, vegetables and herbs.

“The front yard is a forrest garden, the idea is that everything growing there should be edible or have medicinal value: currants, apples, pears, rhubarb, echinacea. We also put in a fruit hedge by the pavement. There’s a daycare three houses along from us and the kids love to steal the raspberries in summer: that’s why it’s there, we want kids to see where fruit comes from.

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April 20, 2016   Comments Off on Rising food prices in Calgary create fertile environment for urban permaculture food garden

Canada: Ottawa’s urban farmers cross the fowl line, as hobby comes home to roost

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outlKeeping backyard chickens is against the law in Canada’s capital city. Photo by Bruce Deachman.

McGregor thinks the city should amend By-law 2003-77 to allow backyard hens, joining Vancouver, Victoria, Kingston, Red Deer, Montreal, Saint John, Moncton, Fredericton, Cornerbrook, Brampton, Guelph and numerous other Canadian municipalities that permit backyard chickens.

By Bruce Deachman
Ottawa Citizen
Apr 16, 2016

Excerpt:

She first got the idea more than a decade ago when she and her husband toured an off-the-grid house where the owners kept chickens. “They were all what I’d call funky chickens — heritage breeds — and after that I decided I wanted chickens.”

They made the leap four years ago, when they attended a bird auction and paid about $20 each for two hens: a Barred Rock and a Polish hen — Polly — the latter most notable for its showy crest of feathers.

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April 20, 2016   Comments Off on Canada: Ottawa’s urban farmers cross the fowl line, as hobby comes home to roost

Tomatoes and Google connect a Canadian urban farmer to new Syrian neighbour

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vytrs
‘This is straight out of Star Trek,’ says urban farmer Curtis Stone about translated encounter

“It’s amazing how urban gardening and urban agriculture really connects people, because food crosses all cultural and language barriers.”

By Lisa Johnson
CBC News
Apr 12, 2016

Excerpt:

Then the man opened Google Translate, an app that provides two-way speech translation.

“I am a tomato farmer from Syria,” the man said, through his phone.

“I was stoked and I said, ‘oh, you like tomatoes?'” said Stone, who invited his new neighbour into his greenhouse.

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April 16, 2016   Comments Off on Tomatoes and Google connect a Canadian urban farmer to new Syrian neighbour