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Category — Canada

Concordia’s City Farm school in Montreal grows gorgeous greens on campus

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Stop by the farmer’s market at Loyola to taste the fruits of their labour

By Pauline Nesbitt
The Concordian
Sept 9, 2014

Excerpt:

Did you know that those delicious-looking tomatoes in the farm garden on the Loyola campus can be purchased at Concordia’s farmer’s market? The market stand is literally a few steps away from the garden, and on market days the produce is harvested just before it opens at 11 a.m. This is food that is truly market-fresh and organically grown.

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September 18, 2014   No Comments

Vancouver rooftop greenhouse back in business

City-owned parking garage to produce food once again

By Jane Deacon
Vancouver 24 Hour
September 11, 2014

Excerpt:

A troubled Vancouver urban farming facility is set to be revamped after its acquisition by Affinor Growers, which plans to use the technology to grow food locally and pot in the U.S.

Affinor, which also has a research and development facility in Port Coquitlam, has purchased the assets of Alterrus Systems’ rooftop growing facility on Richards Street. Before the company declared bankruptcy last year, it produced leafy greens and herbs through “vertical” farming techniques, which maximize sunlight exposure by suspending thousands of plant trays within a greenhouse-style facility.

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September 15, 2014   No Comments

Grow Calgary seeks massive expansion for urban farm

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Paul Hughes of Grow Calgary, pictured with his son Mac, is hoping to create the world’s largest urban farm here in Calgary. Photograph by Calgary Herald.

Last year, Grow Calgary produced 20 truckloads of food for the food bank

By Annalise Klingbeil
Calgary Herald
September 2, 2014

Excerpt:

The man behind Canada’s largest urban agriculture farm — a 4.5-hectare pocket of land near Canada Olympic Park that produces truckloads of produce for the food bank — wants to grow the operation into the world’s largest urban farm.

Paul Hughes said Grow Calgary has 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.

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September 13, 2014   No Comments

Halifax refugee families farming in the heart of the city

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Children play at the site of a refugee community garden on Willett Street in Halifax. (CBC)

About 80 refugee families are now buying their own seeds and growing their own food

CBC News
Aug 25, 2014

Excerpt:

Refugees accustomed to growing their own food in their home countries are finding garden space in their newly adopted Halifax neighbourhood.

This summer, Immigrant Settlement and Integration Services is helping seed the fourth garden in four years. The Mosaic Ministries, an independent church on Willett Street in Halifax, donated the land in Fairview.

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September 3, 2014   Comments Off

The Rapid Growth of Community Gardens in Canada

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Sylvia watering her garden. Photo by Dylan Copland.

Vancouver now has over 75 of them; Halifax 25; and Ottawa, at least 40.

By Dylan Copland
Nature Canada
August 2014

Excerpt:

Vancouver has instituted tax breaks for landowners who develop green spaces on their property. The city now allows developers to classify community gardens as class eight recreational property, reducing the cost owed to the government to about a third of typical commercial property tax fees.

In Ottawa, Just Food, in concert with garden organizers and the city government, works with an $85,000 a year budget to provide tools, equipment and construction and gardening materials to those looking to work in or organize a community garden.

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September 1, 2014   Comments Off

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

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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   Comments Off

Can Urban Agriculture Work on a Commercial Scale?

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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   Comments Off

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   Comments Off

Mayor of Calgary warms to urban chicken project

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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   Comments Off

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   Comments Off

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   Comments Off

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’

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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

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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