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Category — Canada

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

Excerpts:

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   No Comments

New urban agriculture policy starts buzz in Vancouver city parks

polvanc
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

Excerpt:

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   No Comments

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

vanccom
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

Excerpt:

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

microsto

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

By Shayna Tanen
Gainsville Com
January 23, 2015

Excerpt:

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

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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,

Excerpt:

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 (macraemultimedia.ca)

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

Kits Neighbourhood House in Vancouver will have a roof garden

sean
Garden beds on the 4th floor deck. Building was designed by architect Sean McEwen.

Seven beds with a wonderful view west across Kitsilano

Architect Sean McEwen has built seven beds for urban agriculture into his design for the newly opened Kitsilano Neighbourhood House in Vancouver, BC. Originally opened in 1894 when it was named the Alexandra Orphanage and Non-Sectarian Home Society, it moved to its present location in 1972 where its many program “reach people and help them with their community aspirations, needs and challenges and problem.”

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January 15, 2015   Comments Off

Urban Agriculture Champion, Vikram Bhatt, wins $50,000 Margolese National Design for Living Prize

Vikram copy

Margolese Prize Lecture in Vancouver BC: Vikram Bhatt, January 19, 2015 – 6:30pm to 8:30pm

SALA
2014/15

Excerpt:

“Vikram Bhatt has dedicated his life to the application and teaching of appropriate technologies for the improvement of community life, not only for Canadians but for communities throughout the developing world,” said Thom.

“His work on edible gardens and productive rooftops over the last decade has focused not only on the need for self-sufficient villages in the developing world but, also, for a critical re-evaluation of the bucolic lawn-scape in Montreal,” noted Rochon.

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January 8, 2015   Comments Off

Metro Vancouver (population 2.5 million) bans food waste from the garbage



Organics disposal ban. Waste will be taken to compost facilities in the region

Metro Vancouver
January 2, 2014

Excerpt:

Why food scraps in garbage are a problem

When food and other organic materials end up in the garbage they:

Create methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that adds to global warming. In the landfill, buried under layers of waste and without access to oxygen, food can’t decompose properly.

Use up a lot of precious landfill space. Space is limited, and creating more landfills is undesirable. Over 30% of what we send to the landfill in our region is compostable organics.

Make waste-to-energy processes less efficient because of their high moisture content. About a third of the region’s waste is disposed in the waste-to-energy facility.

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January 2, 2015   Comments Off

Readers from 214 countries visited ‘City Farmer News’ in 2014

wherefrom

Most visitors were from the United States with Canada and India not far behind.

Jet Pack Stats
December 2014

Sample:

India: 28,191

Iceland: 105

Saudi Arabia: 778

Ethiopia: 634

Brazil: 1,614

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December 31, 2014   Comments Off

New policy for urban agriculture proposed by the Vancouver Park Board

kitscommngarden
Kitsilano Community Garden. Photo by MicaDogg.

What’s new in the proposed policy

The proposed Urban Agriculture Policy includes:

1. An expanded definition of the policy for agriculture project that covers:

Collaborative and shared gardening

Educational-, arts-, and culturally-focused gardening

Fruit and nut trees

Hobby beekeeping

Pollinator gardens

[Read more →]

December 16, 2014   Comments Off

Halifax shelter builds first-ever community garden

hali
Colleen Ritchie, spokesperson for Shelter Nova Scotia, poses for a photo in a newly built community garden near Metro Turning Point.Photo by Jeff Harper.

Planting seeds of ‘positive change’

By Haley Ryan
Metro
Dec 4, 2014

Excerpt:

An empty lot beside a men’s shelter in downtown Halifax is now the site of a community garden, bringing a sense of purpose for those who stay there and “positive change for themselves.”

Shelter Nova Scotia spokeswoman Colleen Ritchie said the 4,500-square-foot garden went in beside the Metro Turning Point on Barrington Street earlier this week after receiving funds from area councillor, Waye Mason.

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December 15, 2014   Comments Off

Gardens grow another day on the Arbutus Corridor in Vancouver

CPR
Co-op residents’ community gardens destroyed by CPR.

“The gardeners that I knew whose gardens were destroyed in the first round-up around Marine Drive lived in co-ops.”

By Katie Hyslop
Magaphone Magazine
December 2014

Excerpt:

“There really isn’t a need for a railway to go through this area that they’ve made us aware of,” Levenston says of CPR. “But there’s a huge need for green space in this city as the city grows busier and busier, as the price of houses goes up, as people lose their gardens as [they] move into high rises. This [the Arbutus Corridor] is a gem.”

Levenston adds losing the green space of the corridor would be akin to losing half of Stanley Park. Instead of selling the land back to the city, he maintains CPR should donate it back to the people of Vancouver.

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December 9, 2014   Comments Off

Metal contamination found in Vancouver community garden, brownfield sites

oakcg16 Oaks Community Garden in Vancouver. A recent study detected metal contamination associated with high traffic ares in the soil. Photograph by: Arlen Redekop.
Soil research suggests study required before growing food on land near busy transportation corridors

By Randy Shore,
Vancouver Sun
December 2, 2014

Excerpt:

An eight-month study of Vancouver garden and agricultural soils has found levels of lead and other metals above the most stringent Canadian standards for human health.

Samples taken from the 16 Oaks community garden averaged 219 parts per million of lead, which exceeds the standard of 70 to 140 ppm for agricultural, residential and park land set by the Canadian Council of Environment Ministers.

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December 2, 2014   Comments Off

Cows in your Backyard? The challenges and opportunities of near urban agriculture

carriemarill
Painting bycCarrie Marill.

Only five per cent of Ontario’s land base is suitable for farming and we are losing agriculturally productive land at an alarming rate. According to Statistics Canada, we lost 260,000 hectares of farmland between 2006 and 2011. Our food security depends on us protecting farmlands for future generations.

Greenbelt Program Manager
Environmental Defence
Nov 18, 2014

Excerpt:

Consider the case of Vaughan resident and farm owner Gilllian Evans. Located in the Greenbelt, Gill’s family farm has been in the family for generations. The farm is right next door, to a proposed housing development. The development includes land within the Greenbelt but as the development application pre-dated the Greenbelt legislation it can go ahead. Gill has been trying to gain support from Vaughan Council to provide buffers between the new housing development and her existing farm.

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November 26, 2014   Comments Off