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Category — Canada

Toronto photographer begins his veggie garden after a long, cold winter

Click on image for larger file.

Communal garden in the centre of the city inside a park

My name is Giulio Muratori, I’m a Toronto based photographer, and have lived in Toronto for 39 years.

This year, 2015, I joined a communal garden with three other people. The garden is situated in an old water pump house built in 1875, in the heart of Toronto. We have one big garden and two small ones.

There are several reasons why I want to work in this garden:

#1 to produce fresh home grown veggies and herbs.
#2 gardening is tranquil, relaxing and rewarding to me.
#3 socializing with the other gardeners.

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May 21, 2015   No Comments

Edmonton, Alberta opens urban farm to public tours

The Northlands Urban Farm is opening up for free public tours, starting Friday.

It allows us to demonstrate a viable commercial urban farming operation

By Bill Mah
Edmonton Journal
May 12, 2015


EDMONTON – Northlands may be better known for sports, trade shows or concerts, but the community service organization is also getting back to its agricultural roots.

The Northlands Urban Farm, which launched last year, is opening for free public tours, with the first one scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m.

Northlands operates a 31,200-square-foot farm on three vacant lots in the southwest corner of its spread at 113th Avenue and 79th Street.

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May 20, 2015   No Comments

City of Vancouver still paying for failed urban farm


City in court over rejected offer from medical marijuana company to take over failed vegetable venture

By Jen St. Denis and Darryl Greer
Business Vancouver
May 15, 2015


A failed urban farm located in a downtown Vancouver parkade continues to be a costly headache to the City of Vancouver.

According to documents filed in a continuing lawsuit against the city, a greenhouse and equipment from the farm is still located in the parkade, over a year after the company operating the farm went bankrupt.

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May 16, 2015   No Comments

Vancouver Police Officers Plant Food Garden on Headquarters’ Rooftop

An officer shows off tomatoes growing in the rooftop garden at the Vancouver police department headquarters on Cambie Street.

The team will sell the rest of the crops internally – it’ll cost about $2 for a bushel of kale – to fund supplies for the garden.

By Emily Jackson
April 21, 2013


Without prompting from a city council known for aggressively pushing its “greenest” city agenda, the police have grown a community garden with renewable crops on the headquarters’ rooftop.

“People wouldn’t think this is something that police do in their spare time, but we had the space. It worked out,” Sgt. Randy Fincham said on a tour of the garden Wednesday.

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May 6, 2015   Comments Off on Vancouver Police Officers Plant Food Garden on Headquarters’ Rooftop

New documentary from Canada: ‘Une Révolution Agricole Urbaine!’

Une révolution agricole… urbaine! Bande-annonce from Arts et Images productions on Vimeo.

In French: Airs first May 7th, 2015 at 21h on Explora

Un film de Mario Desmarais
Produit par Anne Desmarais
52 minutes
May 2015
(Must See! Mike)
The complete film will be available online in July, 2015 once it has aired on TV.


Une nouvelle révolution agricole est en” marche.

Nous pouvons dès aujourd’hui produire des aliments en ville, et ce, à grande échelle, en! n’utilisant aucune terre arable, aucun pesticide, moins d’eau, moins d’énergie et pratiquement aucun transport. Une des solutions aux besoins alimentaires mondiaux qui ne cessent d’augmenter.

Tout ce que nous connaissons du point de vue agricole et alimentaire change. Déjà enviro 20% de la nourriture consommée dans le monde est produite en zone urbaine!et périurbaine et près de 50% des légumes frais se retrouvant dans notre assiette sont produits dans un environnement! urbain.

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May 4, 2015   Comments Off on New documentary from Canada: ‘Une Révolution Agricole Urbaine!’

Montreal launches organic farming initiative to feed city’s poor

Montreal owns the land and has already invested $400,000.

By Rachel Lau
Global News
Apr 23, 2015


“These vegetables will be used by the le Regroupement des Magasins-Partage. The families that need this kind of support will receive that,” said Réal Ménard, Montreal executive committee member for sustainable development.

The project will start small, with just under six hectares of land being used to cultivate produce.

By 2019, organizers are hoping to transform up to 24 hectares, creating about 250,000 bags of vegetables.

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May 1, 2015   Comments Off on Montreal launches organic farming initiative to feed city’s poor

Forthcoming book: ‘The Urban Farmer’


British Columbia author: Growing Food for Profit on Leased and Borrowed Land

By Curtis Stone
New Society Publishers
Pub. Date: 2015-11-01

The Urban Farmer is a comprehensive, hands-on, practical manual to help you learn the techniques and business strategies you need to make a good living growing high-yield, high-value crops right in your own backyard (or someone else’s). Major benefits include:

Low capital investment and overhead costs
Reduced need for expensive infrastructure
Easy access to markets.

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April 29, 2015   Comments Off on Forthcoming book: ‘The Urban Farmer’

Community Garden job opening north of the Arctic Circle


Closing 02 May 2015

Community Garden Society of Inuvik
(Inuvik Community Greenhouse)
A Community Partnership with AURORA COLLEGE
79 Gwich’in Rd, Box 1544, Inuvik, NT X0E 0T0
Tel: 867-777-3267 (seasonal April-Oct)

We are looking for an Executive Director at our community greenhouse in the Northwest Territories. This position is ideal for someone with strong non-profit management and horticulture skills. It starts as soon as possible (closing 02 May 2015) and runs through March 2016 with possible extension dependant upon funding.

The full posting can be found on our website: We cover travel expenses upon negotiation with the successful candidate and this position has the added benefit of paying a Northern Living Allowance and 6 weeks annual leave.

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April 24, 2015   Comments Off on Community Garden job opening north of the Arctic Circle

New rules aim to help Edmonton’s urban agriculture businesses bloom

Cathryn Sprague discusses how the proposed zoning amendments will help urban agriculture, and why increasing urban agriculture is important in Edmonton. Video by Greg Southam here.

An online city survey last summer found 92 per cent of the more than 1,000 respondents supported commercial urban agriculture. About 80 per cent would allow crops on vacant lots and limited on-site sales.

By Gordon Kent
Edmonton Journal
April 6, 2015


The new zoning rules clarify that urban agriculture operations can exist in most parts of the city, although in some areas neighbours would be able to oppose the move.

Vacant lots could be cropped with city approval.

These small-scale farmers would also be able to obtain permits to sell their produce on-site, which isn’t currently allowed.

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April 16, 2015   Comments Off on New rules aim to help Edmonton’s urban agriculture businesses bloom

Vancouver Parks ‘field houses’ eyed for urban farming

fieldhField house in a Vancouver park.

Vancouver Park Board is considering turning field houses at various city parks into farmhouses.

By Michael Mui
24 Hours Vancouver
April 12, 2015


Vancouver Park Board is considering turning field houses at various city parks — outfitted with caretakers’ suite, washroom facilities and sometimes concession booths — into urban farmhouses operated by city farming groups.

The 75 houses had traditionally provided live-in accommodations for park caretakers, but their uses today have shifted towards things like artists spaces, environment residences, storage for sports organizations, as some examples.

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April 13, 2015   Comments Off on Vancouver Parks ‘field houses’ eyed for urban farming

Urban farmers at ‘Grow Calgary’ tap into a different kind of cornucopia

In preparation for this year’s farming season, volunteers help to clean Grow Calgary, Canada’s largest urban agriculture farm. The produce grown on the land is given to Calgary interfaith Food Bank to provide food to vulnerable Calgarians. Photo by Melissa Renwick.

“Our vision is to create a sustainable and resilient food system for the Calgary region,”

By Justin Giovannetti
The Globe and Mail
Apr. 03 2015


Canada’s largest urban farm doesn’t even have enough money to erect a sign explaining to passing motorists what they’re seeing off Calgary’s ring road.

Three years ago, the 11-acre plot was a rock-strewn field in the shadow of facilities left over from the 1988 Winter Olympics. Since then, volunteers have tilled the ground and sent all that they’ve pulled from the dirt to food banks.

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April 12, 2015   Comments Off on Urban farmers at ‘Grow Calgary’ tap into a different kind of cornucopia

McGill University’s Montreal campus opens community garden


For the nominal fee of $40, people can buy a “plot” consisting of four plastic planting containers.

By Neale McDevitt
McGill Reporter
Apr 2, 2015


Since its inception, the Edible Campus garden has supplied thousands of kilograms of fresh produce to several Santropol projects, including its meals-on-wheels initiative that provides fresh, healthy food to Montrealers with limited mobility. But having expanded growing operations to a large farm in Senneville, it was decided that the McGill garden could be opened to the University clientele.

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April 11, 2015   Comments Off on McGill University’s Montreal campus opens community garden

Backyard plastic bubble in Greater Vancouver is Canada’s first biodome

Tom Colclough is growing about 6,000 strawberry plants hydroponically on his Surrey farm in an agricultural biodome. Photograph by: Ric Ernst.

Climate-controlled domes touted as a local food solution for remote communities

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
April 1, 2015


The 3,000-square-foot plastic bubble in Tom Colclough’s Surrey yard is packed with 6,000 strawberry plants that require no soil and use one-tenth the water of conventional farming.

Canada’s first agricultural “biodome” is made from air-tight layers of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), a plastic film that weighs 99-per-cent less than glass and naturally disperses light within the dome, creating an ideal environment for vertical hydroponic growing systems, said designer Colclough.

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April 2, 2015   Comments Off on Backyard plastic bubble in Greater Vancouver is Canada’s first biodome

Canadian Institutions Supported ‘City Farmer’ in Formative Years

City Farmer poster created by Environment Canada.

City Farmer’s Funding Sources 1978 – 1984

By Michael Levenston
Executive Director
City Farmer
March 27, 2015

Looking back to the beginning of our ‘activist’ non-profit society, we see that many funding agencies took a chance with our ideas and gave us money. Rather than urban agriculture being seen as something threatening, all levels of government and many independent funding bodies encouraged it. The dollar amounts were not large but they sustained us and allowed us to do our work without interference.

City Farmer held courses at the University of British Columbia, (later our website was also hosted by the University); we were leased a large portion of land belonging to the Vancouver Park Board for a community garden; our Demonstration Food Garden is on City of Vancouver land; our initial funding came from the Federal Ministry of Energy, Mines and Resources; other Ministries such as Employment & Immigration Canada and Secretary of State of Canada also funded us; Environment Canada produced our large colour poster; the private sector funding included MacMillan Bloedel Ltd., Gulf Canada Ltd. and TD Bank; and major independent funders such as the Vancouver Foundation, the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation, and the McLean Foundation came through for us.

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March 28, 2015   Comments Off on Canadian Institutions Supported ‘City Farmer’ in Formative Years

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   Comments Off on Community Gardener finds 1984 Harrowsmith Magazine with article about City Farmer