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Category — Canada

Calgary earthship greenhouse gives urban farm a year-long harvest

calgreeScott Davidson works on his earthship greenhouse, a project on the Grow Calgary lot that will provide the Calgary Food Bank with fresh fruits and vegetables year-round.

There’s a group on the Grow Calgary urban farming lot taking growing in the city to an unimaginable level: 365 days a year

By Helen Pike
Metro
Oct 23, 2014

Excerpt:

This build will have two greenhouse spaces, one which will have a steady more-tropical temperature and the second greenhouse will house the Alberta-indigenous crops that can take the climate’s fluctuating temperatures.

Davidson broke ground on the project in June, and has been working with five to 10 volunteers ever since. He hopes to finish the project in December and start growing in the new year.

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October 31, 2014   No Comments

Toronto/Parkdale urban farming project should be expanded

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Eugene Hennie and Amy Ness show off some of the vegetables they have grown in the Co-Op Cred garden in Parkdale.

An innovative project is a win-win for the disadvantaged: it provides work for the unemployed and produce for the local food bank.

By Catherine Porter
Toronto Star
October 19, 2014

Excerpt:

Eugene Hennie rushed between the towering buildings of South Parkdale, Amy Ness and me trailing behind.

He had an important meeting to go to.

I’d have to visit the garden quick.

Their Thanksgiving harvest was more than a week ago. These were the hardy fall leftovers — some straggly eggplants, a few overgrown Brussels sprouts.

“You should have seen it two weeks ago,” Hennie said breathlessly. “There were tomatoes, cucumbers, hot peppers. Oh, it was beautiful. Seeing those plants grow from seed — it was like I was growing.”

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October 25, 2014   No Comments

Joel Salatin speaks about ‘nook and cranny farming’ in Langley Township, Greater Vancouver

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Joel Salatin will be sharing his knowledge about small lot and sustainable farming at a workshop in Langley on Nov. 8. Photograph by: Screengrab, Food Inc.

Langley Township is unique among the Metro Vancouver communities: It has more farmland than any of the Metro cities, with 75 per cent of its area in the Agricultural Land Reserve.

By Glenda Luymes
The Province
October 11, 2014

Excerpt:

The event follows on the heels of a successful workshop on small-lot agriculture and is aimed at generating production on some of Langley’s un-farmed land, said LSAF director Karen Taylor.

Langley Township is unique among the Metro Vancouver communities: It has more farmland than any of the Metro cities, with 75 per cent of its area in the Agricultural Land Reserve. But unlike ag-giants Abbotsford and Chilliwack, 73 per cent of Langley’s land is in parcels smaller than 10 acres. Only 55 per cent of the city’s ALR land is farmed.

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October 12, 2014   Comments Off

Toronto is poised for more green roofs, but the City’s bylaw largely rules out growing fruits and veg

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Leeks, squash, and carrots are some of the vegetables ready for harvest in August on this part of Ryerson’s green roof.

Ryerson’s green roof expects to produce more than 2,268 kilograms of food by the end of the season

By Michelle Adelman
Torontoist
Sept 29, 2014

Excerpt:

But the roof still has to meet the bylaw’s construction rules. The one requiring that plants cover 80 per cent of a green roof by the third year effectively prohibits most food plants, the majority of which live only one season. Lettuces, for example, are harvested and replanted throughout the summer and finally die off in fall. The idea behind the rule is plant survivability because, “if the green roof was left to fallow and die, it wouldn’t be a functioning green roof,” says Aster.

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October 5, 2014   Comments Off

Vancouver Filmmakers live like dumpster divers for six months

For six months, Vancouver filmmakers Grant Baldwin and Jenny Rustemeyer ate only discarded food. Their shocking documentary, Just Eat IT! highlights the fact that 40 per cent of all North American food goes into landfills.

By Daphne Bramham
Vancouver Sun
October 1, 2014

Excerpt:

Baldwin and Rustemeyer spent $200 during those six months on food that was being culled from shelves because of slight blemishes or its best before date — that misleading number that makes consumers shun its purchase.

Rustemeyer estimates they salvaged $20,000 worth of food from dumpsters behind grocery stores, food warehouses and processors.

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October 4, 2014   Comments Off

Airdrie’s community orchard brings urban agriculture to park – Alberta, Canada

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Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown addressed the audience at the community orchard planting event at Jensen Park on Sept. 20, expressing his excitement about what this project will bring to the neighbourhood and the city. Photo by Jessi owan/Rocky View Publishig.

This is such a great way to give residents access to fresh food.

By Jessi Gowan
Airdrie City View
Sep 25, 2014

Excerpt:

“We are trying to tie into that potential within the community to grow our own fruits and vegetables, and I think this is a really great initiative and a great start,” said Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown, at the community planting event on Sept. 20.

“We’ve always been known as a farming community when you look back at our history, and we still are in the surrounding area. This is one of the first steps as to what urban agriculture could look like here, turning what would otherwise be just grass into something that we can use, take care of and nurture.”

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October 4, 2014   Comments Off

‘Urban farm’ + Secondary School = growing fresh vegetables, young farmers, and community!

North Vancouver – Sutherland Schoolyard Market Garden

Excerpt from their Indiegogo site:

In 2011 the North Shore Neighbourhood House’s Edible Garden Project broke ground on an innovative urban farm – Loutet Farm. Over the past four years Loutet Farm has grown into a thriving community hub selling vegetables from our farm gate sales twice a week, providing year round educational activities for children and youth, hosting community events, and providing opportunities for everyone to get involved. With over 300 volunteers contributing thousands of hours each season, Loutet Farm has become an important part of the neighbourhood. The North Shore Neighbourhood House is a charity, and all of the revenue we generate from produce sales covers our costs – paying staff a living wage, purchasing seeds, equipment, tools, etc.

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October 1, 2014   Comments Off

Top 10 Urban Agriculture Projects in Montreal

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The People’s Potato, located in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, is a neighborhood collective providing garden and greenhouse space for community members.

The city of Montreal boasts numerous agricultural projects based on building a sustainable food system in schools, parks, and urban communities.

By Liz Essman
Food Tank
Sept 23, 2014

Excerpt:

Alternatives’ Feeding Citizenship is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting social justice and environmental rights by growing healthy food and healthy communities. The project supports numerous school and neighborhood gardens, provides horticultural training programs, and facilitates community engagement.

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September 30, 2014   Comments Off

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   Comments Off

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   Comments Off

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   Comments Off

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