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Category — Canada

Bear testing a metal compost tumbler

Jora Canada bear test highlights

August 31, 2015

Black bears trying to get into Jora household composter. June, 2015. If bears can’t get in, can other rodents? Composter was smeared with honey and peanut butter on the outside; inside was filled with fruit, fish, and other bear delicacies.

More here.

September 1, 2015   No Comments

City Farmer’s Compost Garden loses tree in ‘intense’ Vancouver storm

A tall cottonwood tree, nicknamed by some “the widow maker”, lies in our ‘back-40’ area at the rear of the Vancouver Compost Garden. Photo by Michael Levenston. Click on image for larger file.

Eighty-kilometre-an-hour winds buffeted the Greater Vancouver Area

Excerpt from “Thousands still without power as clean up begins after severe B.C. windstorm”

By Geordon Omand
The Canadian Press
Aug. 31, 2015


Sadhu Johnston, Vancouver’s deputy city manager, described the scale of the storm as “unprecedented” and estimated it would take weeks for the city to fully clean up the debris.

“This is probably one of the most intense storms that we’ve had over the past decade,” he said during a news conference, while behind him city crews worked to remove fallen branches from the road.

“I think the drought combined with the high winds really impacted us,” he added. “The drought led to more trees coming down, which led to more power outages. So it kind of compounded.”

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August 31, 2015   No Comments

Canada – The Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre community garden covers 0.6 hectares of a urban lot

saskfRow upon row of vegetables, herbs and fruit at the Garden Patch. (CBC)

MacDonald said over 4,000 kilograms of food has already been harvested this summer.

CBC News
Aug 27, 2015


he growing season is far from over and the community garden run by the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Center is already full and leafy and bursting with food.

The space, known as the Garden Patch, is on Third Avenue between Duchess and Duke streets.

The garden grows produce that is distributed at the food bank. It is also a place where community and urban agriculture projects are underway.

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August 27, 2015   No Comments

Facilitating Urban Agriculture with ‘Tactical’ Policy Changes in Hamilton, Ontario

Hill Street Community Garden (RTH file photo)

Citizens and organizations are making Hamilton a model for how rural and urban can work together as part of a sustainable food system.

By Jason Thorne
Raise the Hammer
August 18, 2015


On the doorstep of this rural and agricultural area is an urban area of more than half a million people, soon to be more than 700,000. The city is working to take advantage of this unique opportunity and position itself as a leader in urban agriculture.

To help achieve that goal, the City’s Planning and Economic Development Department, led by Planning Manager Joanne Hickey-Evans, has been systematically identifying, and removing, barriers to urban agriculture.

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August 26, 2015   No Comments

A Field Guide to Foraging for Wild Greens and Flowers


Michelle Nelson has completed a Ph.D. in conservation biology and writes about food and conservation

By Michelle Nelson, photos by Alison Page
Harbour Publishing
May 2015

A Field Guide to Foraging for Wild Greens and Flowers pinpoints easy-to-find greens and flowers that many don’t realize are edible—such as dandelion, clover, chicory, sheep’s sorrel and lamb’s quarters—and also introduces readers to the delicious leaves of such native plants as goldenrod and fireweed. And readers can also eat their way to conservation by enjoying edible invasive plants in salads, like garlic mustard and fennel.

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August 17, 2015   Comments Off on A Field Guide to Foraging for Wild Greens and Flowers

Montreal is fertile ground for urban agriculture entrepreneurs

Exterior of the rooftop greenhouse at Lufa Farms in Laval. Dario Ayala / Montreal Gazette File Photo

Urban agriculture projects are often not-for-profit, but the entrepreneurial spirit is also thriving in this sector.

By Donna Nebenzahl
Montreal Gazette
August 1, 2015


And in Montreal West, a small enterprise called Bio-cyclette has uncovered a horticultural treasure along the edge of the railway tracks. Looking for more space to grow vegetables for their commercial urban farm, Annie McLaughlin and partner Konstantinos Hirtle-Kattou discovered the prolific fruit and vegetable plots that had been planted decades ago by Montrealers of Italian origin.

“These folks started farming there in the 1950s,” McLaughlin says, “and they’ve done some magic. Now they’re getting older and a lot of the land is riddled with weeds.”

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August 14, 2015   Comments Off on Montreal is fertile ground for urban agriculture entrepreneurs

Vancouver Vertical Hydroponic Farms can feed urban communities while reducing carbon emissions

greenguysGreen Guys on the Drive have 11 CSA members

Via numerous extremely efficient urban farms, community members gain access to local fresh food while reducing their carbon footprint.

By Co-founders, Brandon, Win and Dan
Green Guys on the Drive
August, 2015

Excerpt from their proposal:

The pictures used in this proposal were taken over the course of three years, by a group called Green Guys on the Drive (6), located in Vancouver, British Columbia who currently operate East Vancouver’s only community supported hydroponic urban vegetable farm. They have 11 CSA members who each pay $200 at the start of the season to receive their share of the farm’s weekly harvest which is sufficient for 2 people. They currently have one farm tended to by three co-founders, Brandon, Win and Dan. The farm consists of three VHF units with a total capacity of 320 plants and a footprint of 34 ft2. This works out to a density of 9.4 plants/ft2 which is more than 3 times the density of traditional soil based planting for lettuce (a leafy green) (7).

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August 13, 2015   Comments Off on Vancouver Vertical Hydroponic Farms can feed urban communities while reducing carbon emissions

Visit with a seasoned beekeeper in Victoria, BC


Entering the Secret Life of the Honey Bee

By Larraine Roulston
Green Mom
August 11, 2015


This summer I had a great opportunity to shadow my brother-in-law Bob while he tended his backyard bee hives. As a Examining a honeycomb mainseasoned beekeeper and member of the Capital Region Beekeepers’ Association in Victoria, BC, Bob has 11 hives, each containing rows of hanging combs, all buzzing with activity. Donning the bulky white suit, mask, hat, gloves and boots, I was then ready to view their amazing contribution to our ability to grow food.

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August 12, 2015   Comments Off on Visit with a seasoned beekeeper in Victoria, BC

Community gardens flourishing in Kentville, Nova Scotia

Stems Cafe sous chef Tammy Vaughan, Kentville Community Garden president Sarah Hiltz and the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Candy O’Brien enjoy a SOUP (Share Our Urban Produce) tasting at the Wolfville-based cafe Aug. 1. Photo by Ashley Thompson.

A community garden project is filling the hearts, and bellies, of several Kings County residents concerned about food security.

By Ashley Thompson
Kings County News
August 02, 2015


“Every single one of my clients, food security is a huge issue. Anyone who is on income assistance right now is taking from their grocery bill to pay their rent,” said O’Brien, who assists people with mental health issues who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

With the community gardens, fresh vegetables are now more accessible for cash-strapped families.

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August 10, 2015   Comments Off on Community gardens flourishing in Kentville, Nova Scotia

Green roofs and ‘agritecture’ have potential to transform food supply in cities

‘We’ve become very disconnected from nature,’ says one expert, and urban farming offers a solution

By Andre Mayer, Eric Foss and Manmeet Ahluwalia,
CBC News
Aug 09, 2015


The Daniels Corporation, which builds condos, houses and commercial spaces in the Greater Toronto Area, is behind, among other things, the Erin Mills Backyard Farm & Market in north Toronto, which has been operating for several years on the site of a planned housing community.

This focus on urban farming began while Daniels was doing initial work on the revitalization of the declining Regent Park area in downtown Toronto in 2010.

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August 9, 2015   Comments Off on Green roofs and ‘agritecture’ have potential to transform food supply in cities

Montreal: The growing pains of urban agriculture

montanimGarden animator Vera Martynkiw helps Aisha Alvarez measure some of the edible flowers she picked at the St-Thomas collective garden in N.D.G., which organizes kid-friendly activities. Peter Mccabe / Montreal Gazette

There are 128 hectares of Montreal land being used for urban agriculture initiatives, with the participation of 42 per cent of Montrealers.

Donna Nebenzahl,
Montreal Gazette
More from Donna Nebenzahl,
August 1, 2015


But as it expands, urban agriculture must walk a fine line. In densely populated neighbourhoods, there are many factors to consider.

In N.D.G., for example, a sidewalk gardening project was scuttled after a condo owner claimed that the vegetable beds deterred renters from the ground floor space he owns. A proposal to house chickens in community gardens in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve has started this month, but the SPCA is worried that these animals will be neglected or abandoned in their urban setting.

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August 7, 2015   Comments Off on Montreal: The growing pains of urban agriculture

Vancouver Food Gardens: Seeds of a better community

Gardeners collect the bounty at High Top Hub, the shared community garden at Bosa False Creek.
Photograph by: Dan Lum

Food gardens have the power to create instant community in urban environments

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
August 6, 2015


A white paper released earlier this year by the Happiness Research Institute put it bluntly: “Loneliness kills.”

The institute cites studies suggesting that loneliness among the elderly can be a significant health risk and lead to dementia and depression. A 2010 meta-analysis of 148 studies on social relationships and mortality involving 308,000 participants found that people with strong social connections are 50 per cent more likely to survive the period of the study regardless of age, sex and pre-existing health conditions.

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August 7, 2015   Comments Off on Vancouver Food Gardens: Seeds of a better community

Hastings Urban Farm in Vancouver BC

Sarah Common is the manager of the Hastings Urban Farm and executive director for Hives for Humanity. — Dan Toulgoet photo.

A growing number of working farms are turning unused patches of pavement into verdant fields of local produce, providing Vancouver with greater food security and healthier options.

By Robert Mangelsdorf
Aug 6, 2015


Hastings Urban Farm is one of an increasing number of working farms in Vancouver that have managed to turn unused patches of pavement into verdant fields of local produce, providing greater food security for the surrounding community.

In addition to providing low barrier employment through its honorarium program, the Hastings Urban Farm also provides workshops for local residents on how to grow and preserve their own food, and even allows them to perform their community service hours there.

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August 6, 2015   Comments Off on Hastings Urban Farm in Vancouver BC

The Urban Homesteading Cookbook: Forage, Farm, Ferment and Feast for a Better World


Michelle Nelson began urban homesteading in her downtown apartment.

By Michelle Nelson (Author), Alison Page (Photographer)
Douglas & McIntyre
(November 10, 2015)

In The Urban Homesteading Cookbook, Nelson explores the worlds of foraging wild urban edibles, eating invasive species, keeping micro-livestock, bees and crickets, growing perennial vegetables in pots, small-space aquaponics, preserving meats and produce, making cheese and slow-fermenting sourdough, beer, vinegar, kombucha, kefir and pickles. Nelson fervently believes that by taking more control of our own food we will become better empowered to understand our relationships with the environment, and embrace sustainable lifestyles and communities.

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August 6, 2015   Comments Off on The Urban Homesteading Cookbook: Forage, Farm, Ferment and Feast for a Better World

Innovative rooftop vertical farm for sale on Craigslist for $1.5 million in Vancouver, BC


Assets include a “Verticrop 120 rack, 3000 tray growing system,” plus “environment sensors and controls” among other high-tech growing equipment.

By Sam Cooper
The Province
July 22, 2015


As the costly fiasco of a failed rooftop lettuce farm that was enthusiastically promoted by Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson in 2012 continues to unwind, a white elephant greenhouse has been posted for sale on Craigslist for $1.5 million.

The “innovative rooftop vertical farm,” which is now central to a lawsuit against the City of Vancouver, still stands unused atop a city parkade at 535 Richards St.

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July 29, 2015   Comments Off on Innovative rooftop vertical farm for sale on Craigslist for $1.5 million in Vancouver, BC