New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — Canada

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

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


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.

[

October 12, 2014   No Comments

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

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
Sept 29, 2014


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.

[

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


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.

[

October 4, 2014   Comments Off

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

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


“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.”

[

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.

[

October 1, 2014   Comments Off

Top 10 Urban Agriculture Projects in Montreal

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


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.

[

September 30, 2014   Comments Off

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


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

By Pauline Nesbitt
The Concordian
Sept 9, 2014


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.

[

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


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.

[

September 15, 2014   Comments Off

Grow Calgary seeks massive expansion for urban farm

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


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.

[

September 13, 2014   Comments Off

Halifax refugee families farming in the heart of the city

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


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.

[

September 3, 2014   Comments Off

The Rapid Growth of Community Gardens in Canada

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


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.

[

September 1, 2014   Comments Off

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

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


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.

[

August 29, 2014   Comments Off

Can Urban Agriculture Work on a Commercial Scale?

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


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.

[

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


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”.

[

August 25, 2014   Comments Off

Mayor of Calgary warms to urban chicken project

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


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.

[

August 25, 2014   Comments Off