Category — Canada
Introduced Bill Will Create an ‘Office of Urban Agriculture’ in the United States – Senator Stabenow’s Urban Agriculture Act of 2016
Almost 40 years ago, non-profit City Farmer created ‘Canada’s Office of Urban Agriculture’
By Micheal Levenston
City Farmer Society
Oct 23, 2016
City Farmer created its unofficial, non-profit ‘Office’ in 1978 and has run it for almost 40 years to promote the concept of producing food in the city. Over the years, some have referred to City Farmer’s executive director as Canada’s ‘Minister’ of Urban Agriculture. However, City Farmer has always been and remains a tiny NGO.
In the 1980’s, one gentleman flew from Germany to see us and arrived at our office door expecting to see a bustling, official government office. He was disappointed to see a spartan room, staffed by one scruffy employee.
In January of 2016, City Farmer sent Canada’s new federal cabinet ministers a short booklet outlining a proposal asking the Government to consider setting up a National Office of Urban Agriculture.
In September, 2016, US Senator Stabenow’s Urban Agriculture Act of 2016, a comprehensive urban agriculture bill, was introduced in the US Congress.
It has taken 40 years to move an idea of an Office of Urban Agriculture to centre stage. Without a doubt, Senator Stabenow’s bill will be copied around the world.
October 23, 2016 No Comments
The B.C. government is providing funding of up to $25,000 each for 10 communities so they can work directly with their local residents in helping grow their own food.
Investment Agriculture Foundation Of BC
The goal of Grow Local BC is to provide a deeper connection between B.C. food, B.C. communities and the people that live in them. By encouraging British Columbians to grow their own fresh fruit and vegetables, they will help strengthen local food supply security.
October 6, 2016 Comments Off on ‘Grow Local’ British Columbia Funding
Hellawell said he also strives to be carbon neutral by limiting travel time in his work, delivering to CSAs instead of having 40 clients drive to him, and by striving for short distances between food source and customer.
By Barb Glen
Sept 29, 2016
The arrangement with city property owners involves a contract entitling them to 10 percent of the vegetable crop and requires them to provide water. A liability clause protects both parties from lawsuits in the event of injury to anyone involved.
The contract also requires Hellawell to maintain the farming area, which must be at least 1,000 sq. feet.
October 6, 2016 Comments Off on Lethbridge, Alberta urban farmer grows on 18 plots of land (about an acre in size)
Hop Compost today launched its urban compost facility, in which it expects to save 2,000,000 pounds of food waste and more than 4,000,000 pounds of emissions over the next 12 months.
Hop Compost Ltd.
Oct 5, 2016
Since the City of Vancouver Organics Disposal Ban, compostable waste has been hauled to facilities in Richmond, Delta, and rural sites that require up to two-hour roundtrips heavy in trucking emissions. Several facilities have been at the centre of odor complaints, primarily due to challenges in process control with outdoor composting techniques.
Hop’s facility uses patented indoor technology that seals the composting process within computerized vessels. It’s so finely tuned, composting takes just 11 days instead of 6 months. Using live data for 24/7 process control, Hop technology has been proven to run free of odor, methane, and leachate for urban zoning.
October 5, 2016 Comments Off on A New Urban Compost Facility Opens in the City of Vancouver
Mayor Lisa Helps said she overlooked the impact the language could have, adding there shouldn’t be a constant dichotomy between farmers and developers, but instead they need to work together to encourage food production in the city.
By Kendra Wong
Sep 21, 2016
Local urban farmers are rejoicing about the ability to grow and sell their own food, after Victoria city council recently passed a number of bylaw changes allowing them to do so.
“I’m happy to see it happen, I think it’s a totally necessary step and something that the community of Victoria was really asking for,” said Julia Ford, an urban farmer with City Harvest and Welland Legacy Orchard.
September 29, 2016 Comments Off on Victoria, BC Urban farmers pleased with city bylaw changes
Donna Balzer is a Calgary-based horticulturist with a broad background in horticulture and 30 years experience in everything from native perennials to cultural landscapes.
By Donna Balzer and Steven Biggs
No Guff Press
In our book, you get the advice of TWO experts—and our points of view are not always the same. Look for “He Says” and “She Says” throughout the book.
You get the professional insights of horticulturists. We make sense of products and trends and give you thoughtful opinions.
September 27, 2016 Comments Off on No Guff Vegetable Gardening
Aquaponics educational program provides a hands on learning approach and is relevant to the biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and industrial arts curriculums
Excerpts From Sea To Sky Aquaponics website:
Sea To Sky Aquaponics’ vision is to educate and empower people to grow their own food. With awareness about the benefits of sustainable agriculture increasing, people are demanding alternatives to the industrialized food system. The benefits of our systems are many.
September 18, 2016 Comments Off on Sea To Sky Aquaponics operates out of Squamish, British Columbia
Michael Levenston and Joan MacNab check swiss chard in Strathcona backyard. Click on image for larger file.
(See: Revisiting the garden in the photo after almost 40 years – – At the end of this post. September, 2016.)
By Elizabeth Godley
Feb 15, 1982
If Vancouverites plowed under their lawns and boulevards and planted beans or potatoes, brussels sprouts or kale – they could supply the entire Lower Mainland with fresh veggies.
But before you run for the rototiller, Michael Levenston isn’t really serious. it’s just that, as a member at a volunteer organization called City Farmer, he’d like city folk to start thinking about urban agriculture.
According to Levenston’s calculations, there are about 2,600 hectares of potentially arable land in the City of Vancouver alone not counting parks, cemeteries, golf courses or land in more sparsely populated suburbs – that could, given half a chance, grow food.
September 17, 2016 Comments Off on 1982 article about Vancouver’s City Farmer – “Making Farmers Outa City Folk”
Aurora Farm in St. Norbert, Manitoba.
“I’m about medium sized,” Toms remarked about his farm operation. “I’ve got 100 cows and about 800 acres of grain,” he added.
By Tony Eu
Neepawa Banner/Neepawa Press
Sept 9, 2016
“I started up about five years ago,” Toms said about participating in Open Farm Day. “I read it in the newspaper and I thought it’d be a good way for people from the urban communities, the cities and that, to connect with farmers,” he explained.
When asked what he thought about Open Farm Day, Toms replied, “It’s a way for people from urban centres to have a chance to go to the farms and see the different farms. It’s a good way for them to connect with the farmers and see what’s happening out in rural Manitoba.”
September 16, 2016 Comments Off on Manitoba’s Open Farm Day – Opening the barn doors to the city
Sole Food, a five-acre farm in the city’s grittiest neighbourhood that employs people who have been abandoned by society
By Randy Shore
September 14, 2016
Q: You use the word incongruent to describe the Sole Food farm site on the Downtown Eastside. How has the feeling in the neighbourhood evolved?
A: When people close their eyes and think of a farm they see a pastoral scene with fences and a barn, rows of food and cows grazing. In our case, that visual is very different. Our farms float in a sea of roadways and tall buildings and along the alleys in some hard parts of Vancouver.
September 15, 2016 Comments Off on Street Food tells story of downtown Vancouver’s social enterprise farm
“This [Québec Parliament Building garden] is a message that it sends to Québec, it is a message that it sends to the world in general as to say yes, urban agriculture is something we recognize and yes, it’s interesting. Let’s put your hands in the earth.”
By Kathryn Chiffer and Les Urbainculteurs
Sept 7, 2016
Excerpt from Les Urbainculteurs:
In June 2013, we opened the gardens of the National Assembly of Quebec: a historic moment for Les Urbainculteurs and very symbolic for urban agriculture in Quebec and elsewhere. Nearly 130 species of plants grow there in the ground and Smart Pots, totaling nearly 2,000 ft2 culture. In addition to the organic vegetables, Le Parlementaire restaurant can enjoy many fruits, herbs and medicinal plants. Two hives have also taken place on the Assembly’s roof.
September 13, 2016 Comments Off on Canada: Québec Parliament Building has a food garden
Ceramic Fairy Houses made by artist Melissa Hume
Maria harvests chamomile in the Fairy Garden at Vancouver’s Compost Demonstration Garden.
Children love to see where the fairies live in our garden. Their colourful, ceramic homes are set in an area beneath the stump and roots of a massive cottonwood tree which fell in the Vancouver windstorm of Aug 29, 2015.
September 12, 2016 Comments Off on City Farmer: Chamomile Growing in our Fairy Garden
“It’s almost become pathological … Wherever I’m walking or driving I’m always scanning. ‘What kind of backyard is that? What could I grow?'”
By Laurie Fagan
Sep 05, 2016
Along with Madeleine Maltby, 27, Mason-Phillips co-owns Britannia Backyard Edibles, an urban farming operation now in its second year. Together they’ve transformed 10 backyards — and one front yard — into vegetable garden.
Mason-Phillips says there’s a good supply of fertile but underused green space in central Ottawa that could be put to work for food production.
September 11, 2016 Comments Off on Ottawa’s ‘Britannia Backyard Edibles’ looking for room to grow their business
Sita Gurung, who moved to Winnipeg from Bhutan with her husband and young daughter five years ago, says the garden has provided her family with fresh mustard leaves, onions, radishes, tomatoes and more.
By: Matt Kieltyka
Sep 02 2016
Since opening in May, the “Garden of Nations” has been a source of fresh, healthy food and companionship for 15 families still adjusting to life in Canada.
“It’s a really tough journey for a lot of people,” said Amy Henderson, newcomer program co-ordinator at Food Matters Manitoba. “When they get here they think their troubles are over, but there’s still a lot of adjusting and they have to learn a new language. The support is there at first, but then it dries up after a while and it can be really stressful and hard to afford healthy food.”
September 10, 2016 Comments Off on Canada: Winnipeg newcomers reap benefits of North End community garden
Leslie St. allotment garden. Richard Caron, water, and his wife Susan, moved from the Beach to a downtown apartment two years ago and Susan was eager to find a space to flex her green thumb. Photo by Andrew Wallace.
“The groundhogs are having a great time in our garden,” Caron said. “We’ll have to do something about that next year.”
By Katrina Clarke
Sept. 2, 2016
Leasing a plot at one of the 12 outdoor gardens spread across the city gives the chance to exercise your green thumb, meet fellow urban gardeners and plant whatever your heart desires — so long as it’s legal.
And now is the best time to check out the gardens in full bloom.
September 9, 2016 Comments Off on Toronto’s 12 allotment gardens are in full bloom, as city folk prove you can grow local.