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Category — Canada

Canada: ‘Roots to Harvest’ in Thunder Bay ready for first ‘urban training farm’

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Roots to Harvest to create an urban training farm on the grounds of the Victoria Park training Centre (Facebook)

Community group teams with Lakehead Public schools to create educational farm in southside neighbourhood

CBC News
Feb 22, 2017

Excerpt:

“This project and partnership with Lakehead Public Schools will positively impact the surrounding neighbourhood and will provide countless opportunities for authentic discovery for students, employment for young people, and will be a great asset for the whole city,” she said.

Some of the features of the new educational farm will include:
demonstration and training plots
school gardens
urban farm fields
seed saving garden

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February 28, 2017   No Comments

Fighting Greater Toronto’s Sprawl With Urban Farms

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Member farmers harvest mizuna green beds at Fresh City Farms two acre farm at Downsview Park.

75 percent of farmland of farmland in Toronto’s Metro Region is unprotected and at risk of being paved over

By Vawn Himmelsbach
Toronto Star
Feb 18, 2017

Excerpt:

Fresh City Farms leases private land, including two acres of federal land in Downsview Park, though tenure affects long-term planning. Its latest project is a 4,000 square foot greenhouse, expected to be up and running this spring, on land owned by wireless solutions company Baka Communications.

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February 27, 2017   No Comments

Canada: Surrey, BC launches ‘land-linking’ website focusing on farming

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A map from a new “land-leasing” website, created by the City of Surrey in partnership with a Young Agrarians group.— Image Credit: FarmableNOW.ca

“The cost of buying land in the Lower Mainland is high. Resources like this one are going to help more farmers access land.”

By Amy Reid
Surrey Now
Feb 16, 2017

Excerpt:

A website that’s been almost two years in the making aims to change Surrey’s agricultural future for the better.

The new “land-linking” website, created by the City of Surrey and a Young Agrarians group, aims to connect landowners with farmers.

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February 17, 2017   No Comments

Canada: Urban agriculture comes to London, Ontario

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The Urban Roots London founders (L-R: Heather Barnes, Graham Bracken, Jeremy Horrell and Richie Bloomfield) in the snow. Courtesy of Curtis Justrabo.

“They realized they were in town for university, they wanted to contribute to the community in the meaningful way. That work fed a community; they’re committed to a system to improve it,” says Barnes.

By Ellis Koifman
The Gazette
Feb 12, 2017

Excerpt:

Last November, Heather Barnes and Graham Bracken, two former Western students in law and economics/philosophy respectively, were inspired by the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI).

“They grow a lot of food organically and they funnel it right back into the community,” says Barnes. “While we were there people walked up [to the urban farm] and they walked away with food.”

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February 16, 2017   No Comments

Canadian Mayors Discuss Growing Food In Their Cities

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250 attend Forum. Debate on local food production between Morinville Mayor Lisa Holmes, Enoch Cree Nation Chief Billy Morin, Sturgeon County Mayor Tom Flynn and Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson at Edmonton’s city hall.

Edmonton could become the food capital of Canada if it taps into the power of urban agriculture, suggests a recent mayoral forum.

By Kevin Ma
St. Albert Gazette
Feb 8, 2017

Excerpt:

Morin said that to his community of Enoch, local food was about culture. Alberta’s First Nations were only recently introduced to Western foods such as flour, and today grappled with many health concerns related to diet. He now seeks to lead his community back to its traditional dietary roots.

“Picking berries, hunting moose – those are medicines for us.”

Holmes also cited a need to reconnect with the past when it came to food, saying that there was a “lost generation” of people today that did not grow up tending gardens or preserving food.

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February 9, 2017   Comments Off on Canadian Mayors Discuss Growing Food In Their Cities

A local Vancouver blogger visits City Farmer in winter

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Photo by Carol Volkert.

Fishing for farmers

By Carol Volkart
Views From Mount Dunbar
Jan 27, 2017
(After four decades in daily journalism as a reporter and editor with first the Edmonton Journal, then the Vancouver Sun, I retired in 2013.)

Excerpt:

What do you do with leftovers from a railway that once ran beside your demonstration garden? Create an ironwork gate, of course. Twine bagged primroses and birdhouses into it, and invite the curious to pass through. That’s what Maria did when I happened to walk past the City Farmer’s demonstration garden at Sixth and Maple on Monday.

Maria was digging away at what will be a bark-mulch path aimed at drawing pedestrians from the recently dismantled Sixth Avenue railway tracks (now the Arbutus Greenway) into the garden, a teaching and demonstration facility for Vancouverites interested in composting, raising their own food, and catering to the city’s wildlife.

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January 30, 2017   Comments Off on A local Vancouver blogger visits City Farmer in winter

Sudbury, Ontario Gets an Urban Farm

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Joseph Leblanc, executive director of the Social Planning Council, told the community services committee Monday of the organization’s plans for transforming a 1.5-acre ill-used plot of land into an urban oasis of all things vegetatively edible.

By Mary Katherine Keown,
The Sudbury Star
January 16, 2017

Excerpt:

Ward 8 Coun. Al Sizer wanted to know how residents would be able to access the foods grown and produced from the farm. Leblanc talked about the possibility of launching a market or mobile market in Sudbury, or establishing community dinners at which the goods would be served. There is also the possibility of partnering with existing organizations, such as Better Beginnings Better Futures, to host larger-scale meals.

“We’ll look at some of those finer details,” Leblanc said. “Certainly there are feeding programs, so student nutrition programs and community suppers and stuff.

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January 25, 2017   Comments Off on Sudbury, Ontario Gets an Urban Farm

Montreal’s urban agriculture pioneer Lufa Farms opens third rooftop greenhouse farm

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Lauren Rathmell looks at rainbow chard growing on the Lufa Farms rooftop greenhouse on Tuesday January 17, 2017. Pierre Obendrauf / Montreal Gazette

The newest, at 63,000 square feet more than double the size of the first, is the largest.

By Susan Schwartz
Montreal Gazette
Jan 18, 2017

Excerpt:

Last week Lufa Farms began to harvest produce from that greenhouse, set atop an industrial building in Anjou. The first week brought mega-sized radishes, watercress, Persian cress, arugula and spinach from among more than 40 varieties of greens started out there as seedlings in December; this week, tatsoi, red and green bok choy, Chinese cabbage, romaine and Boston lettuce were added to the mix. Next week there will be more.

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January 19, 2017   Comments Off on Montreal’s urban agriculture pioneer Lufa Farms opens third rooftop greenhouse farm

‘Asking For Permission Doesn’t Grow Gardens’ – excerpt from “Street Farm” by Michael Ableman

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Tunnel houses fully skinned with plastic. Click on image for larger file.

Michael Ableman is a farmer, author, photographer and urban and local food systems advocate.

By Michael Ableman
Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier
Chelsea Green, 2016

Excerpt:

Fulfilling endless municipal requirements absorbed staff resources and money, and delayed the real work of planting crops. It was useless to try to explain to city officials the realities of farming, the urgency of spring, that we had staff hired and plants waiting.

In a climate that only provides a seven-month window to crank out long-term crops such as tomatoes and peppers, losing a month or two can be disastrous. That first spring on this new site was vanishing and we desperately needed to plant the now leggy “past due” tomato, pepper, and eggplants that were becoming as stressed as we were, waiting for the wheels of the city bureaucracy to grant us permission to begin.

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January 10, 2017   Comments Off on ‘Asking For Permission Doesn’t Grow Gardens’ – excerpt from “Street Farm” by Michael Ableman

3,800-year-old wetland potato garden found in Canada

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Wapato tubers were a dietary staple among the indigenous people of the Fraser and Columbia rivers — the garden site is in what is now the Katzie First Nation territory

The History Blog
2016-12-31

Excerpt:

The tubers were wild plants, not domesticated, and wapato plants can grow deep underground all on their own. It’s an assemblage of rocks that makes it clear that this site wasn’t just a very prolific wild potato patch, but a cultivated wetland garden ingeniously customized by the indigenous people of the area to enhance harvest yields.

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January 8, 2017   Comments Off on 3,800-year-old wetland potato garden found in Canada

Cégep du Vieux Montréal built a rooftop garden oasis

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A cement terrace in the middle of the city attracts environmentally conscious students and staff

By Verity Stevenson
MacLeans
January 4, 2017

Excerpt:

Bezançon holds urban agriculture-related workshops during the winter, when there’s no gardening to do, to garner interest in the project and in response to what she says is a growing interest among students to produce their own food. “We eat three or four times a day, so it’s a huge part of our life, and to be able to feed yourself is giving yourself power,” says Bezançon. Student volunteers receive no extra credit for the hours they put in, except for the option of having the commitment mentioned on their report card (most don’t put in the bureaucratic effort to do so).

[Read more →]

January 5, 2017   Comments Off on Cégep du Vieux Montréal built a rooftop garden oasis

‘The Myth of Complex Municipal Systems’ – excerpt from “Street Farm” by Michael Ableman

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Sole Food’s first spring harvest, cut and come again greens. Click on image for larger file.

Street Farm is the inspirational account of residents in the notorious Low Track in Vancouver, British Columbia – one of the worst urban slums in North America

By Michael Ableman
Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier
Chelsea Green, 2016

Excerpt:

High-level alignment and support does not always trickle down into complex bureaucratic municipal systems that were established to regulate conventional infrastructure such as the construction of a garage or a school, the remodeling of a kitchen, or the building of bridges and roads.

In fact, from the earliest days on our Astoria farm and especially as we began to expand to other sites, it became clear that our needs were entirely foreign to the existing system, totally different from anything that had ever been done in the city. Building inspectors, for example, did not differentiate between a bricks-and-mortar building designed to house auto parts, and a tunnel house used for extending the growing season, which is merely a sheet of 6-mil plastic stretched over a steel frame. And this was just the start. We soon discovered that there simply were no municipal codes that addressed greenhouses, or composting, or multi-acre parking lots full of food.

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January 3, 2017   Comments Off on ‘The Myth of Complex Municipal Systems’ – excerpt from “Street Farm” by Michael Ableman

Happy New Year from City Farmer! It’s our 39th Year

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Click on image for larger file.

Maria’s Compost Garden hops went into our beer again this year

More varieties and a bigger crop made this year’s ‘Rail Ale’ a treat. Named for the big changes that took place next to our garden; the century old railway line was pulled up. A new Greenway era begins for use by pedestrians and cyclist.

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December 31, 2016   Comments Off on Happy New Year from City Farmer! It’s our 39th Year

Eat Your Yard! Edible Landscaping with Hatchet and Seed in Greater Victoria, BC

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Experts in the field of edible landscaping and applied permaculture, Tayler Krawczyk and Solara Goldwynn.

The whole idea with edible landscaping is to design with food in mind by interspersing edible plants with ornamentals.

By Holly Brooke
The Eat Journal
Aug 28, 2015

Excerpt:

The North Saanich couple have been operating their business Hatchet and Seed since 2010. The company provides landscape consulting, design, and installation services with a strong focus on organic, ecological and permaculture principles.

The couple agrees that urban farming, while it has been gaining popularity, isn’t for everyone. “On a macro-scale, we are aware of food security as an issue,” says Krawczyk, “but there is a spectrum and most people fall somewhere in the middle.”

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December 31, 2016   Comments Off on Eat Your Yard! Edible Landscaping with Hatchet and Seed in Greater Victoria, BC

Merry Christmas from City Farmer!

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Click on image for larger file.

Looking Through Our New Iron Gate – Created By Davide Pan

During the summer, metal artist Davide Pan created a new window/gate at the Compost Garden. It faces the City of Vancouver’s new Arbutus Greenway. The Greenway corridor, recently purchased from the Canadian Pacific Railway, stretches 11 kilometres from near downtown Vancouver to the Fraser River.

The Compost Garden will draw in thousands of new visitors who will travel this new transportation corridor by foot and bike.

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December 25, 2016   Comments Off on Merry Christmas from City Farmer!