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Category — Canada

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   No Comments

‘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   No Comments

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).

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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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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!

Hands-on Rooftop Food Production and Learning at Trent University

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trerioof

With this Urban Roof Top Farm, Trent University in Ontario was ahead of the curve as they were one of the first one’s successfully growing crops on the roof on a larger scale.

By Jelle Vonk
Living Architecture Monitor
Winter 2016
Page 17

Excerpt:

Through the efforts of Dr. Tom Hutchinson, Professor Emeritus, this intensive green roof also provides ongoing research into the deleterious effects of ground level ozone on crop production and provides students with an opportunity to study the potential of plants to filter out sir pollutants.

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December 13, 2016   Comments Off on Hands-on Rooftop Food Production and Learning at Trent University

Toronto: FoodShare’s horticultural therapy program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health gets to the root of things

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foodsh
Jamie works in the garden behind CAMH’s Queen West location. Photo by Michelle Da Silva.

Food and mental health grow together at CAMH’s Sunshine Garden

By Michelle Da Silva
Now
Sept 20, 2016

Excerpt:

In Canada, horticultural therapy has been popular for decades. The Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association was formed in the 1980s and now has nearly 200 members. According to the CHTA, gardening therapy is used in a variety of settings beyond facilities like CAMH, including nursing homes, rehabilitation centres and correctional facilities.

Phyllis Wong, an occupational therapist who runs an in-patient anxiety unit at CAMH, has recommended clients to the Sunshine Garden program. She says horticultural therapy is effective, depending on a client’s readiness, because it engages the whole person – seeing, being and doing.

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December 11, 2016   Comments Off on Toronto: FoodShare’s horticultural therapy program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health gets to the root of things

Vancouver Urban Farming Forum: A Success! 138 attendees, and over 30 presenters and moderators

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As a convening organization, we are pleased to bring together speakers with extensive experience in the food and farming sector who are working in diverse and creative ways toward an increasingly vibrant and resilient local food system.

By the Vancouver Urban Farming Society
The Forum was held on Nov. 26, 2016

Excerpt from program:

Karly Pinch, Shady Acre Farm
Karly Pinch started shady acre farm in 2015, after a season as an organic farm apprentice and graduating from the UBC Farm Practicum in sustainable agriculture. she came to farming from a passion for having a positive environmental impact in her career. Karly also works as a program coordinator and environmental educator.

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December 9, 2016   Comments Off on Vancouver Urban Farming Forum: A Success! 138 attendees, and over 30 presenters and moderators

Urbanfarmerz ECommerce for Backyard Farmers

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ecom

URBANFARMERZ is a Canadian social enterprise with global ambitions whose mission is to empower backyard farmers and urban growers around the world to GROW – FEED – SHARE of their bounty through our mobile eCommerce marketplace.

Indiegogo
Dec 2, 2016

Excerpt:

While municipalities have begun to actively promote urban agriculture, millions of current & aspiring backyard farmers have limited access to tools to help commercialize local market opportunities.

Our solution to these problems is The URBANFARMERZ eCommerce Marketplace, an Urban-Agro Community platform bringing buyers & sellers together for the fair, direct exchange of fresh local produce while disrupting traditional supply chain models.

The platform consists of (2) key components;

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December 8, 2016   Comments Off on Urbanfarmerz ECommerce for Backyard Farmers

‘Munch’ project enlivens city street life in Coquitlam, BC

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coq
Erin Davidson of the Austin Heights Business Improvement Association and Peter Meegan of Mary Ann Meegan Insurance Ltd. with one of 38 planters filled with edible produce and herbs that was installed earlier this year for Coquitlam Munch, a city of Coquitlam Community in Bloom project.

38 self-watering planters, created by a garden designer Rachel Elves, are planted with food by the adopting businesses.

By Diane Strandberg
Tri City News
June 23, 2016

Excerpt:

“I thought it was a good community thing,” said Meegan, who had to plant the herbs and veggies as part of the planter “adoption” process, and was surprised at how fun it was.

“It’s in the blood,” he joked, noting that members of his Irish family are good gardeners.

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November 30, 2016   Comments Off on ‘Munch’ project enlivens city street life in Coquitlam, BC

Green acres are flourishing on campus rooftops across Canada

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macroof
Elevator pitch: Arlene Throness of Ryerson’s farm, originally proposed by architect students (Mark Blinch/Ryerson University) Click on image for larger file.

Sustainability-minded green roof projects are appearing from Montreal’s Concordia to the University of Saskatchewan

By Leanne Delap
Macleans
November 28, 2016

Excerpt:

And at the University of Saskatchewan, an opportunity arose on top of the phytotron (a research greenhouse). The condensers were moved, leaving a bare expanse visible from an open walkway.

“Aha,” said Grant Wood, a professor of urban agriculture, who worked with the university’s office of sustainability to come up with “the rooftop.” After getting the engineering students to check on load-bearing weights, and “a lot of paperwork,” says Wood, pallets and recycled containers were moved onto the roof. The team started with 500 sq. feet of planting, for a yield of about a thousand pounds of produce this past year; the goal is to double that next year.

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November 29, 2016   Comments Off on Green acres are flourishing on campus rooftops across Canada

Speedibin: Metal Compost Bin That Keeps Rodents Out

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speed Joyce McMenamon, second generation developer of the Speedibin.

Indiegogo Campaign – Speedibins were first designed by Fred and Peg Francis in 1989

By Joyce McMenamon
Courtenay BC, Canada
Nov. 2016

It is all metal so animals can’t chew through.

A metal mesh screen on the bottom allows worms, microbes and water to transfer but prevents animals from tunneling in.

The large lid comes right off for easy access.

The front door slides out for easy removal of finished compost.

A latching handle keeps out raccoons, dogs and wind.

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November 26, 2016   Comments Off on Speedibin: Metal Compost Bin That Keeps Rodents Out