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Category — City Farmer

1982 article about Vancouver’s City Farmer – “Making Farmers Outa City Folk”

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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
Vancouver Sun
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.

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September 17, 2016   No Comments

City Farmer: Chamomile Growing in our Fairy Garden

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Chamomile Growing in the Fairy Garden from Michael Levenston on Vimeo.

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.

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September 12, 2016   Comments Off on City Farmer: Chamomile Growing in our Fairy Garden

City Farmer’s Garden: Who Is Stealing Our Grapes?

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Who Is Stealing Our Grapes? from Michael Levenston on Vimeo.

It’s harvest time but each morning we find our grapes on the ground

By Michael Levenston
City Farmer
Sept 8, 2016

We grow delicious, seeded grapes at the Compost Demonstration garden in Vancouver BC. Staff and visitors make grape juice from the fruit. However, at this time of year, just as they ripen, we find grapes scattered on the ground beneath the old vines that grow on a pergola.

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September 8, 2016   Comments Off on City Farmer’s Garden: Who Is Stealing Our Grapes?

Aerial Drone Shoots HD Video of the Vancouver Compost Garden

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3. Drone Aerial of Vancouver Compost Garden – Back Garden – Ground to Sky from Michael Levenston on Vimeo.

City Farmer’s Gardens seen from the sky.

Videos by Earl Havlin
August, 2016.
(Must see, Mike)

These six short videos were taken from a drone at 2150 Maple, Vancouver’s Compost Demonstration Garden. The drone aerial views show the portable office and the three main City Farmer Gardens.

Front: The Climate Change Adaption Garden
Middle: Food Producing Compost Garden
Back: Biodiversity, Insectary Garden

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August 28, 2016   Comments Off on Aerial Drone Shoots HD Video of the Vancouver Compost Garden

Water Wise workshop at City Farmer

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Vancouver, BC. August 20, 2016, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

We will show you how to save water in the garden through a hands-on composting workshop, guided tour of the farm and a water wise presentation from the City of Vancouver. The workshop will cover how to prepare and care for a water wise garden, water wise plant choices, and smart ways to conserve water in the garden.

If you are interested in learning about our water and ways to conserve in the garden, this City Farmer workshop has got you covered. Join City Farmers and the City of Vancouver for a water wise workshop on Saturday, August 20! This workshop will show you how to save water in the garden through a hands-on composting workshop, guided tour of the farm, and a water wise presentation from the City of Vancouver. The workshop will run from 10:00am to 11:30am at City Farmer and will cover water wise topics such as:

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August 9, 2016   Comments Off on Water Wise workshop at City Farmer

City Farmer featured in ‘Sustainable Gardens’ episode – Metro Vancouver TV

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Lynsey Dobbie, Garden Educator, City Farmer/Compost Demonstration Garden

The Sustainable Region TV Series
Episode 7
Metro Vancouver
July 6, 2016

The landscaping at the Annacis Research Centre and the City Farmer Demonstration Garden exemplifies sustainable approaches outlined in Metro Vancouver’s new, online Grow Green Guide. And we look at an herbal alternative to a grass lawn.

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July 31, 2016   Comments Off on City Farmer featured in ‘Sustainable Gardens’ episode – Metro Vancouver TV

Ming Pao newspaper visits City Farmer’s Compost Garden

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June 24, 2016   Comments Off on Ming Pao newspaper visits City Farmer’s Compost Garden

Climate change causes City Farmer to try different gardening techniques in Vancouver plot

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MikeSharonCity Farmer’s Michael Levenston and Sharon Slack, along with other staff, have created a climate-change adaptation garden. Photo by Carlito Pablo.

Inside City Farmer’s office is a copy of Resilient Gardens 2016: Climate Change, Stress Disorders, Pest Update. Levenston and Slack recommended this new book by Salt Spring Island–based pest-management and gardening expert Linda Gilkeson.

By Carlito Pablo
Georgia Straight
June 8th, 2016

Excerpt:

Last summer was so hot that many probably thought it was one for the books. Well, it turned out that Earth in 2015 had its warmest summer in recorded history. It was another sign that the planet is heating up, due mainly to human-induced greenhouse-gas emissions into the atmosphere.

For some folks in Vancouver, the dry conditions at the time made gardening so challenging that they immediately started an experiment.

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June 9, 2016   Comments Off on Climate change causes City Farmer to try different gardening techniques in Vancouver plot

City Farmer’s Head Gardener, Sharon Slack, Makes Vancouver Newspaper Frontpage Twice in 6 weeks

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Sharon Slack, 73, says she prefers working at City Farmer in Kisilano to the typical retirement ‘image’ sold in advertisements. Photo by Arlen Redekop.

“Unretired seniors are working overtime”

By Denise Ryan
The Vancouver Sun
April 8, 2016

Except:

Sharon Slack, 73, head gardener at City Farmer in Kitsilano, said she finds the traditional idea of retirement preposterous.

“The whole image they sell you about retirement — all those TV ads that say: Retire! Do all the things you want to do! Travel! Entertain! Good grief,” she said. “I didn’t do that when I was young. Why in the world would I do it now?”

Slack loves her job, but work isn’t just a pleasure — it’s also a practical matter, she said.

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April 8, 2016   Comments Off on City Farmer’s Head Gardener, Sharon Slack, Makes Vancouver Newspaper Frontpage Twice in 6 weeks

City Farmer holds adult ‘wormshops’ in Vancouver, BC

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Residents of the City of Vancouver, please call.

City Farmer has held worm composting classes for over 25 years in cooperation with the City of Vancouver. This spring we have limited number of spaces for City residents to purchase $25 worm composters for use in apartments. Each one comes with a bin, lid, tray, worms, bedding and Mary Appelhof’s book, “Worms Eat My Garbage”.

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April 7, 2016   Comments Off on City Farmer holds adult ‘wormshops’ in Vancouver, BC

Canada: A National Strategy For Urban Agriculture

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Canada’s Minister of Agriculture comments on City Farmer’s plan “I will certainly consider the recommendations you have outlined in the enclosed publication as I pursue my mandate.” Laurence MacAulay

By Michael Levenston
City Farmer Executive Director
March 3, 2016
15 page booklet (10MB file)

Thirty-six years ago in 1980, City Farmer sent copies of its newspaper to Canada’s Members of Parliament to introduce them to the subject of urban agriculture. In January, 2016, we sent Federal Cabinet Ministers a 15 page booklet outlining a proposal which asks the new Government to consider setting up a National Office of Urban Agriculture.

“It’s a new year and time to put in place a program that will benefit all Canadians. We hope you will consider Canada: A National Strategy for Urban Agriculture as a worthy project for your new government. I’m certain it will be well received by Canadians who want to eat better, care for our environment, and improve our general well being.”

Canada’s Minister of Agriculture, Laurence MacAulay, wrote back expressing his appreciation for our work and commented positively about our plan “I will certainly consider the recommendations you have outlined in the enclosed publication as I pursue my mandate.”

Excerpt from the City Farmer booklet:

Over 26 million Canadians live in 147 metropolitan areas and agglomerations across the country with populations that range from 5,600,000 people in Toronto to 10,500 in Bay Roberts, Newfoundland.

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March 3, 2016   Comments Off on Canada: A National Strategy For Urban Agriculture

City Farmer’s head gardener, Sharon Slack, cover girl in Vancouver newspaper today

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Sharon Slack, head gardener at City Farmer, has never counted the savings during 50 years’ endeavours at her Dunbar garden.

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February 26, 2016   Comments Off on City Farmer’s head gardener, Sharon Slack, cover girl in Vancouver newspaper today

Vancouver, BC – There’s money in that pile of dirt: Increasing food prices point to more grow-your-own

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According to Sharon Slack, head gardener at City Farmer: ‘It’s not about how much money I can save, but how much food I can grow.’ Photograph by: Jason Payne , PRV. Click on image for larger file.

Time to dig and plant as prices of imported produce stay sky high Now’s the time to start that backyard garden

By Kent Spencer
The Province
February 25, 2016

Excerpt:

Sharon Slack, head gardener at City Farmer, has never counted the savings during 50 years’ endeavours at her Dunbar garden.

“It’s not about how much money I can save, but how much food I can grow,” she said.

“You can never know about cost savings because every year is different — the weather, the bugs and the amount of time you can devote to it,” she said.

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February 25, 2016   Comments Off on Vancouver, BC – There’s money in that pile of dirt: Increasing food prices point to more grow-your-own

A New Year at Vancouver’s Compost Demonstration Garden

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A Hidden Landmark in Vancouver, BC

Started in 1981, the Vancouver Compost Garden welcomes hundreds of visitors each year. It’s almost half acre of gardens showcases many attractions such as mason bees houses and bee hotels, electric and bear proof compost bins, planted mulberries, Saskatoon berries, wasabi roots and asparagus, a Hobbit-like clay tool shed and so much more.

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January 5, 2016   Comments Off on A New Year at Vancouver’s Compost Demonstration Garden

City Farmer’s “Windstorm Wet Hopper Session Ale”

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newy2015
We made 70 “rocket” bottles of ale this year.

Our beer was produced after largest power outage in BC Hydro history took down our cottonwood tree – “the widow-maker”.

Wishing our readers a Happy New Year!

Maria rescued hops from our back lot after a late summer wind storm took down the huge cottonwood tree at the corner of her garden.

About the storm, from the BC Hydro news release:

On Saturday, August 29, the Lower Mainland and parts of Vancouver Island were hit with a significant windstorm. It was quick and intense, and surprised national weather agencies.

710,000 customers in the Lower Mainland and parts of Vancouver Island lost power at some point on the weekend due to this storm – this represents half of all BC Hydro customers in these regions. It was the largest outage in BC Hydro history. Drought-weakened trees fell across hundreds of our power lines, causing widespread outages.

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December 31, 2015   Comments Off on City Farmer’s “Windstorm Wet Hopper Session Ale”