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Category — City Farmer

‘City Farmer’ featured on Easy Organic Gardener Radio Show

easy
Listen here to archived recording.

With host Sheri Frey

Guest Michael Levenston
June 22, 2014

About Sheri:
Since 1979 Sheri has been co-owner and vice president of ARBICO Organics. ARBICO Organics produces and markets organic and natural products for home, business, garden, lawn, farm and pets. Products include beneficial insects and organisms, fertilizers and soil amendments, weed and disease controls, composting supplies, insecticides, critter controls, horse care, traps, lures, pheromones, botanicals and more.

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June 23, 2014   Comments Off

‘Lonely Planet Vancouver’ features ‘Vancouver’s Compost Demonstration Garden’ in latest edition

lonely

6th Edition of the ‘Vancouver Lonely Planet’

By John Lee
Lonely Planet
Release Date: Feb. 1 2014

City Farmer Society has managed the Compost Garden at 2150 Maple Street since 1981 when it began as a demonstration organic food garden. Since then we have welcomed many thousands of visitors. Our latest project is a ‘Climate Change Adaptation Garden’ on the site. (Mike)

Excerpt from Lonely Planet guidebook:

“Don’t be put off by the name: this verdant city garden is an oasis among the backstreets of Kits. A rustic plot with a cob shed, compost toilet and wild and cultivated areas of flowers and vegetables, it’s a great place for gardeners to visit.

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February 20, 2014   Comments Off

Container Concept Design for City Farmer Society in Vancouver, BC

cont1
Click image to see larger file.

“Every year there are at least 1.4 million shipping containers sent back to Asia to be recycled.”

Designed by Keith Dewey for City Farmer Society
Owner, Designer of Zigloo.ca
Victoria, BC. June, 2013

Excerpt from Zigloo:

Zigloo.ca is a design house that is leading the way in custom design with a difference. The difference is finding sustainable solutions to building technologies, especially in the use of shipping containers as architectural building blocks. The benefits of which are lowering our carbon footprint, saving our forests and doing it affordably.

Zigloo domestique is a prototype concept that has led to a number of CargoSpace Living projects throughout North America. Keith Dewey (owner of Zigloo.ca) created zigloo domestique as a show home to entice people to think differently about the way we live and to demonstrate that living sustainably doesn’t mean “living without”.

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October 8, 2013   Comments Off

Explosive growth of Vancouver’s urban gardens prompts confrontations

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Emi Do (foreground) and friends tend their urban farm on 41st Avenue in Vancouver on Aug. 6, 2013. Left to right, Lauren McIndoe, Jennifer van den Brink, Mert Kecik, Luna Hallam. Photograph by Wayne Leidenfrost, Vancouver Sun.

Garden plots and urban farms raises issues about taxes, policy and getting along with neighbours

By Mike Hager And Jeff Lee
Vancouver Sun
August 6, 2013

Excerpt:

Now, the development of new urban farms — a reversal of the history of cities which once squeezed out small market farms as neighbourhoods expanded — has also created the need for new rules. No policies exist for how urban farms can operate. In Vancouver, there’s not even such a thing as a business licence for urban farms.

Reimer said a report to council this fall may help resolve conflicts between urban farmers and neighbours. “There are all kinds of issues, from tenure of land to how long you can stay to how you operate it without negatively affecting your neighbours,” Reimer said. “If you are going to run an urban farm, you need some security.”

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August 7, 2013   Comments Off

35 years ago ‘City Farmer’ began out of an interest in energy use in the food system

BobMike1979CF copy
‘In olden days’- 1979 – Photo of Michael Levenston and Bob Woodsworth working on an issue of City Farmer newspaper. Before the Internet, we sent written copy to a typesetter, then cut and pasted stories and black and white photos onto lay-out pages and waited for the printer to deliver our publication. Finally we drove about the city delivering copies to stores or we mailed them to subscribers.

‘City Farmer’ was born in 1978 at the Vancouver Community Conservation Centre (VCCC), a six-month project created by Canada’s Federal Ministry of Mines, Energy and Resources

Project Final Report about the VCCC
Report written by Dana Weber, project leader of the Vancouver Centre.
September 8, 1978
(Mike: ‘City Farmer’ related topics are marked in bold. Note that before ‘carbon neutral’, ‘greenhouse gas emissions’, ‘climate change’, and ‘carbon offsets’, environmentalists spent a great deal of time promoting ‘energy conservation’.)

A. Publicity and Public Information

The type of publicity and public information we used on our project falls into two general categories–that involving use of existing media (and its ‘use’ of us), and that involving the development of our own media. Following are examples of the first type:

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August 4, 2013   Comments Off

‘City Farmer News’ listed as one of top 20 International Urban Planning Websites 2013

top-20-urban-planning

Where Urban Planners Go – List includes ‘American Planning Association’, ‘Un-Habitat’ and ‘Urban Land Institute’

By Robert Poole
Global Site Plans
July 1, 2013

Excerpt:

Last year, The Grid went on a mission to uncover the most popular urban planning-related websites for 2012. With extensive research and the help of Alexa International Rankings, we were able to compile a list of the top 20 websites for this specific niche. It is time for an update. In the list for 2013 we see a few familiar names made it back, with some moving up the ranking and others moving down, as well as some completely new sites, including Grist, Blueprint America, Newgeography and Untapped Cities.

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July 1, 2013   Comments Off

Sharing backyards: a popular Canadian innovation in urban farming

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Sharing Backyards map. More and more people want to share a garden in Vancouver.

“Urban agriculture is united by the idea that the urban person can produce something they eat, not just consume.”

By Gilda Salomone
Radio Canada International
21 June, 2013

Excerpt:

Sharing backyards, a pioneering project that connects homeowners who have a yard with people who want to grow food, but have no land, is spreading across Canada and abroad.

“It’s something like Craigslist,” says Michael Levenston, executive director of the City Farmer Society, a nonprofit group in Vancouver, B.C.

Users have access to a website and a map of the city. Locations where owners are willing to share their private garden and where gardeners are eager to cultivate somebody else’s yard are indicated.

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June 21, 2013   Comments Off

Hobby gardeners in Vancouver are finding their patches of green in shared spaces

urbanist
Interview begins at minute 14:20

Interview about ‘Sharing Backyards’ in Vancouver BC

By Jodie Martinson
Monocle – The Urbanist about the cities we live in
Episode 75
21 Mar 2013

Jodie Martinson speaks with gardener Stephanie Hodges about her experiences with shared garden space. Sharing Backyards Vancouver is a City Farmer project.

This Urbanist episode: “Share deal: a special episode looking at car sharing, office sharing, table sharing, and mingling in cities around the world.”

Listen to the show here. Go to minute 14:20 for the sharing gardens interview.

March 26, 2013   Comments Off

Vancouver Compost Garden promotes City’s worm composting program

MikeWorms
Mike Levenston, City Farmer executive director, displays a worm bin he encourages condo dwellers to use to recycle food scraps. Photo by Sharon Slack.

Stratas face extra cost, odours with food scraps

By Chris Campbell
24 hours
March 20, 2013

A local composting advocate hopes strata residents will take a lead in the transition to recycling food scraps in multi-family buildings by 2015.

Under new City of Vancouver rules, stratas face penalties if they don’t have programs up and running by then, said Mike Levenston, executive director of City Farmer, which runs the region’s compost hotline and offers recycling workshops.

“All these organics have to be recycled and there are easy ways to do it,” he said. “We’re here to help people get organized.”

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March 21, 2013   Comments Off

City Farmer’s Sharon Slack is also a street gardener

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Sharon Slack in her ‘Bulge’ garden.

Vancouver’s Green Streets’ ‘Bulge Gardens’

By Sara Orchard
The Street Gardener
Monthly News from Green Streets Vancouver
March 2013

Excerpt:

Garden: Wallace and 33rd
Gardener: Sharon Slack
Joined Green Streets: 2006

The use of primarily native plants has made the garden resilient to the Vancouver climate and allows for it to survive purely on rainwater throughout the year. Losing only a few plants over the years, Sharon has found that the coastal strawberry, evergreen huckleberry, sword ferns, dwarf Oregon grape, Kinnikinnick and the dogwood tree have thrived. The one plant that faired too well in the garden was snowberry. Sharon had to remove the plant before it consumed the rest of the garden.

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March 19, 2013   Comments Off

Neighbourhood composting with the ‘Silver Dragon’ at Vancouver’s Compost Garden

silver1Sharon, Head Garden at Vancouver’s Compost Garden, stands in front of the Silver Dragon electric composter. Photo by Michael Levenston.

10-20 neighbours in apartments bring their food scraps to us

By Michael Levenston
City Farmer
March 6, 2013

Our newest electric composter, nicknamed the ‘Silver Dragon’, is midway in size between the home-sized ‘Red Dragon’(now white) and the ‘White Dragon’ (a larger size) in which we composted Bishops’ restaurant food waste for a year.

Over the winter, we signed up between 10-20 neighbours from multi-family apartments and they brought their food scraps to the Compost Garden on Wednesday or Saturday afternoons. (No meat/fish/dairy waste accepted.) They met our gardener who inspected the waste and then unlocked the shed and placed the scraps in the Dragon.

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March 7, 2013   Comments Off

Two children are sole members of the South Malahat 4-H’s Garden Club

shielakids
Sheila Jones and her 11-year-old children Katie and Dominic van Oort stand amid Dominic’s Scarlet runner beans, along with strawberry plants grown by both children in the family’s backyard. The bumper crops came at the end of the van Oorts’ second year in the South Malahat 4-H garden club – a group in which they hope to welcome new members this month. Photo by Natalie North.

Kids keen to get hands dirty in BC Club

By Natalie North
Saanich News, British Columbia
January 09, 2013
(Sheila Jones worked for City Farmer in the 1980’s and helped build the Strathcona Community Garden. Mike)

Excerpt:

Dominic van Oort likes to take a stroll around his backyard, packing strawberries, tarragon, tomatoes and other fresh herbs he’s grown into kale leaves fresh from his garden. There he has it: a homegrown snack he’s dubbed the “outdoor sandwich.”

But don’t let the 11-year-old’s zest for freshness overshadow his keen eye for all things culinary.

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January 11, 2013   Comments Off

2013 marks City Farmer’s “35th” Year promoting urban agriculture!

35th
Photo by Stefan Lozinsky. See larger image here.

Seasons Greetings from City Farmers’ Directors, Staff and their Families.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 2013 marks City Farmer’s 35th year of service promoting urban agriculture. City Farmer is a Non-Profit Society and Registered Charity conceived in 1978. We operate Vancouver’s Compost Demonstration Garden.

See some of our work here.

December 24, 2012   Comments Off

Vancouver Musician Releases Song Tribute to Urban Food Gardens


Click on the YouTube icon above to go to the larger version of the video.

‘Love For All Living Things’ by Ric Buckman Coe

“So we started with a plot in a neighbour’s yard
With a couple of friends and a bottle of wine,
You know it wasn’t to hard
You don’t know how good it feels,
To eat your own tomatoes and string beans”

‘Love For All Living Things’
Official music video
Directed by Rosalee Yagihara
Filmed in urban gardens around Vancouver, BC. (Note City Farmer’s ‘Compost Demonstration Garden’ can be seen in the video.)

Release date Monday December 3rd, 2012
From the sleeve of the new e.p. ‘Crow’s Nest’

“I came across an article about the Permaculture Punks of Mexico City a number of years ago and their ecological and social movement really prepared the ground for this song. One of the most revolutionary things we can do is take back control of our food. In coming years this will become even more necessary as we deal with rising oil prices & transportation costs, GMO’s and the threat to bio-diversity, global warming and regional and international food insecurity. Our communities and our health will be strengthened the more we can eat from our bio-regions, the more we break away from the corporate food industry, and the more we follow a plant-based diet. In this way, the simple act of growing our own food becomes an expression of personal and community power, and an act of Love and Harmony with the Earth.” Ric Buckman Coe

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December 3, 2012   Comments Off

Graphic design students create ‘conceptual solutions’ for City Farmer


By Cheryl Swan: “We’re all about support”.

Their teacher, Karin Jager, designed City Farmer’s Poster in 1983

By Instructor: Karin Jager and students
Design_ed website
IDEA Program, 2011
Capilano University
North Vancouver, BC

Excerpt from Karen’s design blog:

Students from the IDEA Program at Capilano University worked on an advocacy project promoting the City Farmer as way to understand the powerful role communication design can play to inform, persuade and promote. The City Farmer was chosen because of its deep commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability. The City Farmer encourages city dwellers to grow their own food in backyard and community gardens through educational initiatives and community programs.

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October 9, 2012   1 Comment