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Category — City Farmer

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”

Merry Christmas from City Farmer

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Best wishes from the staff at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden.

2150 Maple Street
Vancouver, BC
Canada
604-736-2250

December 24, 2015   Comments Off on Merry Christmas from City Farmer

Making Grape Juice at City Farmer

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grpjuice

Green grapes with seeds grow next to our garden gate

By Bronywn Smyth
City Farmer
Sept. 2015

1. Rinse and de-stem grapes. Remove any bad grapes (e.g. moldy).
2. Place grapes in a large pot. Use a potato masher and mash grapes, bruising them so that the grapes start to release their juices.
3. Place on stove over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the grapes from burning on the bottom of the pot. Grape skins will start to make their way to the surface.
4. Remove from heat. Use the potato masher to help the grapes release more juice.

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September 19, 2015   Comments Off on Making Grape Juice at City Farmer

Domain name ‘cityfarmer.com’ going for $18,000 USD!

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com

What’s urban agriculture worth these days? What’s in a name?

By Michael Levenston
City Farmer News
Sept 16, 2015

Back in 1994, when we began our web site ‘Urban Agriculture Notes’, we were asked what domain name we wanted. I hadn’t a clue about such technical terms but was told that because we were a non-profit society, [.org] for organization was appropriate. And thus we became [www.cityfarmer.org].

Some years later I upgraded the site to a fresher WordPress format and looked for an appropriate domain name for what is our current news site ‘City Farmer News’. The domain [.info] was available and seemed appropriate as it stood for information.[www.cityfarmer.info]

At the time, the [.com] domain for cityfarmer was owned by a Korean entity and the site was not in use or available.

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September 16, 2015   Comments Off on Domain name ‘cityfarmer.com’ going for $18,000 USD!

City Farmer’s Compost Garden loses tree in ‘intense’ Vancouver storm

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A tall cottonwood tree, nicknamed by some “the widow maker”, lies in our ‘back-40’ area at the rear of the Vancouver Compost Garden. Photo by Michael Levenston. Click on image for larger file.

Eighty-kilometre-an-hour winds buffeted the Greater Vancouver Area

Excerpt from “Thousands still without power as clean up begins after severe B.C. windstorm”

By Geordon Omand
The Canadian Press
Aug. 31, 2015

Excerpt:

Sadhu Johnston, Vancouver’s deputy city manager, described the scale of the storm as “unprecedented” and estimated it would take weeks for the city to fully clean up the debris.

“This is probably one of the most intense storms that we’ve had over the past decade,” he said during a news conference, while behind him city crews worked to remove fallen branches from the road.

“I think the drought combined with the high winds really impacted us,” he added. “The drought led to more trees coming down, which led to more power outages. So it kind of compounded.”

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August 31, 2015   Comments Off on City Farmer’s Compost Garden loses tree in ‘intense’ Vancouver storm

The dirt on soil: Keep it healthy for the sake of your veggies

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lorja
Lorraine Johnson thinks of soil as an underground universe comprising tens of thousands of creatures that are our friends. (Mark Blinch for the Globe and Mail)

“The main thing to do is remember that soil is alive,” says Lorraine Johnson

By Sarah Elton
Special to The Globe and Mail
May 27, 2015

Excerpt:

Michael Levenston, of Vancouver’s City Farmer, the go-to urban agriculture non-profit that runs a compost demonstration garden and teaches gardening skills, believes this recognition can be gained by working in the garden, and composting. “Making soil, that’s really transformative,” he says.

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May 28, 2015   Comments Off on The dirt on soil: Keep it healthy for the sake of your veggies

New documentary from Canada: ‘Une Révolution Agricole Urbaine!’

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Une révolution agricole… urbaine! Bande-annonce from Arts et Images productions on Vimeo.

In French: Airs first May 7th, 2015 at 21h on Explora

Un film de Mario Desmarais
Produit par Anne Desmarais
52 minutes
May 2015
(Must See! Mike)
The complete film will be available online in July, 2015 once it has aired on TV.

Excerpts:

Une nouvelle révolution agricole est en” marche.

Nous pouvons dès aujourd’hui produire des aliments en ville, et ce, à grande échelle, en! n’utilisant aucune terre arable, aucun pesticide, moins d’eau, moins d’énergie et pratiquement aucun transport. Une des solutions aux besoins alimentaires mondiaux qui ne cessent d’augmenter.

Tout ce que nous connaissons du point de vue agricole et alimentaire change. Déjà enviro 20% de la nourriture consommée dans le monde est produite en zone urbaine!et périurbaine et près de 50% des légumes frais se retrouvant dans notre assiette sont produits dans un environnement! urbain.

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May 4, 2015   Comments Off on New documentary from Canada: ‘Une Révolution Agricole Urbaine!’

Canadian Institutions Supported ‘City Farmer’ in Formative Years

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Poster
City Farmer poster created by Environment Canada.

City Farmer’s Funding Sources 1978 – 1984

By Michael Levenston
Executive Director
City Farmer
March 27, 2015

Looking back to the beginning of our ‘activist’ non-profit society, we see that many funding agencies took a chance with our ideas and gave us money. Rather than urban agriculture being seen as something threatening, all levels of government and many independent funding bodies encouraged it. The dollar amounts were not large but they sustained us and allowed us to do our work without interference.

City Farmer held courses at the University of British Columbia, (later our website was also hosted by the University); we were leased a large portion of land belonging to the Vancouver Park Board for a community garden; our Demonstration Food Garden is on City of Vancouver land; our initial funding came from the Federal Ministry of Energy, Mines and Resources; other Ministries such as Employment & Immigration Canada and Secretary of State of Canada also funded us; Environment Canada produced our large colour poster; the private sector funding included MacMillan Bloedel Ltd., Gulf Canada Ltd. and TD Bank; and major independent funders such as the Vancouver Foundation, the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation, and the McLean Foundation came through for us.

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March 28, 2015   Comments Off on Canadian Institutions Supported ‘City Farmer’ in Formative Years

Community Gardener finds 1984 Harrowsmith Magazine with article about City Farmer

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harrowsmith1984012Cover of 1984 issue.

Red Celery in the Sunshine talks about setting up City Farmer’s gardens in the backyard of the Vancouver Energy Information Centre, near Maple Street and Sixth Avenue … where it still is!!”

By Maureen Temme
Webkeeper: Community Gardens London, Ontario
March 25, 2015

Excerpts from her blog “Saving the world in my spare time”:

Now, if you follow these columns, you’ll have heard me mention – thank – Michael Levenston for articles I’ve run across on his site City Farmer. City Farmer must surely be Canada’s longest running urban agriculture website, and even non-profit (1978!): City Farmer, Canada’s Office of Urban Agriculture.

The article I just ran across is titled Red Celery in the Sunshine, and is from Harrowsmith, April/May 1984.

The article talks about urban agriculture, biodynamics, food in the community, the importance of living soil, volunteers … all the things some of us are trying to get across to some people today!

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March 26, 2015   Comments Off on Community Gardener finds 1984 Harrowsmith Magazine with article about City Farmer