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Category — City Farmer

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

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

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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

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!

1981 Agriculture Canada: Gardens for all?

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Replacement of $500 million of this total by homegrown produce would be equivalent in balance-of-payment terms to one fifth of our average grain exports.

By Keith Wilde
Planning Advisor, Strategic Planning and Evaluation Branch
Publication: Food Markets Commentary
Agriculture Canada
December 1981
City Farmer’s research and activities stimulated the interest of Agriculture Canada’s Keith Wilde. Excerpt of his letter dated January 12, 1982 to City Farmer, to which he attached the article from Food Markets Commentary seen in this posting.
“Enclosed with this letter is a copy of Food Markets Commentary, a departmental publication. In it, under “News and Trends” you will find a short report on gardening, which reflects information you provided. I am continuing to accumulate information about the extent of interest in urban agriculture, and we discuss it within the Planning Division. A more formal report may be more widely circulated in the Department by late winter or early spring, possibly as an idea for combatting the effects of widespread unemployment.”

Article: Gardens For All?

More and more people are growing part of their own food, with the encouragement of nutritionists, health therapists, conservationists, urban planners, and horticulturists, not to mention the garden-supply industry and publishers of gardening books.

Gardens For All, an industry association in the United States, is understandably interested in the prospects for this trend, and annually pays a substantial fee to the Gallup Organization for an exhaustive statistical survey of gardening activities and profiles of the people who garden. Consequently, reliable data on the extent and significance of home food production are becoming available for the first time.

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November 19, 2016   Comments Off on 1981 Agriculture Canada: Gardens for all?

1982 Article: Richard Britz Author of ‘The Edible City’ Visits Vancouver

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City Farmer Hosts Author For Lecture Series

By Elizabeth Godley
Vancouver Sun
Feb 22, 1982

Dream of ‘city farming’ explained

Richard Britz knows a lot of people think his theories are naive.

But the architect cum systems designer cum landscape philosopher from Eugene, Ore., doesn’t mind.

Britz is author of a resource manual for urban agriculturalists called The Edible City. He was in Vancouver Saturday to speak at the first of 18 weekly lectures sponsored by City Farmer.

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November 14, 2016   Comments Off on 1982 Article: Richard Britz Author of ‘The Edible City’ Visits Vancouver

1987 Article: Ability Garden at City Farmer, Vancouver

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backyardfarmer1987621 Click on image for larger file. (L-R) Barbara Raynor, Greg Birdsall, Paula Ford and Michael Levenston stand amid the beginnings of a “demonstration garden” for handicapped people, which will be situated within a garden located at Sixth and Maple. The new garden will feature raised beds and easy access for the handicapped. Jim Harrison Photo.

City Farmer brought together Raynor and Kuchta, acting as consultants, with landscape architect Mary-Jane McKay and carpenter Greg Birdsall to put together a demonstration garden specially designed for the handicapped to work in and learn from.

By Lucill Dahm
Vancouver Courier
Aug 16, 1987

You just can’t hold a determined green thumb down._

Although Barbara Raynor, 52, developed rheumatoid arthritis 15 years ago, eventually leaving her with two artificial knees and a “narrowing lifestyle,” she has been able to create and maintain a backyard “urban garden.”

Aside from the very noteworthy feat of actually accomplishing the carpentry hobby off the ground, Raynor has used the unique perspective of a disabled person to open the door to an activity previously denied to a person without the full use of his or her body.

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November 6, 2016   Comments Off on 1987 Article: Ability Garden at City Farmer, Vancouver

1978 Article: Be a Farmer in the Centre of the City

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The first issue of City Farmer newspaper was published in August 1978.

City Farmer, the brainchild of the Vancouver Community Conservation Centre, is aimed at promoting urban agriculture as a means of saving energy and money for city dwellers.

By Bill Tieleman
Vancouver Sun
August 2, 1978

The high price of food has city residents trading in their riding lawnmowers for rototillers and turning to backyard farming, according to a new monthly Vancouver newspaper.
City Farmer, the brainchild of the Vancouver Community Conservation Centre, is aimed at promoting urban agriculture as a means of saving energy and money for city dwellers.

It offers advice on how to “get back to the land” found in your own backyard.

Michael Levenston, a centre staff member, say the newspaper will attempt to change concepts of how land can be used by encouraging the development of productive gardens in place of lawns.

“City people think of food as something in supermarkets and restaurants,” he says.

They don’t think of themselves as farmers.

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November 3, 2016   Comments Off on 1978 Article: Be a Farmer in the Centre of the City

Introduced Bill Will Create an ‘Office of Urban Agriculture’ in the United States – Senator Stabenow’s Urban Agriculture Act of 2016

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1978 – City Farmer Society’s logo. Vancouver BC, Canada.

Almost 40 years ago, non-profit City Farmer created ‘Canada’s Office of Urban Agriculture’

By Micheal Levenston
City Farmer Society
Oct 23, 2016

City Farmer created its unofficial, non-profit ‘Office’ in 1978 and has run it for almost 40 years to promote the concept of producing food in the city. Over the years, some have referred to City Farmer’s executive director as Canada’s ‘Minister’ of Urban Agriculture. However, City Farmer has always been and remains a tiny NGO.

In the 1980’s, one gentleman flew from Germany to see us and arrived at our office door expecting to see a bustling, official government office. He was disappointed to see a spartan room, staffed by one scruffy employee.

In January of 2016, City Farmer sent Canada’s new federal cabinet ministers a short booklet outlining a proposal asking the Government to consider setting up a National Office of Urban Agriculture.

In September, 2016, US Senator Stabenow’s Urban Agriculture Act of 2016, a comprehensive urban agriculture bill, was introduced in the US Congress.

It has taken 40 years to move an idea of an Office of Urban Agriculture to centre stage. Without a doubt, Senator Stabenow’s bill will be copied around the world.

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October 23, 2016   Comments Off on Introduced Bill Will Create an ‘Office of Urban Agriculture’ in the United States – Senator Stabenow’s Urban Agriculture Act of 2016

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

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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Mingintro

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