New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — City Farmer

1990 Flashback: Compost Bins Featured at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden

City Farmer’s Lorenzo Mele shows our bins to the media

CBC’s “Down to Earth”
Part 1 and 2, 1990
At the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden

In those early days, we brought ‘home compost bins’ from Europe and invited inventors to create bins that were rodent-resistant. One of the bins was built by Lorenzo Mele, eventually named the ‘Lorenzo Bin’, which was based on a design that City Farmer created for the cover of a brochure we’d produced for the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) now ‘Metro Vancouver’. The design came after a year’s research, talking with experts about how to ‘build out’ rodents from compost pile.

[Read more →]

February 1, 2018   Comments Off on 1990 Flashback: Compost Bins Featured at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden

Flashback to 1987: City Farmer on CBC’s ‘Country Canada’

Three gardens in Vancouver in 1987.

Vancouver’s Demonstration Food Garden, Lord Roberts School Garden and Strathcona Community Garden

By Michael Levenston
CBC’s ‘Country Canada’
May 1987

In 1987, City Farmer had staff working at three different sites, our Demonstration Food Garden in Kitsilano, the Strathcona Community Garden in the East End of Vancouver, and the Lord Roberts School Garden in the West End. City Farmer staff, Sheila and Wendy, can be seen working with pick-axes on a berm at Strathcona, and Antoinette is interviewed while teaching at Lord Roberts.

[Read more →]

January 21, 2018   Comments Off on Flashback to 1987: City Farmer on CBC’s ‘Country Canada’

Glorious Greens in January in Vancouver BC

Planted in October, We Are Eating in January

From City Farmer’s Compost Garden in Vancouver BC
January 18, 2018

Both our cold frame and our plastic, greenhouse shed are feeding us nutritious greens now in mid winter. Planted on October 11, 2017, sprouted by October 19, they are ready to cut and come again now three month later. They get light and heat from the sun, not from grow lights or heaters.

[Read more →]

January 18, 2018   Comments Off on Glorious Greens in January in Vancouver BC

Flashback to 1990: City Farmer Promotes Home Composting

The Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden in 1990

The styles have changed but the message is the same

By Michael Levenston
TV reporting at Vancouver’s Compost Demonstration Garden
2150 Maple Street, Vancouver, BC
1990

Most of the bins we feature today are different from the ones we experimented with three decades ago, but our work remains the same, getting urban residents to recycle some of their yard and kitchen scraps and turning it into soil by home composting.

Vancouver Engineering, Solid Waste, has supported us in this effort. John Evans, Paul Henderson, Chris Underwood are three of the leaders at the City of Vancouver who have driven our work. Backyard bins are still sold at a subsidized rate of $25 per bin, worm composting is still taught in schools and at adult wormshops, and research on the latest bins and techniques is ongoing.

[Read more →]

January 16, 2018   Comments Off on Flashback to 1990: City Farmer Promotes Home Composting

Vancouver BC: What’s Growing in City Farmer’s Garden on January 4, 2018

Mixed winter salad greens.

Ten things we can eat today from our West Coast garden

By Michael Levenston
City Farmer
Jan 4, 2018

We raked our paths and trimmed our plants today as temperatures reached 5 degrees celsius, a mild day this winter. We have had frost and snow recently, but our winter is tropical compared to the “bomb cyclone” hitting the East Coast.

Here are some of the winter crops we can pick and eat today at Vancouver’s Compost Education Garden.

[Read more →]

January 4, 2018   Comments Off on Vancouver BC: What’s Growing in City Farmer’s Garden on January 4, 2018

City Farmer Flashback 2001: York House Kindergarten Kids Learn About Worms

City Farmer’s Moberley Luger teaches children about worm composting at the Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden.

Flashback by Michael Levenston
Suzette Myers reporting at that time
TV News 2001

These youngsters marched into our garden in their school uniforms (à la Madeline children’s book) and delighted us with their sweet engagement with worms. Moberley Luger, then a young instructor, now a university professor of English, gave the students their first experience at composting.

For over twenty five years, City Farmer has lead such classes both at our demonstration garden and in Vancouver schools. Young visitors see how compost from a worm bin feeds the soil as was they walk about after the class, tasting, touching and smelling the plants we grow.

[Read more →]

January 3, 2018   Comments Off on City Farmer Flashback 2001: York House Kindergarten Kids Learn About Worms

Canada: City Farmer Begins its 40th Year

Click image to see larger file. Our New Year’s Beer.

Happy New Year!

This special beer, made from our garden hops, features the masthead of the first issue of our newspaper published in August, 1978. At that time, the founders of City Farmer were working at the Vancouver Energy Conservation Centre, teaching city residents how to conserve energy in the food system. We were strongly motivated by William and Helga Olkowskis’s book, The City People’s Book of Raising Food.

[Read more →]

January 1, 2018   Comments Off on Canada: City Farmer Begins its 40th Year

Vancouver’s ‘City Farmer’ Receives the United Nations Food Garden Certificate of Recognition

Click image to see larger file.

Feed Your City – UN Food Gardens initiative

Stina Nyström, President – UN Food Gardens initiative
Elena de Jesús, Communications and Outreach Coordinator, UN Food Gardens Initiative
Feed Your City 2017

As President of the UN Food Gardens initiative, I wish to present the attached certificate in recognition of City Farmer’s Demonstration Garden’s members’ outstanding efforts to further sustainable urban agriculture and contribute to the food security and well-being of their community.

[Read more →]

December 31, 2017   Comments Off on Vancouver’s ‘City Farmer’ Receives the United Nations Food Garden Certificate of Recognition

Canada: Vancouver envisions radicchio on its rooftops – (flashback 2007)

Click image to see larger file.

The Canadian city sees food-producing gardens in urban residential developments as the wave of the future.

By Linda Baker
Los Angeles Times
June 17, 2007

The residential skyscrapers in downtown Vancouver, Canada, are already covered with green. Rooftops and balconies overflow with ornamental vines, shrubs, even midsize magnolia and maple trees. And now, there’s more.

Vancouver is launching a novel green initiative aimed at bringing food-producing gardens to the city’s high-density developments. In what may be a first for a North American city, municipal planners have crafted a set of “urban agriculture” conditions for a new downtown neighborhood: Southeast False Creek, an 80-acre mixed-use community springing up on the former site of a shipyard.

[Read more →]

December 29, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Vancouver envisions radicchio on its rooftops – (flashback 2007)

City Farmer Beer With a Splash of Homegrown Mulberries

Silky Suds!

By Maria Keating
City Farmer
Dec 2017

May we present this year’s edition of City Farmer beer, ‘Silky Suds’. It is a smooth pale ale brewed with hops grown in compost here at our Vancouver Compost Demonstration Garden. A splash of mulberries from our mulberry tree was added to the brew.

Mulberry leaves are used to raise the silk worms, cocoons, and eventually moths. The life cycle of this insect has been so much fun to watch. Visitors in August, who picked mulberries from our tree, told us so many stories about their experiences with the fruit that we knew that some had to be added to our beer this year.

[Read more →]

December 27, 2017   Comments Off on City Farmer Beer With a Splash of Homegrown Mulberries

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas

Click image to see larger file. City Farmer’s gate facing the Arbutus Greenway in Vancouver.

Our garden in Vancouver, BC, Canada will be frozen this week.

December 25, 2017   Comments Off on Wishing you a wonderful Christmas

Saanich, British Columbia, Food-garden Revolution

Homeowner and avid food gardener Sheila Jones checks out the juicy nectarines growing above her salad garden, planted at the bottom of the deck stairs. Photograph By Adrian Lam, Times Colonist [Sheila worked for City Farmer in 1987.]

Jones has transformed the 10,000-square-foot lot into a thriving vegetable and flower garden, growing everything from nectarine trees and espaliered peach trees to medieval plants used for medicinal purposes.

By Kim Westad
Times Colonist
Sept. 2, 2017

Excerpt:

The raised-bed garden now covers about 80 per cent of the backyard.

Jones grows what the family loves. Two-metre high artichokes are given prime real estate. The family lived in California for a time and love them.

“I love turning what we grow into great food for my family and friends.”

[Read more →]

December 18, 2017   Comments Off on Saanich, British Columbia, Food-garden Revolution

United Nations: Vancouver’s ‘City Farmer’ One of Seven Small-Scale Urban Agriculture Initiatives Featured at UN Secretariat Building in New York!

See City Farmer’s submission exhibited at the United Nations. Click image to see larger file.

Out of the many submissions received from across the Americas, seven have been selected to be featured in a print exhibit showcased at the UN Secretariat

United Nations Food Gardens Facebook
Nov 1, 2017
(Must See. Mike)

Our “Feed Your City – a showcase of small-scale urban agriculture initiatives in the Americas” exhibit is up in the UN Secretariat lobby. Please stop by and learn more about some of the many wonderful community gardens across North, Central and South America committed to sustainability, community and connection between people and planet!

We are very excited and happy to announce that the selection for the first annual Feed Your City showcase has officially been completed! Out of the many submissions received from across the Americas, seven have been selected to be featured in a print exhibit showcased at the UN Secretariat starting today, 30 October!

These submissions, along with another six qualifying submissions, will be published on the UN Food Gardens website and shared through social media in recognition of their outstanding efforts to further sustainable urban agriculture and community involvement! A special thank you to UN-HABITAT, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Food Programme for participating in the review and selection panel.

[Read more →]

November 2, 2017   Comments Off on United Nations: Vancouver’s ‘City Farmer’ One of Seven Small-Scale Urban Agriculture Initiatives Featured at UN Secretariat Building in New York!

Canada: What to do with those Jack-o’-lanterns after Halloween?



Go to timeline: 01:52:25 to hear the four minute piece.

City Farmer’s Lynsey Dobbie answers that question on CBC Radio

City Farmer has composted in dozens of bins over the years. We recommend ‘rodent-resistant’ bins to all Vancouver gardeners because rats are a common pest in our City.

Some of the bins:

FreeGarden Earth Bin: In 2017, The City of Vancouver began offering this plastic bin for sale at a subsidized rate of $25.

Cedar Creek Bin: All bins are lined with 19 gauge galvanized wire mesh to aid rodent resistance.

[Read more →]

November 2, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: What to do with those Jack-o’-lanterns after Halloween?

City Farmer’s Compost Garden featured in Arbutus Greenway ‘Design Jam’ Video

A ‘Design Jam’ is a multi-day, collaborative workshop with the goal of developing a clear, detailed, realistic design for a project—in this case, the design for the future Arbutus Greenway.

From City of Vancouver
Welcome to the Deign Jam
Oct 2017

The Kitsilano portion of the Arbutus Greenway contains a number of distinct character areas. Examples include:

The stretch around West 6th Avenue, which runs east-west, compared with the rest of the corridor, which tends to run north-south. The experience of being in an established neighbourhood here is defined by neighbouring multi-family homes, 6th and Fir Park, “corner store” style shops, and long-established community gardens. The traffic calmed streets and neighbourhood feel provides a sense of calm to the greenway.

[Read more →]

October 23, 2017   Comments Off on City Farmer’s Compost Garden featured in Arbutus Greenway ‘Design Jam’ Video