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Category — Policy

Canada: Forget backyard chickens, council shifts focus to food security in London, Ontario

“A small victory for chickens” says animal welfare group after council rejects proposal to allow backyard laying hens #ldnont

About a dozen animal welfare supporters poured into the city’s gallery to voice their disapproval

CBC News
Nov 15, 2017


Londoners will have to hold off on raising backyard laying hens – and current coop owners will have to continue flying under the radar.

Animal Liberation Alliance London, From Their Facebook page:
“Small victory for chickens tonight as city council voted to remove back yard chickens from the cities agricultural plan. Small victory because they did it for all the wrong reasons. We are still not recognizing chickens as having a right to not be exploited by humans. Most of the councillors voted against it because they saw chickens in the city as an unnecessary burden or a nuisance.

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November 16, 2017   No Comments

Singapore: More urban farms, rooftop gardens in Singapore with enhanced greenery scheme

Click image to see larger file. Urban farms, like this one at Raffles City, help to optimise under-utilised roof spaces. (Photo: Edible Garden City)

The Landscaping for Urban Spaces and High-Rises (LUSH) programme, which aims to replace greenery lost during a building’s development or redevelopment, will be enhanced to improve both the quality and quantity of urban greenery, said Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee

By Wendy Wong
Channel News Asia
Nov 9, 2017


This includes encouraging property developers to house urban gardens and communal rooftop gardens in their buildings, and increase landscaping on walls and roofs – which can also help lower ambient temperature.

“Such features have been gaining popularity in our urban landscape, as many Singaporeans have a keen interest in farming and gardening,” said Mr Lee, who is also the Minister for Social and Family Development.

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November 14, 2017   No Comments

Canada: Government of the Northwest Territories signed an agreement to develop backyard agriculture by-laws. “Not enough” says expert.

Jackie Milne, President of Hay River’s Northern Farm Training Institute.

“We have such a need for food. To nurture, to build up and grow the food side. It’s great if these by-laws are going to help the average person grow food; but, let’s focus on the real thing here,” she sternly presses. “Agriculture is a sector. It’s like mining. It’s a key area that can contribute in a lasting way to our economy in the North. It’s so neglected, it’s pathetic. It’s shameful.”

By Cameron Wilkinson
My Yellowknife
Nov. 2, 2017


Jackie Milne, President of Hay River’s Northern Farming Institute, says the by-laws aren’t particularly new, nor are they any help.

“This work is redundant,” Milne says with a very flat tone. “A few years ago, I actually helped Hay River Agriculture Plan grant from the Government to do an agriculture strategy. It was done by a professional agriculture organization from Alberta. It systematically addressed all of the different types of by-laws that can exist in a community that can be reviewed or altered. It’s publicly available.

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November 9, 2017   No Comments

Canada: City councillor wants to make commercial farming legal for Winnipeg homeowners

Allard compares the idea to other sharing services like Uber and AirBNB. The councillor says urban agriculture is an efficient use of land, is economical and could cut down on greenhouse gases from transporting food.

By Jeff Keele
CTC News
Nov 3, 2017


A city councillor wants Winnipeg homeowners to be able to farm in their yards.

Currently city rules do not allow homeowners to grow fruits and veggies in their yards for commercial purposes.

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November 9, 2017   No Comments

Singapore: National Parks Board will for the first time be leasing out garden spaces in their parks

Community farmers at their allotment garden plots at HortPark. St Photo: Ng Sor Luan

A total of 1,000 of these “allotment gardens” will be built in 10 parks by 2019, said NParks.

By Raffaella Nathan Charles
Straits Times
Nov 3, 2017


This move is part of a broader Edible Horticulture Plan launched on Friday (Nov 3) that also spells out training initiatives and ways to support gardening in Singapore.

In recent years, more community gardens have sprouted islandwide, reflecting a keen interest in gardening beyond the professional sphere. Gardening enthusiasts also say that they have observed more aspiring green thumbs.

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November 8, 2017   Comments Off on Singapore: National Parks Board will for the first time be leasing out garden spaces in their parks

Canada: Kitchener Community gardens will flourish under changes designed to empower residents to get growing

Left to right: Wendy Janzen, Trent Bauman, Juanita Metzger, Kai Bender, Levi Bender and Chip Bender stand with some of the produce from the community garden at Uniroyal Goodrich Park in Kitchener. – David Bebee,Record staff file photo

The City of Kitchener is turning over a new leaf on its community garden program with changes designed to help residents take the lead in starting new gardens, or maintain and upkeep existing gardens in their neighbourhoods.


Wire Service

City council recommended the approval of several changes to the city’s existing program in response to feedback received during the Love My Hood consultation. Designed to make it easier for residents to become involved in community gardening, the changes include providing insurance coverage for individual gardeners, increased funding for new gardens and providing funding to enhance existing gardens. An easy-steps guide and single staff contact will round out new supports to get more people engaged in community gardening.

“We heard residents say the demand for community gardens is growing,” says Josh Joseph, supervisor, neighbourhood development office, City of Kitchener. “There are 35 community gardens in Kitchener, including 15 on city-owned land, plus gardens on private property and we hope to increase this number each year.”

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November 6, 2017   No Comments

Canada: How to feed a hungry city

Brandon Hebor, co-founder of Ripple Farms Inc., inspects the growing lights of an aquaponic lab. Ripple currently sells its produce to high-end chefs.

Toronto has become a leader in urban agriculture, but there’s worry public awareness is lagging as new projects struggle to take root

By Charlie Friedmann
Globe And Mail
Nov 3, 2017


“Torontonians have long grown in their backyards and continue to do so, but it’s mostly been under the radar,” notes Joe Nasr of the Centre for Studies in Food Security at Ryerson University and a co-ordinator of Toronto Urban Growers (TUG). “What’s new is this attention to the fact it exists and that it has a place in the city, and that the city can help it prosper.”

TUG has brought together a diverse group of civilian stakeholders since 2009, with the goal of increasing the availability of healthy and sustainable food grown, processed and sold in Toronto. Through networking meetings, public forums and lobbying, the group has done just that, and – working with the Toronto Food Policy Council (TFPC) – was largely behind efforts to bring Toronto’s Urban Agriculture Day to fruition.

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November 5, 2017   No Comments

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.

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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!

Legislation Would Transform Milwaukee’s Post-Industrial Central City into a Hub for Urban Farming

State Rep. Evan Goyke and State Sen. LaTonya Johnson are sponsoring four pieces of legislation in their respective chambers of the legislature. The legislation seeks to create a $10 million educational institution focused on urban agriculture, and greater access to resources for community organizations that work on urban farming projects throughout the city.

By Graham Kilmer
Urban Milwaukee
Oct 31st, 2017


One of the bills directs the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to create the Office of Urban Agriculture. Another bill directs that new office to help urban farmers, and community organizations like the Hunger Task Force, with guidance and training and educational and promotional resources. This is something the state already does for industries like soybeans, dairy, corn and others, Goyke said. And with offices already existing for minority and veteran famers, he thinks an office for urban farming is warranted.

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November 2, 2017   Comments Off on Legislation Would Transform Milwaukee’s Post-Industrial Central City into a Hub for Urban Farming

NewYork City: A Local Law to Develop A Comprehensive Urban Agriculture Plan

New York Councilmember Rafael Espinal (the Bill’s sponsor) with Democratic Primary Candidate Bernie Sanders. Photo Courtesy of Rafael Espinal.

This bill (1661) would require the Department of City Planning to develop a comprehensive urban agriculture plan that addresses land use policy and other issues to promote the expansion of urban agriculture in the City. The Department would be required to deliver such plan to the Mayor and the Speaker of the Council by July 1, 2018.

Rafael Espinal of the 37th District, and David Greenfield of the 44th District


a. The department of city planning, in cooperation with relevant agencies and stakeholders, including but not limited to food policy educators, representatives from community gardens and urban farming businesses, shall prepare a comprehensive urban agriculture plan. Such comprehensive urban agriculture plan shall address, but not be limited to, the following issues related to urban agriculture:

(i) cataloguing existing and potential urban agriculture spaces,

(ii) classification and prioritization of urban agriculture uses,

(iii) potential land use policies to promote the expansion of agricultural uses in the city,

(iv) an analysis of those portions of the zoning resolution, building code, and fire code that merit reconsideration to promote urban agriculture,

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November 1, 2017   Comments Off on NewYork City: A Local Law to Develop A Comprehensive Urban Agriculture Plan

FAO: Urban Food Actions Platform – New website

This webpage will basically function as a one-stop place where you can find all information related to urban food systems and rural-urban linkages. The platform is organized around 6 main tabs: a) Homepage; b) Background; c) Areas of focus; d) Knowledge produces; e) Events; f) Partners; g) Share with us.

Oct 2017


Food production and ecosystem management. Food production depends on and impacts on ecosystem services and biodiversity, with spillover effects going beyond food.

This area of focus deals with evidence and actions to optimize agriculture production while managing ecosystem services and biodiversity and improving resilience to climate change. For instance, promoting and strengthening nutrition-sensitive and diversified urban and peri-urban food production and processing based on sustainable methods as a way to mitigate heat island effect;

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October 27, 2017   Comments Off on FAO: Urban Food Actions Platform – New website

Canada: Saskatchewan family forced to sell goats after losing court case to town

The goats supply three litres of milk, per day, to the family. (Submitted by Miranda Friske. )

Arborfield, Saskatchewan, creates bylaw prohibiting owning livestock

By Samanda Brace
CBC News
Oct 16, 2017


The family was recently told to get rid of the goats that have been living in their backyard after town council approved a new livestock bylaw, and a judge ruled against their goats being allowed to stay.

“They were worried the goats were going to cause problems, but they didn’t cause any problems and they still went ahead,” Friske said.

Friske and her husband purchased their goats, Abby and Azur, in October 2015 after they realized they were both intolerant to cow’s milk.

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October 26, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Saskatchewan family forced to sell goats after losing court case to town

Farm bill discontent: Urban agriculture supporters want changes

Danielle Marvit is production manager for Garden Dreams Urban Farm and Nursery in Pittsburgh. She has serious concerns about conventional agriculture. Here, she talks with journalists during the recent annual convention of the Society of Environmental Journalists in Pittsburgh. (Jonathan Knutson/Agweek)

U.S. local food sales totaled at least $12 billion in 2014, up from $5 billion in 2008, and experts anticipate the figure to reach $20 billion by 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Jonathan Knutson
Oct 16, 2017


She’s also determined to transform the farm bill, the centerpiece of federal food and agricultural policy. She’s gone to Washington, D.C., repeatedly to lobby for her beliefs.

She insists that the existing farm bill — and mainstream ag in general — is tailored to the wants and needs of powerful corporate interests, not what’s best for the overwhelming majority of Americans.

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October 23, 2017   Comments Off on Farm bill discontent: Urban agriculture supporters want changes

Interview with Sundari Kraft: “People eat more veggies when they take part in gardening”

Kraft is the founder of Sustainable Food Denver, founding co-chair of the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council, and founder of one of Denver’s first multi-plot urban farms.

By Brian Frederick
Food Tank
Oct. 2017


FT: One of your legislative successes is a policy to allow Denver residents to raise chickens, ducks, and dwarf goats within the city limits. How practical is this in an urban setting and how do you hope this will benefit individual health?

SK: Anytime someone is considering raising an animal—whether it’s a chicken or a dog—they need to make sure that they have the appropriate space, tools, and time to adequately care for that animal. That being said, city-appropriate food-producing animals can absolutely be raised successfully in an urban backyard. These animals are no more difficult to care for than the pets that we’re used to seeing in cities (like dogs and cats)—it’s just that most of us haven’t grown up with them and we’ve lost the knowledge of how to care for them. Luckily, there are a number of books focused on urban homesteading, as well as classes in some cities focused on backyard chickens or goats.

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October 19, 2017   Comments Off on Interview with Sundari Kraft: “People eat more veggies when they take part in gardening”

Philippines: Solon Calls For Passage Of Urban Agriculture Act

AGRI Partylist Rep. Orestes Salon made the call on Tuesday after the House Committee on Food Security consolidated four measures seeking to promote the use of urban agriculture in all urban areas in the Philippines. (Photo: Rep. Orestes T. Salon/Facebook)

“The urgency of addressing our nation’s food security should guide us in our actions,” Salon said.

By Philippine News Agency
October 10, 2017


Salon said the proposed law could help improve the country’s food supply and could positively impact employment and income generation for urban settlers.

Under the bill, an Office of Urban Agriculture shall be established by the Department of Agriculture.

The said office shall be mandated to study and make recommendations regarding the impact of urban agriculture and vertical farming in metropolitan communities, and develop a research agenda on urban agriculture.

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October 12, 2017   Comments Off on Philippines: Solon Calls For Passage Of Urban Agriculture Act