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Category — Vancouver

Joel Salatin speaks about ‘nook and cranny farming’ in Langley Township, Greater Vancouver

joels
Joel Salatin will be sharing his knowledge about small lot and sustainable farming at a workshop in Langley on Nov. 8. Photograph by: Screengrab, Food Inc.

Langley Township is unique among the Metro Vancouver communities: It has more farmland than any of the Metro cities, with 75 per cent of its area in the Agricultural Land Reserve.

By Glenda Luymes
The Province
October 11, 2014

Excerpt:

The event follows on the heels of a successful workshop on small-lot agriculture and is aimed at generating production on some of Langley’s un-farmed land, said LSAF director Karen Taylor.

Langley Township is unique among the Metro Vancouver communities: It has more farmland than any of the Metro cities, with 75 per cent of its area in the Agricultural Land Reserve. But unlike ag-giants Abbotsford and Chilliwack, 73 per cent of Langley’s land is in parcels smaller than 10 acres. Only 55 per cent of the city’s ALR land is farmed.

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October 12, 2014   Comments Off

Vancouver Filmmakers live like dumpster divers for six months

For six months, Vancouver filmmakers Grant Baldwin and Jenny Rustemeyer ate only discarded food. Their shocking documentary, Just Eat IT! highlights the fact that 40 per cent of all North American food goes into landfills.

By Daphne Bramham
Vancouver Sun
October 1, 2014

Excerpt:

Baldwin and Rustemeyer spent $200 during those six months on food that was being culled from shelves because of slight blemishes or its best before date — that misleading number that makes consumers shun its purchase.

Rustemeyer estimates they salvaged $20,000 worth of food from dumpsters behind grocery stores, food warehouses and processors.

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October 4, 2014   Comments Off

‘Urban farm’ + Secondary School = growing fresh vegetables, young farmers, and community!

North Vancouver – Sutherland Schoolyard Market Garden

Excerpt from their Indiegogo site:

In 2011 the North Shore Neighbourhood House’s Edible Garden Project broke ground on an innovative urban farm – Loutet Farm. Over the past four years Loutet Farm has grown into a thriving community hub selling vegetables from our farm gate sales twice a week, providing year round educational activities for children and youth, hosting community events, and providing opportunities for everyone to get involved. With over 300 volunteers contributing thousands of hours each season, Loutet Farm has become an important part of the neighbourhood. The North Shore Neighbourhood House is a charity, and all of the revenue we generate from produce sales covers our costs – paying staff a living wage, purchasing seeds, equipment, tools, etc.

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October 1, 2014   Comments Off

Vancouver rooftop greenhouse back in business

City-owned parking garage to produce food once again

By Jane Deacon
Vancouver 24 Hour
September 11, 2014

Excerpt:

A troubled Vancouver urban farming facility is set to be revamped after its acquisition by Affinor Growers, which plans to use the technology to grow food locally and pot in the U.S.

Affinor, which also has a research and development facility in Port Coquitlam, has purchased the assets of Alterrus Systems’ rooftop growing facility on Richards Street. Before the company declared bankruptcy last year, it produced leafy greens and herbs through “vertical” farming techniques, which maximize sunlight exposure by suspending thousands of plant trays within a greenhouse-style facility.

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September 15, 2014   Comments Off

Look no further than a Vancouver apartment complex to see the latest food trend in action

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Tenant gardeners, from left, Sarah Anton, Evan Doan, Christine Cheveldave (landlady), Gordon Rudy, Gosia Piasecka (at back), Katie Fritz, Robin Young and Genevieve Beaulieu Roy in their thriving organic garden in East Vancouver. Photograph by: Steve Bosch.

The tenants, all in their 20s, have taken over more and more lawn areas at the complex and carved out spaces for growing food.

By Steve Whysall
Vancouver Sun
August 28, 2014

Excerpt:

Tenants each have their own individual garden spots where they are free to grow what they prefer, but there is a community plot shared by the entire group

However, in reality, produce from all the plots is freely shared and everyone is permitted to harvest what they need from any of the spaces.

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August 29, 2014   Comments Off

District of North Vancouver won’t allow people to sell backyard produce

nvanYou can’t sell these in North Vancouver District.

“The district of North Vancouver isn’t zoned for agriculture so selling produce grown here isn’t allowed.”

By Karen van Blankenstein
Weed’em and Reap
Aug 23, 2014

Excerpt:

What would you call Weed ‘em & Reap? Is it a farm? Does a quarter acre (if the house was gone and you could use the entire property) qualify? There are no tractors or combines or cows or chickens here. No employees. I really don’t think it resembles a farm at all. Now that my two eldest kids are out of the house, I don’t even think it could qualify as a zoo anymore.

So is it a garden? Raised planter beds, very small greenhouse, lots of food plants in containers interspersed with the ornamentals… looks like a garden to me. Except maybe for the fact that I hold sales every Sunday and have gone through the process to have all my seedlings and produce certified organic. That’s a little “farmish”.

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August 25, 2014   Comments Off

Outrage as CP Rail begins clearing gardens, structures, along the Arbutus Corridor in Vancouver BC


Global News.

“They are shocked and heartbroken by what has happened, with some shouting “shame, shame” at operators who came to clear the gardens and trees.

By Matthew Robinson
Vancouver Sun
August 14, 2014

Excerpt:

VANCOUVER – Gerry Oldman had half an hour Thursday morning to salvage as many vegetables as he could from a community garden he tended along the Arbutus Corridor before work crews hired by Canadian Pacific moved in and tore up his plants and raised beds.

The rail company had warned residents along the track weeks ago that it was restarting operations on the line and gave them until Aug. 1 to remove their property from its land before it would be removed for them.

The company made good on the threat two weeks after the deadline when a trackhoe and backhoe operated by A & B Rail Services Ltd. laid waste to about 150 metres of community gardens located south of Southwest Marine Drive.

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August 15, 2014   Comments Off

Young farmers thrive in Surrey BC’s urban jungle

surr
Doug Zaklan and Gemma McNeill want to inspire other young people to take up farming. Photo by Nick Eagland.

“We’re looking at what the opportunities are for incubating young farmers and people who are engaged in agriculture, and how as a city we can form an innovation centre that will help them become landowners and farmers on their own,” said Linda Hepner.

By Nick Eagland
Vancouver Sun
August 8, 2014

Excerpt:

Zaklan and McNeill know what it’s like to have urban neighbours — Zaklan Heritage Farm, an eight-acre parcel of land that has been in the Zaklan family since 1928, is surrounded by townhouses and industrial buildings. Zaklan is grateful his family didn’t sell the land to developers, but wishes others had his fortune.

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August 10, 2014   Comments Off

‘In Da Garden’ – Rap video protest against CP Railway threatening Vancouver gardens

Lyrics by Gabriel

Go go go go go
Go CP, It’s your railway,
We going to garden like its our railway
We going to eat brocolli like its our railway
and you know we don’t give a **** it’s not your railway!

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July 29, 2014   Comments Off

Milross Community Garden celebrates honey bees in Vancouver

hives
Amacon’s Lilliana de Cotiis presents $10,000 cheque to Sarah Common from Hives for Humanity. Photo by Michael Levenston.

“Just having the community garden here is great, but having the hives here and the awareness that it raises about pollinators and the challenges facing honeybees is something else again,” said Melissa Howey.

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
July 14, 2014

Excerpt:

“We think these workshops are a great way to engage with the gardeners and with the public about honeybees and native pollinators as well,” said Shannon Common, community liaison with Hives for Humanity. “The gardens, the hives and the living walls we have been making here are a great demonstration of innovative use of urban space.”

Hives for Humanity maintains 40 of the garden boxes to act as a pollinator meadow, and a herb garden that is open to about 90 registered gardeners.

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July 15, 2014   Comments Off

Project highlights Vancouver’s farming potential

vancgarde
More and more people in Vancouver are letting professionals take over their yard to grow vegetables. Photograph by: Gerry Kahrmann , Vancouver Sun.

By combining laser mapping, 3-D imaging and water use data, a UBC study is pinpointing where food can be grown in the urban jungle

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
July 13, 2014

Excerpt:

Researchers are using 3-D modelling and water use data to learn just how much food can be grown in Vancouver and how much more water that will require as we morph into a truly edible city.

The project is using laser mapping from aircraft flown over the city to determine where food can be grown successfully in yards, parks and private lands by estimating the amount of solar energy and evapotranspiration, a fancy way of describing how much water returns to the atmosphere through plants and general evaporation.

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July 14, 2014   Comments Off

Vancouver could lose more than 10% of community garden plots due to Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) decision

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CPR train passing the Maple Street Community Gardens in 2001. Photo by Sharon Slack taken at the corner of 6th Avenue and Maple Street. Click on image for larger file.

Approximately 425 of the 4000 community gardens plots in Vancouver will be affected

Vancouver Arbutus Corridor could lose 60-70% of gardening land space.

Below is a letter to the President of CPR from a longtime community gardener in the Maple Community Garden.

By Deirdre Phillips
Maple Street Community Gardener
July 9th, 2014
(Must read. Mike)

To:
E. Hunter Harrison, CEO CP Rail (care of Ed Greenberg)
Chief Executive Officer and Director
Canadian Pacific
Wellington, Florida

“We have historic ties with communities along our tracks and our programs make contributions to the quality of life in these towns and cities.” CP Rail

Dear E. Hunter Harrison,

The above quote from your “Community Investment” section on your website is in complete contradiction to the power play that you and your executives are posing with the City of Vancouver – whom you refer to as ‘other parties’. You are threatening to destroy all the community gardens by July 31st, 2014 along the Arbutus Corridor simply because you can’t get what you are looking for in your negotiations with the City of Vancouver for the 66 foot wide ribbon of land along the Arbutus Corridor.

Your threat to remove what you call ‘excess vegetation’ along the tracks in the Arbutus Corridor by July 31st, 2014 is pure manipulation and quite a transparent attempt to get all of the community gardeners along the corridor to do your dirty work for you by putting pressure on the City of Vancouver. Yes, all of us gardeners love organic dirt but not dirty politics and your goal to maximize profits for your shareholders.

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July 10, 2014   Comments Off

Edible yards proliferate in Vancouver neighbourhoods

citybe
Each conversion from sod to vegetables inspires neighbours to do the same.

Ralphs and Warren — the twentysomething proprietors of City Beet Farm — maintain 17 yard gardens all within ten blocks of each other, essential because they move themselves and their produce by bicycle.

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
July 6, 2014

Excerpt:

Most of the vegetables are sold to individuals and families through CSAs — Community Supported Agriculture — with a season-long subscription to weekly food baskets that cost from $330 to $460 for enough to supply two people, to around $700 for a family.

City Beet has 45 subscribers for its small box and 15 for the large, plus they run a weekly public market every Friday at Mighty Oak Cafe on West 18th. Inner City has 40 family CSA subscribers, eight restaurant subscribers and provides each yard owner with a subscription. A rotating cast of volunteers who help mainly with harvesting are also paid in vegetables.

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July 7, 2014   Comments Off

Vancouver’s Urban Agriculture Entrepreneurs

rideuaAaron Quesnel delivers fresh greens year-round to restaurants throughout Vancouver. Photo by Nik West.

For those who aspire to farm in the big city, the terrain is rough and strewn with obstacles. But urban agriculture can also be a viable business for hardworking souls, such as Aaron Quesnel, with an in-demand product–microgreens used by some of Vancouver’s top chefs–and a good story to share

Richard Littlemore
BC Business
July 1, 2014

Exempt:

Quesnel is the founder and president of Sky Harvest, which is the optimistic-sounding name of a business that, in May 2013, started selling produce generated in a 13-square-metre indoor farm, located in an unlovely and under-used storefront building on Powell Street in East Vancouver.

Quesnel and a skeleton staff plant, grow, harvest and deliver microgreens, the “nutrient-dense, visually appealing and flavourful” early shoots from a host of salad-friendly vegetables. Sky Harvest currently offers 13 varieties, including arugula, kale, radish, sorrel, cilantro, sunflower and peas. They harvest most crops after only a week, when they’re past the point of being “sprouts” but not yet “baby greens.”

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July 5, 2014   Comments Off

CP Rail orders Vancouver rail corridor community gardens to be removed by end of July

cpr
Members of Vancouver non profit ‘the world in a garden’ surprised to hear CPR map puts half this shed on its property. They say city told them its on city land. That’s a kids beekeeping school in background.

CP Rail is carrying out land survey of disused Arbutus rail line, and is giving residents a July 31 deadline

By Steve Lus
CBC News
Jul 03, 2014

Excerpt:

In a letter to residents, the company said it has placed surveying stakes along the borders of its land, and will remove any property left after July 31, such as sheds, storage containers, vehicles and community gardens.

The company admits a dispute with the city over the railway’s right to develop the land is behind the efforts to reactivate the line, which has not been used in about 15 years.

In recent years the inactive right of way has become a popular dog walking spot, and sprouted community fruit and vegetable gardens, but the railway has been trying to get plans for a property development approved.

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July 3, 2014   Comments Off