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Category — Vancouver

Vancouver Urban Farming Forum: A Success! 138 attendees, and over 30 presenters and moderators

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As a convening organization, we are pleased to bring together speakers with extensive experience in the food and farming sector who are working in diverse and creative ways toward an increasingly vibrant and resilient local food system.

By the Vancouver Urban Farming Society
The Forum was held on Nov. 26, 2016

Excerpt from program:

Karly Pinch, Shady Acre Farm
Karly Pinch started shady acre farm in 2015, after a season as an organic farm apprentice and graduating from the UBC Farm Practicum in sustainable agriculture. she came to farming from a passion for having a positive environmental impact in her career. Karly also works as a program coordinator and environmental educator.

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December 9, 2016   No Comments

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

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britzediblecity623 Click on image for larger file.

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

You Don’t Know ‘Till You Grow

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The importance of becoming rooted in gardening

By Claire Livingstone
4th geography student at University of British Columbia
Nov 2, 2016

It is estimated that one fifth of the greenhouse gases that we’re each responsible for, come from how we consume food(1). According to New York Times writer Michael Pollan(2), growing your own food is one of the best things you can do for the environment, as it reduces a sense of dependency on the ‘cheap energy’ that composes so much of an individual’s carbon footprint. As a fourth year UBC Geography student, I am exposed to the importance of being mindful of one’s environmental impacts on an individual level. In order for big changes to happen, we must start with the little ones, and shift how we interact with the Earth on a daily basis.

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November 3, 2016   Comments Off on You Don’t Know ‘Till You Grow

Rooftop Community Garden Success Atop 55-Unit Condo Complex in Vancouver, BC

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When residents of an Olympic Village condo decided to turn private plots into a community space, their gardening project turned into something more.

By Tyee Bridge
Photos Claudette Caracedo
Vancouver Foundation
Fall 2016

Excerpt:

Six volunteers formed a Garden Committee to organize the transformation of the James rooftop patio into a working garden—from pulling out ornamental plants and selling them on Craigslist to buying seeds and rebuilding the soil. “It was pretty much an immediate success, a hit with a lot of people,” recalls Cooke. “And it went beyond gardening to really growing the social aspect of the building. People got to know each other, which was great to see, and we expanded from there.”

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October 27, 2016   Comments Off on Rooftop Community Garden Success Atop 55-Unit Condo Complex in Vancouver, BC

Street Food tells story of downtown Vancouver’s social enterprise farm

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Michael Ableman with Alain Guy (background) at the False Creek Sole Food farm in downtown Vancouver. ARLEN REDEKOP / PNG. Click on image for larger file.

Sole Food, a five-acre farm in the city’s grittiest neighbourhood that employs people who have been abandoned by society

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
September 14, 2016

Excerpt:

Q: You use the word incongruent to describe the Sole Food farm site on the Downtown Eastside. How has the feeling in the neighbourhood evolved?

A: When people close their eyes and think of a farm they see a pastoral scene with fences and a barn, rows of food and cows grazing. In our case, that visual is very different. Our farms float in a sea of roadways and tall buildings and along the alleys in some hard parts of Vancouver.

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September 15, 2016   Comments Off on Street Food tells story of downtown Vancouver’s social enterprise farm

How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

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Walking and biking on a gravel trail along the new Arbutus Greenway in Vancouver, BC.

These results “strongly suggest that getting out into natural environments” could be an easy and almost immediate way to improve moods for city dwellers, Mr. Bratman said.

By Gretchen Reynolds
New York Times
July 22, 2015

Excerpt:

City dwellers also have a higher risk for anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses than people living outside urban centers, studies show.

These developments seem to be linked to some extent, according to a growing body of research. Various studies have found that urban dwellers with little access to green spaces have a higher incidence of psychological problems than people living near parks and that city dwellers who visit natural environments have lower levels of stress hormones immediately afterward than people who have not recently been outside.

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September 12, 2016   Comments Off on How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

Vancouver Chefs Grow Their Own

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Andrea Carlson of Burdock & Co. stands amongst the ginger and edible flowers in her restaurant’s urban garden. – Dan Toulgoet photo

Vancouver restaurants are taking the 100-mile diet a step further and growing their own ingredients here in the city

By Robert Mangelsdorf
Westender
Aug 31, 2016

Excerpt:

“Growing the botanicals was definitely something that was instilled in me working at the Sooke Harbour House on Vancouver Island,” she says. “It’s an incredibly inspired place. I learned a ton there, that ethos, and had an opportunity to experience on a daily basis the opportunities of the plants as they present themselves.

“Now it’s about the flower,” she continues, “then it’s the seed, then it’s about the fruit, then it’s the root. It’s not just about saying we have beets and tomatoes to work with. We have this entire world of potential from these plants, that’s what gets me excited when it comes to creating menus.”

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September 1, 2016   Comments Off on Vancouver Chefs Grow Their Own

Longtime City Councillor’s Seed Collection Preserves The Roots Of British Columbia’s Agriculture

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steve
Living agricultural legend Harold Steves maintains a collection of seeds for rare plant varieties specially adapted for the Lower Mainland. (MPMG)

Harold Steves’ family has been involved in B.C. agriculture for more than 130 years, and with his collection of rare locally-adapted seeds, he hopes to remain so well into the future.

By Matt Meuse
CBC News
Aug 22, 2016

Excerpt:

One of Steves’ most popular plants is the alpha tomato, which dates back to the original Steves catalogue from 1877, bred to thrive in Lower Mainland soil and weather. According to Steves, it blooms a week earlier than other varieties, and produces red tomatoes a full month earlier.

Another point of pride in Steves’ collection is the black Russian sunflower. Steves believes he may be the only source of seeds for this particular strain in the world.

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September 1, 2016   Comments Off on Longtime City Councillor’s Seed Collection Preserves The Roots Of British Columbia’s Agriculture

Practical Hydroponics Magazine Features ‘City Farming’

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The Rise Of Urban Agriculture

By Christine Brown-Paul
PH&G
September 2016 / Issue 171
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

In this issue we trace the rise of city farming – also known as urban agriculture – a phenomenon whose widespread uptake globally is at the vanguard of a silent revolution in the way our food is produced. Embracing practices such as rooftop farming, hydroponics, aquaponics, aeroponics and the like, city farming is the farming of the future.

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August 31, 2016   Comments Off on Practical Hydroponics Magazine Features ‘City Farming’

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

The Van Berckel’s edible garden offers bounty of fruit, flowers and vegetables (Bowen Island, Vancouver, BC)

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David and Aubin Van Berckel sit beside a willow sculpture named Con Brio by Vancouver artist Ken Clarke in their 2.5-acre edible garden on Bowen Island. Photo by Kim Stallknecht.

Just when I thought I had seen everything, the Van Berckels lead me into another area where there are two tunnels — one made from espaliered apples, the other from golden hops, from which David makes beer.

By Steve Whysall
Vancouver Sun
Aug. 19, 2016

Excerpt:

As we descend deeper into the garden, David hands me a ripe Italian fig to taste. It is juicy and delicious. Next, he offers me a handful of ripe mulberries. Heavenly.

“I pollard (remove the top) our other mulberry trees. They look great in the winter. But since I prune them so hard, I don’t get fruit, since the fruit is only produced on previous year’s growth,” he says.

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August 27, 2016   Comments Off on The Van Berckel’s edible garden offers bounty of fruit, flowers and vegetables (Bowen Island, Vancouver, BC)

Vancouver’s YWCA Rooftop Food Garden is Ten Years Old

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It yields 1,500 pounds of fresh, high-quality produce each year

By Sandy Reimer
Director, Health + Fitness & Operations
YWCA Metro Vancouver
Aug 2016

I always feel brightened by my daily visit to the YWCA Rooftop Food Garden, which sits on top of our Health + Fitness Centre, among downtown Vancouver’s office buildings and high rises. The vibrant, sweet-smelling fruits and veggies make me feel closer to the families who benefit from our garden’s abundance.

Ten years into our gardening project, and it’s still hard to believe that this urban treasure, which yields 1,500 pounds of fresh, high-quality produce each year, was once an ornamental garden. And it all grows in just inches of organic soil!

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August 23, 2016   Comments Off on Vancouver’s YWCA Rooftop Food Garden is Ten Years Old

Excerpts from Michael Ableman’s book, ‘Street Farm’ (August 2016)

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A Sole Food urban farm in an old Petro-Canada station in Vancouver’s East End. Photo by Agriculture Urbana.

‘People are no easier to recover than the land buried under layers of pavement.’

By Michael Ableman
Earth Island Journal
Aug 17, 2016

Excerpt:

We interrupt harvesting for one of our farm walks, a chance for me to share some techniques or a little philosophy, answer questions, and tell stories. And I realize that even as I am telling stories to make abundance real and visual for folks who may never have experienced it, I am feeling my own doubts and questions about what lies ahead. It feels odd for me standing in this parking lot on a street corner talking about soil microbes, optimal plant spacing, or the life cycle of an aphid. On my rural farm, not far from here, I’d be carrying on similar conversations, but there I’m mentoring young, well-scrubbed kids fresh out of college, most of whom have never known real hardship, all still hopeful and idealistic, too young for life to have slapped them around.

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August 18, 2016   Comments Off on Excerpts from Michael Ableman’s book, ‘Street Farm’ (August 2016)