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Category — Vancouver

Vancouver Parks ‘field houses’ eyed for urban farming

fieldhField house in a Vancouver park.

Vancouver Park Board is considering turning field houses at various city parks into farmhouses.

By Michael Mui
24 Hours Vancouver
April 12, 2015


Vancouver Park Board is considering turning field houses at various city parks — outfitted with caretakers’ suite, washroom facilities and sometimes concession booths — into urban farmhouses operated by city farming groups.

The 75 houses had traditionally provided live-in accommodations for park caretakers, but their uses today have shifted towards things like artists spaces, environment residences, storage for sports organizations, as some examples.

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April 13, 2015   No Comments

Vancouver’s parks allow food production, including fruit and nut orchards and beekeeping

The Oak Meadows Park pollinator garden at West 37th and Oak is home to a pollinator hotel (pictured), made from a retired phone booth. The centrepiece of this pollinator’s paradise, the hotel is filled with tubes, nooks and crannies attractive to insects. The 1,500-square-foot pollinator garden is part of a network of bee-friendly biodiversity that extends into VanDusen Gardens. Photograph by: Jason Payne, VANCOUVER SUN

At the Beaconsfield Community Garden there are plans to build an outdoor bread oven.

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
Feb 25, 2015


Vancouver’s oldest park-based community garden is also one of its biggest, at 3.3 acres. Strathcona Community Garden was created in 1985, divided into one-third allotment gardens, one-third natural plant and animal habitat and the balance is a unique espalier fruit orchard. The site features the Eco-Pavilion meeting space, greenhouse and beehives.

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March 5, 2015   Comments Off

Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) destroys hundreds of beautiful community gardens in Vancouver

Gardens gone. Photos by Michael Levenston.

Bulldozers, backhoes, weed wackers, chainsaws and shovels destroy a city treasure

Michael Levenston
City Farmer
March 3, 2015

Since the 1980’s, neighbours have built award winning community gardens along the abandoned railway line running through Kitsilano. In just a few days, this past week, Maple Community Garden, Cypress Community Garden, Pine Street Gardens and Fir Street Garden have been bulldozed, leaving a tiny strip of broken plots along the city boulevard. Trees, shrubs and plants purchased over the past 30 years are gone. The CPR crews have flattened the landscape and left a barren wasteland. CPR will replace the natural beauty created by neighbours, with parked railcars covered with graffiti.

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March 3, 2015   Comments Off

New urban agriculture policy starts buzz in Vancouver city parks

This spring, adults and children will be “buzz-scaping” at Strathcona’s 3.5-hectare Trillium North Park. That is, the Strathcona Food Security Committee is constructing a pollinator house frame.

Get ready for innovative community food and agriculture uses in parks

City of Vancouver
February 17 2015


Everyone’s a foodie nowadays, and the Vancouver Park Board recognizes that.

To reflect the growing and diverse interest in local food production and cultivation, we have adopted a new Urban Agriculture Policy that aims to broaden the types of food-related projects considered in parks, including one-off and pilot projects.

The policy also:

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February 18, 2015   Comments Off

Rock-star BC urban farmer is all about the money

Curtis Stone with some fresh kale at one of his Kelowna, BC urban farming operations. Stone is an expert at farming profitably on small parcels of land.

If you want to earn a good living, put ideology in your back pocket, advises Curtis Stone

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
February 5, 2015


“When I look around Vancouver at the yards that are being farmed there are 20 different vegetables growing at every location and that just isn’t going to work,” he said in a phone interview from a Florida beach. “You’ve got to specialize and that means if you have a thousand square feet to work with at one location, do the whole thing in carrots in straight rows, like a real farm.”

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February 14, 2015   Comments Off

Clean soil to be required for food crops in Vancouver community gardens

The Vancouver Park Board will be mandating that community gardens and local agriculture projects be planted in soil free of urban contaminants.
Photograph by: Jason Payne, Vancouver Sun.

Nearly 80 per cent of people who responded during a public consultation period approved of the draft revisions

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
February 5, 2015


VANCOUVER — New Vancouver Park Board guidelines will require that edible plants grown in community gardens and agricultural projects be planted in soil free of urban contaminants.

New soil and barriers must be used where the quality of the existing soil is not known, and the Park Board will ensure that affordable soil testing will be available to growers, according to a draft of the new Urban Agriculture Policy expected to be approved later this month.

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February 6, 2015   Comments Off

Judge says Canadian Pacific Railway can bulldoze sheds and smash through community gardens in Vancouver

CP Rail says it will take a couple of weeks to study the Supreme Court ruling before deciding when to restart the repair operations on the Arbutus corridor rail line, above.
Photograph by: Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun

Vancouver City loses bid to stop CP Rail’s Arbutus corridor plan

Brent Jang And Ian Bailey
The Globe and Mail
Jan. 20 2015,


Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. was within its rights to bulldoze some sheds and smash through community gardens along its unused Arbutus corridor, a judge has ruled, and the company can forge ahead with plans to store railcars on the abandoned line.

“The City did not and cannot claim any property interest in the Arbutus corridor, nor can the City assert such rights on behalf of others in response to the proposed use of the corridor” by CP, Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson of B.C. Supreme Court wrote in his judgment released Tuesday.

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January 21, 2015   Comments Off

City of Vancouver Food Strategy: What Feeds Us

Published on Jan 15, 2015
City of Vancouver: Thien Phan, Wendy Mendes, James O’Neill
Film Maker: Farzine MacRae, MacRae Multimedia (

Launched in January 2013, the City of Vancouver’s Food Strategy represents the culmination of over ten years of policy, planning and community organizing towards the creation of a healthy, just and sustainable food system. None of this would be possible without the creativity and dedication of countless individuals, community groups, and local businesses. This video highlights some key areas that have made a big impact in Vancouver.

Vancouver Food Policy information.

January 15, 2015   Comments Off

Kits Neighbourhood House in Vancouver will have a roof garden

Garden beds on the 4th floor deck. Building was designed by architect Sean McEwen.

Seven beds with a wonderful view west across Kitsilano

Architect Sean McEwen has built seven beds for urban agriculture into his design for the newly opened Kitsilano Neighbourhood House in Vancouver, BC. Originally opened in 1894 when it was named the Alexandra Orphanage and Non-Sectarian Home Society, it moved to its present location in 1972 where its many program “reach people and help them with their community aspirations, needs and challenges and problem.”

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January 15, 2015   Comments Off

Metro Vancouver (population 2.5 million) bans food waste from the garbage

Organics disposal ban. Waste will be taken to compost facilities in the region

Metro Vancouver
January 2, 2014


Why food scraps in garbage are a problem

When food and other organic materials end up in the garbage they:

Create methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that adds to global warming. In the landfill, buried under layers of waste and without access to oxygen, food can’t decompose properly.

Use up a lot of precious landfill space. Space is limited, and creating more landfills is undesirable. Over 30% of what we send to the landfill in our region is compostable organics.

Make waste-to-energy processes less efficient because of their high moisture content. About a third of the region’s waste is disposed in the waste-to-energy facility.

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January 2, 2015   Comments Off

New policy for urban agriculture proposed by the Vancouver Park Board

Kitsilano Community Garden. Photo by MicaDogg.

What’s new in the proposed policy

The proposed Urban Agriculture Policy includes:

1. An expanded definition of the policy for agriculture project that covers:

Collaborative and shared gardening

Educational-, arts-, and culturally-focused gardening

Fruit and nut trees

Hobby beekeeping

Pollinator gardens

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December 16, 2014   Comments Off

Gardens grow another day on the Arbutus Corridor in Vancouver

Co-op residents’ community gardens destroyed by CPR.

“The gardeners that I knew whose gardens were destroyed in the first round-up around Marine Drive lived in co-ops.”

By Katie Hyslop
Magaphone Magazine
December 2014


“There really isn’t a need for a railway to go through this area that they’ve made us aware of,” Levenston says of CPR. “But there’s a huge need for green space in this city as the city grows busier and busier, as the price of houses goes up, as people lose their gardens as [they] move into high rises. This [the Arbutus Corridor] is a gem.”

Levenston adds losing the green space of the corridor would be akin to losing half of Stanley Park. Instead of selling the land back to the city, he maintains CPR should donate it back to the people of Vancouver.

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December 9, 2014   Comments Off

Metal contamination found in Vancouver community garden, brownfield sites

oakcg16 Oaks Community Garden in Vancouver. A recent study detected metal contamination associated with high traffic ares in the soil. Photograph by: Arlen Redekop.
Soil research suggests study required before growing food on land near busy transportation corridors

By Randy Shore,
Vancouver Sun
December 2, 2014


An eight-month study of Vancouver garden and agricultural soils has found levels of lead and other metals above the most stringent Canadian standards for human health.

Samples taken from the 16 Oaks community garden averaged 219 parts per million of lead, which exceeds the standard of 70 to 140 ppm for agricultural, residential and park land set by the Canadian Council of Environment Ministers.

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December 2, 2014   Comments Off

“Just Eat It” – Watch full movie on-line!

See the full movie here.

Have you ever fed your grandmother food from a dumpster?

Knowledge Network
75 minutes, 2014

Jen Rustemeyer has. She and her life/business partner, Grant Baldwin, have spent the last few years wading through garbage – sometimes literally, but also in a broader philosophical sort of way.

In their first documentary, The Clean Bin Project, the B.C. couple committed to living as waste-free as possible for one year, to buying no more landfill-bound stuff. This idea resonated with people. Rustemeyer and Baldwin were invited to schools to complete waste audits and were blown away by how much perfectly good food was being tossed in a country where 1 in 10 people is food insecure.

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November 16, 2014   Comments Off

‘City Farmer News’ Celebrates 20 Years On-line

Country count on the original City Farmer web site.

This web site began in October 1994 as ‘Urban Agriculture Notes’

By Michael Levenston
Editor of City Farmer News
Nov 14, 2014

Watching life on the Internet, or as local Vancouver writer William Gibson named it, ‘Cyberspace’, has been our modern habit for approximately a quarter century.

In 1994 City Farmer Society began to connect with people across the globe via the ‘World Wide Web’ to share their stories about growing food in the city.

We originally started this news service on paper in 1978 by producing an eight page tabloid. But that couldn’t compare with the ease and global reach of the wired Net. Stories sent in at 1AM were re-circulated to a global audience by 1:15AM.

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November 14, 2014   Comments Off