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Category — Vancouver

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   No Comments

Young farmers thrive in Surrey BC’s urban jungle

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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   No Comments

‘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

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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

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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

Opinion: ‘Sustainable’ urban farms aren’t sustainable

miniature1900
Miniature wheelbarrow. 1900.

Posted in Vancouver Sun: Free land and tax dollars subsidize city agriculture

By Warren Mirko
Vancouver Sun
June 26, 2014

Excerpt:

Already, urban farms are costing residents tax revenue which goes toward things such as bike lanes and park maintenance. Don’t think that income from the farm’s yields will offset the lost revenue. While these farms produce hundreds of tons of produce per year, they are producing the cheapest and most plentiful items people already purchase from any grocery store.

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June 27, 2014   Comments Off

Frequent flyer invests in city farming in Vancouver

freq
Ahmed Amlani of Inner City Farms was surprised by Simon Pek’s $500 investment. Photo Dan Toulgoet.

Traveller sought local recipient to offset carbon footprint

Cheryl Rossi
Vancouver Courier
June 19, 2014

Excerpt:

Pek, a PhD candidate in the faculty of business at Simon Fraser University, took an alternative route to compensate for carbon emissions from his flights. Instead of investing in a conventional carbon offset program, Pek invested $500 in Inner City Farms, a small business with 20 urban plots in Vancouver yards.

Pek likes that Inner City Farms displaces produce for more than 50 families and eight restaurants that would be transported from afar, grows its food organically, farms by hand and provides city dwellers the opportunity to learn about farming.

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June 21, 2014   Comments Off

A new Vancouver community garden takes shape in Olympic Village

science1
Photo by Michael Levenston. Click on image for larger file.

The new collaborative community Garden at Creekside (ie. Olympic Village) held its first build event this Saturday June 14.

This garden is collaboration with the city of Vancouver & Vancouver Park Board (approval and start-up funding), the Creekside Community Recreation Center (programming and stewardship), City Studio students (helping design and build the planters), World in a Garden (provided previous support), and the Environmental Youth Alliance (plant list and planning support). Also with the support of local volunteer residents.

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June 14, 2014   Comments Off

Vancouver’s Hives for Humanity at work in Downtown Eastside

haves
Photo by DM Gillis.

Today, Hives for Humanity manages 72 hives throughout downtown Vancouver and has a supply of rich, raw honey it sells to sustain the project.

By Alessandra Naccarato
Briarpatch Magazine
May 1, 2014

The heart is a hive named Elizabeth. It was the first one they set up in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES), back in June 2012. They didn’t expect it to produce honey but wanted to share the experience of beekeeping, believing it could be “a powerful way to pull people out of their chaos.”

Against expectation, Elizabeth created 40 litres of honey that summer, twice the amount of Julia’s hives on pristine farmland near Tsawwassen. More than that, community members showed a talent for beekeeping and were leading peer workshops in apiculture by September. Today, Hives for Humanity manages 72 hives throughout downtown Vancouver and has a supply of rich, raw honey it sells to sustain the project.

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June 10, 2014   Comments Off

Video on planning your veggie garden by Vancouver’s Victory Gardeners

Video directed by Simon Redekop.

Victory Gardens wins $25,000 grant for educational YouTube series

Article by Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
June 1, 2014

Excerpt:

Vancouver’s urban farmers-for-hire are sharing their trade secrets for transforming city lots into organic food gardens in a new video series bank-rolled by a grant from the Co-operators Group.

Victory Gardens — a workers co-op run by Lisa Giroday, Sam Philips and Sandra Lopuch — won $25,000 to complete a five-video series based on the strength of a four-and-a-half minute pilot video that details how to plan garden space. Subsequent episodes will explain soil building, seeds and transplants, winter gardening and growing garlic.

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June 2, 2014   Comments Off

Vancouver’s urban homesteaders go back to the land

duncchick
East Vancouver’s Duncan Martin, of DailyEggs, has been installing two or three bylaw-compliant “Vancooper” chicken coops per month in city dwellers’ back yards. Phot by Trevor Brady.

“And when you make your own stuff, you’re in control of your own stuff.”

By Jessica Werb
Georgia Straight
May 14, 2014

Excerpt:

When it comes to keeping chickens, the first name on Havlak’s list is Duncan Martin, designer and builder of the Vancooper chicken coop. Martin, an East Vancouver transplant from Vermont, builds the coops out of repurposed local cedar and sells them for $700. Since starting the business in 2010, Daily Eggs, Martin says, he’s been installing about two to three of them a month.

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May 22, 2014   Comments Off