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Category — Vancouver

Vancouver city requirements curb urban farming enthusiasm

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Yet if Vancouver policies support urban farming, bylaws and regulations are another matter.

By Peter Mitham
Business Vancouver
Feb. 9, 2016

Excerpt:

City staff confirmed that council is set to receive and consider a new policy by month’s end “to support and better enable urban farming,” but it will be limited to recommendations; bylaws and an actual business licence legitimating urban farms remain some ways off.

Staff also declined to address other issues facing urban farms, such as compliance with civic zoning and fire code.

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February 10, 2016   No Comments

In Greater Vancouver: The Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) Farm School

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June Sparrow, TFN Farm School student.

Many indigenous people are striving to protect their heritage and the health of their culturally determined foods.

The Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) Farm School is a collaboration between the TFN and the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems (ISFS) at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU). First of its kind, the school fuses sustainable agriculture and traditional indigenous food systems as tools to build community and create dialogue around land stewardship for the future.

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December 19, 2015   Comments Off on In Greater Vancouver: The Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) Farm School

City of Vancouver mansion owners using farm credit to cut taxes

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Properties larger than two acres and with an agricultural income of just $2,500 a year are eligible for farm status with BC Assessment – even if its owners live in a mega mansion.

By Mi-Jung Lee
CTV Vancouver
December 17, 2015

Excerpt:

Maynard says she doesn’t mind the area’s rapid growth and influx of millionaires, but doesn’t think it’s fair when people build “barns” to store their vintage cars.
“That’s what bothers me – it’s really cheating,” she said. “I don’t think it’s fair.”

For example, one waterfront estate that used to be assessed at $6.6 million has had its property tax halved; another 2.3 acre property was assessed as a farm worth just $117,000.

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December 18, 2015   Comments Off on City of Vancouver mansion owners using farm credit to cut taxes

City of Surrey, BC, wants 80% of the food served to be locally grown

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Blueberry farm in Surrey, BC

My goal is to take the knowledge, skills and abilities of our young farmers and provide them with some lease-hold agreement, financing, so we can have some young agricultural people in the system to start producing food in the City of Surrey for the people of Surrey,” he said.

By Stefania Seccia
24 hours
December 2, 2015

Excerpt:

“The number-one thing that stops anybody farming in the city is the cost of the land,” he said. “But there’s plenty of room out there today, around the city, that’s not being fully utilized for agricultural purposes.”

With the dwindling number of farmers, compounded by unused agricultural land often being bought by private firms hoping to remove the ALR designation, Starchuk said the project might be the missing link to spawn new interest in harvesting that a younger population may have thought impossible.

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December 10, 2015   Comments Off on City of Surrey, BC, wants 80% of the food served to be locally grown

Urban Farms: The New Frontier for Female Farmers

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Vanessa Hamel in her basement farm, where she grow micro greens. Photo by Imelda Raby.

Vanessa Hanel is a twenty-nine year old female farmer living in the heart of grain-and-cattle country in Calgary, Alberta. Hanel didn’t grow up on a farm, but developed a passion for agriculture in her early twenties. After sowing her first handful of seeds in a community garden plot, she grew hooked on growing food and, eventually, farming.

By Trina Moyles
Modern Farmer
December 3, 2015

Excerpt:

Instead of facing the improbability of purchasing land and equipment necessary to farm—which can cost upwards of $1.5 million dollars—the solution for the young urbanite, like Hanel, could be looking within the city—or even in her own home. In early 2015, Hanel started up Micro YYC, an urban farming and micro greens operation in Calgary. She bypassed the barrier of accessing land altogether by “farming” in her basement, investing only $3,000 in industry shelves, grow lights, seed trays, and seeds.

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December 5, 2015   Comments Off on Urban Farms: The New Frontier for Female Farmers

Vancouver’s Fresh Roots is one of four organizations in Canada with large-scale schoolyard market gardens

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Our spinach, lettuce, cilantro, and parsley are all protected from the elements to ensure they are ready to harvest in March.

Fresh Roots Newsletter
November 2015

Excerpt from Fresh Roots Newsletter:

This past month, Fresh Roots attended the Farm to Cafeteria Conference in Montreal. What an incredible adventure! Over 450 people from across the country who are engaged in helping bring delicious, healthy, local food to the plates and minds of students. Fresh Roots was asked to speak about our innovative and inspiring collaboration with the Vancouver School Board, what we’ve learned, and what we’re excited to grow into the future.

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December 2, 2015   Comments Off on Vancouver’s Fresh Roots is one of four organizations in Canada with large-scale schoolyard market gardens

Hives for Humanity: The Bee Space in Vancouver, BC

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Hives For Humanity from Nick Quenville on Vimeo.

“I love the gardens, they keep me busy, keep me outta trouble, outta jail. It used to be “Hey Doc, where’ve you been?” – “Jail” – Now it’s been years since I was in. Used to be every year. I love the flowers. And the honey. I love to water the plants. And the bees are alright!” – Doc

Sarah / Julia /
Cassie Hives for Humanity
Funding proposal

Hives for Humanity is a non-profit organization, creating meaningful change for pollinators and for people in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) of Vancouver, and beyond. We started with the very simple idea that in helping the bees we could help each other. Since then we’ve been working to connect people to nature, to each other, and to themselves.

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November 30, 2015   Comments Off on Hives for Humanity: The Bee Space in Vancouver, BC

New study reveals diversity of practices for professional urban farmers in Vancouver

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rpetvan

24 Urban Farmer and Edible Landscaping Organizations Took Part

By Zsuzsi Fodor and Shelby Tay
Vancouver Urban Farners Society (VUFS)
November 18, 2015
93 pages
(Must see. Mike)

A new study conducted by the Vancouver Urban Farming Society (VUFS), supported by the City of Vancouver and Vancity Credit Union, reveals a diverse range of practices and business models emerging as growing food in cities becomes increasingly commonplace.

VUFS Executive Director, Marcela Crowe notes “this study is an important step towards developing recommendations & providing strategic business support for a fast growing sector, and reveals the depth of ingenuity and innovation that urban farming here in Vancouver employs.”

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November 21, 2015   Comments Off on New study reveals diversity of practices for professional urban farmers in Vancouver

North Vancouver’s Loutet urban farm growing strong

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Five years on, UBC pilot project a model of sustainability

Justin Beddall
North Shore News
November 15, 2015

Excerpt:

Loutet’s first season as a fully functioning vegetable farm didn’t yield a bumper crop, so it only posted $3,000 in revenues. Revenues have risen steadily each year and 2015’s $52,500 in revenues will see it break even. Longer range, with “greater efficiencies and diversification of crops” the farm will continue to reach financial goals set by the Edible Garden Project, noted the report to council. In recent years the farm has expanded operations, adding a veggie cleaning and processing area, an apiary, and compost and raspberry beds, as well as expanding its greenhouse.

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November 21, 2015   Comments Off on North Vancouver’s Loutet urban farm growing strong

Vancouver’s Urban Farming Society releases a study detailing the practice of urban agriculture in the City of Vancouver

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An urban farm on Hastings Street across from Save On Meats in the Downtown Eastside.

The city’s two dozen urban farms operate in a legal grey zone.

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
November 17, 2015

Excerpt:

• Urban farmers have been using front and back yards as growing space throughout the city, but so far none have reached the scale required for real financial success. Lawn conversions have been a catalyst for communities and homeowners that want to embrace a more sustainable way of life, but small scattered growing spaces are not particularly efficient.

• Indoor cultivation, on rooftops, in basements and warehouse space allows urban farmers to achieve greater control over the growing environment and exploit hydroponic methods and vertical farming techniques. Sky Harvest is successfully growing certified organic microgreens in a warehouse space. But a promising attempt at vertical farming in a rooftop greenhouse collapsed under high technology costs.

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November 18, 2015   Comments Off on Vancouver’s Urban Farming Society releases a study detailing the practice of urban agriculture in the City of Vancouver

Former Vancouver city councillor: Growing food in public places brings people together

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Pictured is the Woodland Community Garden. Photograph by: Jason Payne, Vancouver Sun

The simple act of food growing resonates in so many positive ways: improving neighbourhood safety, building links between generations and cultures, making people healthier and happier, relieving poverty, beautifying brownfield sites, educating kids about where their food comes from, improving diets and animating underused park lands and recycling organic waste.

By Peter Ladner, a former Vancouver city councillor, is author of The Urban Food Revolution: Changing the Way We Feed Cities. He writes a weekly column for Business in Vancouver, a weekly newspaper he co-founded.
Vancouver Sun
Nov 1, 2015

Excerpt:

At David Thompson Secondary School, Fresh Roots, a non-profit organization, staged what I consider the consummate food-growing coalition, more than living up to its mission to “create thriving neighbourhood gathering places for learning, sharing, and connecting.” Coordinated by the ebullient Ilana Labow, they turned part of the school ground into a professionally-managed educational farm by engaging the students, teachers, grounds staff, parents and neighbours.

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November 2, 2015   Comments Off on Former Vancouver city councillor: Growing food in public places brings people together

Burnaby B.C. urban farmer brings the harvest back to urban homes

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Shirlene Coté grows more than 40 varieties of organic vegetables and sells at local farmers markets.
Photograph by: NICK PROCAYLO , PNG.

On her small Burnaby acreage Earth Apple, farming is a vocation as devotional a daily prayer; it is also an act of social justice that is both environmental and deeply personal.

By Denise Ryan
Vancouver Sun
October 10, 2015

Excerpt:

Coté’s farm started with potatoes, one acre — “a place to play with” — and a desire to grow.

Now she shares three acres with another farmer, grows more than 40 varieties of vegetables, and sells at local farmers markets. To grow the connection between her farm and the city, she started a CSA program. (CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, a model that is similar to a subscription service to an individual farm. You pay in advance and get a weekly share of the harvest, a model that is workable for either fresh organic produce, or poultry, pork or beef.)

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October 11, 2015   Comments Off on Burnaby B.C. urban farmer brings the harvest back to urban homes

Vancouver, BC offers help to start new community gardens

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Do you think your neighbourhood needs more food growing spaces? Are you interested in starting a new urban agriculture project?

Urban agriculture plays an important role in creating vibrant gathering spaces, greening the environment, supporting local food resiliency and promoting social inclusion. The City of Vancouver has had a long history and support for food growing in the city.

There are two ways the City of Vancouver is helping to create new gardens… Send in your ideas, and potentially get your garden project built!

1. Gardens on City parks or other City-owned land.

If you’re interested in starting your own garden project in a City park or on City-owned property, tell us your ideas! Fill out an Expression of Interest application to help us prioritize support for garden locations and projects. Deadline October 5, 2014.

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September 11, 2015   Comments Off on Vancouver, BC offers help to start new community gardens

Vancouver’s famous Aquarium wants to mix conservation with commercial aquaculture

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A black rockfish swims by inside tank at Vancouver Aquarium. The aquarium’s proposal to produce them commercially has met with some controversy. Photograph by: Mark van Manen, Vancouver Sun

Proposal would produce sustainable rockfish and wolf eels for seafood market

By Larry Pynn
Vancouver Sun
September 4, 2015

Excerpts:

As evidence of the money potentially at stake, T & T Supermarket in Vancouver’s Chinatown this week had live rockfish for sale $21.99 a pound, and live “rice field eel” (a species not threatened) for $20.99 — both well above live lobster at $15.99.

The aquarium has been breeding fish for about 45 years but has been more aggressively pursuing commercial aquaculture since the arrival of Shannon Balfry as director of aquatic animal breeding program about three years ago. “We have the ability to do it so why wouldn’t we do it?” says the PhD graduate from the University of B.C. “Nobody else is going to take that ball and run with it. We can do the ground work.”

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September 5, 2015   Comments Off on Vancouver’s famous Aquarium wants to mix conservation with commercial aquaculture

Vancouver Vertical Hydroponic Farms can feed urban communities while reducing carbon emissions

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greenguysGreen Guys on the Drive have 11 CSA members

Via numerous extremely efficient urban farms, community members gain access to local fresh food while reducing their carbon footprint.

By Co-founders, Brandon, Win and Dan
Green Guys on the Drive
August, 2015

Excerpt from their proposal:

The pictures used in this proposal were taken over the course of three years, by a group called Green Guys on the Drive (6), located in Vancouver, British Columbia who currently operate East Vancouver’s only community supported hydroponic urban vegetable farm. They have 11 CSA members who each pay $200 at the start of the season to receive their share of the farm’s weekly harvest which is sufficient for 2 people. They currently have one farm tended to by three co-founders, Brandon, Win and Dan. The farm consists of three VHF units with a total capacity of 320 plants and a footprint of 34 ft2. This works out to a density of 9.4 plants/ft2 which is more than 3 times the density of traditional soil based planting for lettuce (a leafy green) (7).

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August 13, 2015   Comments Off on Vancouver Vertical Hydroponic Farms can feed urban communities while reducing carbon emissions