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Category — Vancouver

Canada: Vancouver Urban Farming Census 2014 – 2016

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Four farms contributed data on the number of people who engaged with their farms in 2016. 14,943 people came to these four farms throughout 2016 for field trips, summer camps, celebration programs, workshops and other public events.

Marcela Crowe, Project Lead & Researcher
Marc Schutzbank, Project Consultant & Writer
Shauna MacKinnon, Project Consultant & Writer
Lisa Rilkoff, Graphic Designer
A project of the Vancouver Urban Farming Society (VUFS)
June 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpts:

These farms grow! From 2010 to 2016 the sales value from urban farms grew more than five-fold from $129,000 in annual sales to $746,000. Sales to restaurants have been the leading growth area with sales increasing from $13,400 in 2010 to $390,400 in 2016. In 2013, high sales volumes corresponded with greater land under production. In 2016, two of the top three farms were indoor operations with a footprint of 4,000 sq ft or less.

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June 5, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: Vancouver Urban Farming Census 2014 – 2016

Vancouver Urban Sketchers Visit City Farmer

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By Junichi.

Ten of us from the Vancouver Urban Sketchers arrived at City Farmer in Kitsilano for a couple hours of careful observation.

Sketcher’s Blog
May 29, 2017
(Must see. Mike)

Excerpt:

Vancouver enjoyed warm temperatures and blue skies this weekend. Beaches were packed. Bicycles were busy on the streets and pathways. Shops and patios were full. It was perfect for a quiet afternoon getaway into the garden with a sketchbook . . .

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May 30, 2017   Comments Off on Vancouver Urban Sketchers Visit City Farmer

British Columbia boasts the highest proportion of female farmers in Canada, according to 2016 agriculture census

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Elana Evans (left) and Maddy Clerk (right) operate City Beet Farm in Vancouver. (City Beet Farm)

Urban farming and women

By Belle Puri
CBC
May 12, 2017

Excerpt:

City Beet Farm is a commitment between the two farmers and a community of homeowners.

The pair grow a wide diversity of vegetables and flowers on 16 properties in the city.

Homeowners receive a weekly box of vegetables in exchange for the use of their land.

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May 13, 2017   Comments Off on British Columbia boasts the highest proportion of female farmers in Canada, according to 2016 agriculture census

Vancouver’s Indigenous community fights to save native plants at risk

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Lori Snyder believes that indigenous plants should be incorporated into daily diets to improve lifestyle (Sharon Nadeem)

Indigenous herbalists are working to preserve their traditional sources of food and medicine

By Sharon Nadeem, Seher Asaf,
CBC News
May 07, 2017

Excerpt:

A tiny park in central Vancouver surrounded by skyscrapers, a stadium and a concrete parking lot looks like the kind of place that would be hostile to indigenous plants.

But to Métis herbalist Lori Snyder, Hinge Park is a “treasure trove.” She visits the park to fill her basket with indigenous plants, and conducts tours to share her knowledge of traditional medicines.

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May 12, 2017   Comments Off on Vancouver’s Indigenous community fights to save native plants at risk

Cannabis plants spotted growing at Vancouver City Hall community garden promptly removed after report

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On April 24, Ian Young photographed cannabis plants growing in this planter at the Vancouver City Hall community garden. When the Straight went to the garden to confirm that the plants were there, they had already been removed. Photo by Amanda Siebert.

“I want to live in a country where you see cannabis growing in somebody’s front yard, and it’s not a big deal,” he said.

By Amanda Siebert
Georgia Straight
April 25th, 2017

Excerpt:

The campaign calls on “all freedom-loving Canadians to grow a cannabis victory garden” and, in instructions posted on OverGrow Canada’s website, Larsen suggests that these seeds be planted “at City Hall, in front of the local police station, in storefront planters, and other highly visible places.”

“I hope [the plants] are from our campaign, but I know we’re not the only ones with the same idea,” Larsen told the Straight by phone this afternoon. “Regardless, if they’re my seeds or someone else’s, I hope that it keeps happening.”

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May 3, 2017   Comments Off on Cannabis plants spotted growing at Vancouver City Hall community garden promptly removed after report

Vancouver, BC, community gardens – a gift from developers who get tax break

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Chris Reid is the executive director at Shifting Growth, which sets up community gardens in undeveloped properties throughout the Lower Mainland. Reid is pictured Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the Alma community garden in Vancouver, B.C. Jason Payne / PNG

An unexpected offshoot of the initiative is the success of their pre-fab raised garden boxes, which are set on pallets for drainage

By Denise Ryan
Vancouver Sun
Apr 14, 2017

Excerpt:

“The site has been empty for many years and we thought this would be a great way to give back to the community and do something useful while we go through the development process,” said Kevin Cheung, Landa’s CEO in a statement.

Shifting Growth doesn’t solicit developers because there are enough developers willing to assume the risk and responsibility for the garden projects in exchange for a tax break from the B.C. Assessment Authority. If a vacant lot houses a temporary community garden it will be taxed at a lower rate than on a business site.

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April 15, 2017   Comments Off on Vancouver, BC, community gardens – a gift from developers who get tax break

Vancouver, BC, farmer told by city she can’t raise chickens on farmland

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Robin Friesen (left) and partner Jordan Maynard on their Vancouver farm. ARLEN REDEKOP / PNG

“I didn’t take (the bylaw officer) seriously. This is Agricultural Land Reserve land. I told him to go back and read the laws.”

By Glenda Luymes
Vancouver Sun
April 9, 2017

Excerpt:

But what Friesen and her partner Jordan Maynard didn’t know was that although their little piece of top-quality farmland in Vancouver’s Southlands neighbourhood is technically in the ALR, it is also subject to a condition that affects no other farmland in B.C.

According to the both the City of Vancouver and the Agricultural Land Commission, the ALR land in Southlands is governed by city bylaws on such things as noise, smell and the number of chickens a farmer can keep, rather than the provincial Right to Farm Act that normally governs ALR land. The provincial legislation allows farmers to keep livestock and tend crops that might irritate neighbours in an urban setting.

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April 10, 2017   Comments Off on Vancouver, BC, farmer told by city she can’t raise chickens on farmland

The pace of Vancouver development killing Downtown Eastside urban agriculture, group claims

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The executive director of Sole Food says it needs to leave its space by November and options for a new location are limited.

By Liam Britten
CBC News Posted
Mar 21, 2017

Excerpt:

Ableman says Sole Food has already lost some of its space at the corner of Main and Terminal for a new social housing project and it has also lost the lease for its operation underneath the viaducts and will have to leave by November.

It has secured an extension to the lease on the farm under the First Avenue Viaduct and its original location at the Astoria Hotel in the Downtown Eastside “continues to limp along,” but Ableman says an air of precariousness surrounds all its sites.

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March 22, 2017   Comments Off on The pace of Vancouver development killing Downtown Eastside urban agriculture, group claims

Washington DC: Kelly Miller Farm awarded $150,000 in seed money

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Click on image for larger file.

A USDA spokesman said the farm will serve as a model for organizations across the country that want to help consumers understand how their food is produced, especially in urban settings.

By Whitney Pipkin
Green Biz
Mar 6, 2017

Excerpt:

After attending the District’s historically Black Howard University, Bradshaw, 35, stumbled into urban agriculture while trying to teach in an after-school program at a public charter school that has since closed. The students would arrive each day with stomachs full of the Teddy Grahams and Kool-Aid the school provided as snacks only to bounce off the walls during his lessons on “character development.” Then, they’d crash.

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March 13, 2017   Comments Off on Washington DC: Kelly Miller Farm awarded $150,000 in seed money

A local Vancouver blogger visits City Farmer in winter

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Photo by Carol Volkert.

Fishing for farmers

By Carol Volkart
Views From Mount Dunbar
Jan 27, 2017
(After four decades in daily journalism as a reporter and editor with first the Edmonton Journal, then the Vancouver Sun, I retired in 2013.)

Excerpt:

What do you do with leftovers from a railway that once ran beside your demonstration garden? Create an ironwork gate, of course. Twine bagged primroses and birdhouses into it, and invite the curious to pass through. That’s what Maria did when I happened to walk past the City Farmer’s demonstration garden at Sixth and Maple on Monday.

Maria was digging away at what will be a bark-mulch path aimed at drawing pedestrians from the recently dismantled Sixth Avenue railway tracks (now the Arbutus Greenway) into the garden, a teaching and demonstration facility for Vancouverites interested in composting, raising their own food, and catering to the city’s wildlife.

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January 30, 2017   Comments Off on A local Vancouver blogger visits City Farmer in winter

‘The Myth of Complex Municipal Systems’ – excerpt from “Street Farm” by Michael Ableman

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Sole Food’s first spring harvest, cut and come again greens. Click on image for larger file.

Street Farm is the inspirational account of residents in the notorious Low Track in Vancouver, British Columbia – one of the worst urban slums in North America

By Michael Ableman
Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier
Chelsea Green, 2016

Excerpt:

High-level alignment and support does not always trickle down into complex bureaucratic municipal systems that were established to regulate conventional infrastructure such as the construction of a garage or a school, the remodeling of a kitchen, or the building of bridges and roads.

In fact, from the earliest days on our Astoria farm and especially as we began to expand to other sites, it became clear that our needs were entirely foreign to the existing system, totally different from anything that had ever been done in the city. Building inspectors, for example, did not differentiate between a bricks-and-mortar building designed to house auto parts, and a tunnel house used for extending the growing season, which is merely a sheet of 6-mil plastic stretched over a steel frame. And this was just the start. We soon discovered that there simply were no municipal codes that addressed greenhouses, or composting, or multi-acre parking lots full of food.

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January 3, 2017   Comments Off on ‘The Myth of Complex Municipal Systems’ – excerpt from “Street Farm” by Michael Ableman

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

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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cfnewspaper1978618
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