New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Vancouver

A Real Farm in North Vancouver, Canada

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The Bounty and Ethos of Loutet Urban Farm

Story and images by Drew Copeland
Edible Vancouver
June, 2016

Excerpt:

Since its inception, the farm has grown each year, producing 9,000 pounds of food and generating $42,000 in revenue in 2015. The money, although important for maintaining an economically viable project, is beside the point.

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June 27, 2016   No Comments

Ming Pao newspaper visits City Farmer’s Compost Garden

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June 24, 2016   No Comments

Tasty Greens Neighbourhood Farms – New in Vancouver BC

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Microgreens: Sweet Corn, Wheatgrass, Daikon, Oriental Mustard, Curly Cress, Arugula, Fenugreek, Red Cabbage, Sunflower, Beet, Broccoli, Garlic Chives

By Samantha Dobo and Xche Balam

Tasty Greens headquarters is an East Vancouver character home on a popular bike path, which makes our 2 wheeled deliveries a breeze. We offer this punctual service by bicycle, because our aim is to be carbon neutral.

We recycle depleted soil, root mass and burlap via vermiculture and composting at our HQ. This creates nutrient dense soil to enrich future crops. Our Tasty Greens grow under ambient, led and florescent lights, in organic a medium and are grown from organic seed.

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June 17, 2016   No Comments

Climate change causes City Farmer to try different gardening techniques in Vancouver plot

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MikeSharonCity Farmer’s Michael Levenston and Sharon Slack, along with other staff, have created a climate-change adaptation garden. Photo by Carlito Pablo.

Inside City Farmer’s office is a copy of Resilient Gardens 2016: Climate Change, Stress Disorders, Pest Update. Levenston and Slack recommended this new book by Salt Spring Island–based pest-management and gardening expert Linda Gilkeson.

By Carlito Pablo
Georgia Straight
June 8th, 2016

Excerpt:

Last summer was so hot that many probably thought it was one for the books. Well, it turned out that Earth in 2015 had its warmest summer in recorded history. It was another sign that the planet is heating up, due mainly to human-induced greenhouse-gas emissions into the atmosphere.

For some folks in Vancouver, the dry conditions at the time made gardening so challenging that they immediately started an experiment.

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June 9, 2016   Comments Off on Climate change causes City Farmer to try different gardening techniques in Vancouver plot

Vancouver Trending: Urban farming on the grow

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whel A wheelbarrow in the fields at UBC Farm. Amy Logan/For Metro

Vancouver is experiencing an urban farming renaissance of sorts and the city has even launched a two-year pilot project to help legitimize farming in the city.

By Amy Logan
For Metro
May 20 2016

Excerpt:

“There’s an enthusiasm, a sense of resilience and civic engagement,” said Marcela Crowe, Executive Director of the Vancouver Urban Farming Society (VUFS).

The city recently adopted a two-year urban farming pilot. The goal of the project is to “help legitimize urban farming from a land use perspective, and create a consistent approach to urban farming inquiries,” according to the City’s Urban Farming Policy Report.

Besides Vancouver’s long growing season and focus on sustainability, the city’s efforts to promote local agriculture may account for a boom in urban farming. Vancouver aims to increase citywide and neighbourhood food assets by 50 per cent above 2010 levels.

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May 21, 2016   Comments Off on Vancouver Trending: Urban farming on the grow

A tiny backyard urban ‘commercial’ farm in Vancouver BC

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Kitz Kitz Farm. Photo by Michael Levenston. Click on image for larger file.

Welcome to KitzFarm!

From Leigh Wilson’s website
May 8 2016

Salad pick today;
Chard
Rocket
Red and yellow mustard
Baby beet tops
Mizuna
Sorrel
Celeriac
And a green onion

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May 12, 2016   Comments Off on A tiny backyard urban ‘commercial’ farm in Vancouver BC

Vancouver farmers’ land growth being limited by mansion owners

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sothlHome in the Southlands, City of Vancouver. Photo by Stephen Rees.

“There are so many farmers who want to get into this kind of land. It would be nice if [the owners] had an incentive.”

By Francis Bula
Globe and Mail
May 5, 2016

Excerpt:

That kind of standoff throughout the region has Metro Vancouver exploring ways to change the tax system so that people who own agricultural land will be encouraged to use it for farming. The region is also looking at ways to take away the benefits from people who make it look like they are farming when they really aren’t.

All of that matters because Metro Vancouver has more farmland within its boundaries than any other North American city and because the region’s 2,600 farms produce the highest revenues in the province. It’s estimated that a hectare of land can produce at least $36,000 worth of vegetables in a year.

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May 6, 2016   Comments Off on Vancouver farmers’ land growth being limited by mansion owners

Real estate speculation threatens future of Metro Vancouver farmland

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KPU studies agriculture real estate speculation as it threatens the future of an economically viable bioregion in Richmond and Southwest B.C.

By Graeme Wood
Richmond News
April 22, 2016

Excerpt:

Presently, about one-third of farmed land in Metro Vancouver is leased.

Furthermore, Mullinix estimates some 44,000 acres of farmable land is not in production in Metro Vancouver.

Adding to the pressures is the increase in estate homes being built on ALR land. Such mansions are numerous in Richmond and set a new price benchmark based on its value as a luxury residential property instead of a working farm, according to the report.

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April 23, 2016   Comments Off on Real estate speculation threatens future of Metro Vancouver farmland

The executive director of the Vancouver Urban Farming Society talks about this emerging sector

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marcMarcela Crowe, at an urban farm at 57th and Cambie, said the Vancouver Urban Farming Society’s mandate is to grow the sector through education, advocacy, business support and networking. Photo Dan Toulgoet.

On the Record with Marcela Crowe: In 2013, urban farmers sold about $418,000 worth of produce to residents.

By Naoibh O’Connor
Vancouver Courier
April 12, 2016

Excerpt:

What does urban farming look like in Vancouver right now?
The data needs to be updated. We don’t have any data for 2016 or even 2015. But we do have data from 2013. That was the last time a large census of urban farms in Vancouver took place. This will have changed, but there are approximately 14 urban farms in Vancouver. The largest one [Sole Food Street Farms] has about four acres of land. [That goes] all the way to maybe a handful of backyard farms totalling 5,000 square feet. There’s really that variety in terms of scale. In 2013, urban farmers sold about $418,000 worth of produce to residents. The farms are located throughout the city. They’re in the Downtown Eastside, they’re in Mount Pleasant, they’re in the east end and they’re in the West Side, Kitsilano area.

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April 13, 2016   Comments Off on The executive director of the Vancouver Urban Farming Society talks about this emerging sector

City Farmer’s Head Gardener, Sharon Slack, Makes Vancouver Newspaper Frontpage Twice in 6 weeks

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Sharon Slack, 73, says she prefers working at City Farmer in Kisilano to the typical retirement ‘image’ sold in advertisements. Photo by Arlen Redekop.

“Unretired seniors are working overtime”

By Denise Ryan
The Vancouver Sun
April 8, 2016

Except:

Sharon Slack, 73, head gardener at City Farmer in Kitsilano, said she finds the traditional idea of retirement preposterous.

“The whole image they sell you about retirement — all those TV ads that say: Retire! Do all the things you want to do! Travel! Entertain! Good grief,” she said. “I didn’t do that when I was young. Why in the world would I do it now?”

Slack loves her job, but work isn’t just a pleasure — it’s also a practical matter, she said.

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April 8, 2016   Comments Off on City Farmer’s Head Gardener, Sharon Slack, Makes Vancouver Newspaper Frontpage Twice in 6 weeks

Vancouver, BC community garden to make way for condo development

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This may be the last spring for a Vancouver community garden in Southeast False Creek.

By Carlito Pablo
Georgia Straight
March 30th, 2016

Excerpt:

According to Brock, temporary gardens play an important role.

“There’s a shortage of urban growing space in the city,” he said, “and so we serve that function of giving people who might not have growing space an opportunity to plant.”

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April 1, 2016   Comments Off on Vancouver, BC community garden to make way for condo development

City of Vancouver holds a rain barrel sale

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rainb

Quench the thirst of your plants with free water from a rain barrel

City of Vancouver
Engineering/Water Design/Conservation
March 2016

Benefits of rain barrels

The water they collect gives you a source of chlorine-free, slightly-acidic, ambient-temperature water that’s great for your garden.

They reduce your demand for treated drinking water that’s often in short supply in the summer.

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March 30, 2016   Comments Off on City of Vancouver holds a rain barrel sale

Vancouver Tree Book: A Living City Field Guide

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More than 110 of Vancouver’s important species are profiled.

By David Tracey
Pure Wave Media
(March 15, 2016)
240 pages

Trees tell the story of a city, and Vancouver has one of the world’s greatest urban forests. Vancouver Tree Book is the key to a living laboratory unlike anywhere else on Earth.

Slim enough to fit into a pocket yet filled with detailed descriptions and hundreds of colour images, this Living City Field Guide is designed for outdoor use. Bring it with you anywhere you go to discover the quiet giants living among us. Maps to ten Tree Tour walks will help you get going.

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March 26, 2016   Comments Off on Vancouver Tree Book: A Living City Field Guide

Community gardens are scarce in Burnaby and Surrey, British Columbia, report says

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Surrey Councillor Mike Starchuk, who chairs the agricultural committee, said conditions in Vancouver are much different.

By Kent Spencer
Vancouver Sun
March 22, 2016

Excerpt:

The study reported that Burnaby and Surrey have six community gardens apiece on civic land, while Vancouver has 45.

“Other cities don’t like to be compared to Vancouver. They think it makes them look bad,” said Rice. “Surrey doesn’t have anywhere near enough community gardens for its size. Burnaby has also lagged.”

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March 22, 2016   Comments Off on Community gardens are scarce in Burnaby and Surrey, British Columbia, report says

Leila Trickey: Portrait of an urban farmer in Burnaby, BC

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LielLeila Trickey grew up on a farm in Ontario. She spent her childhood roaming wide open spaces. Decades later, she runs an urban farm with her partner in Burnaby’s Big Bend area.

Everything grows well in our garden, because it used to be a chicken farm, so the soil is really rich from the chicken poo.

By Jennifer Moreau
Burnaby Now
March 10, 2016

Excerpt:

You could say farming is in Leila Trickey’s genes. Her homesteader parents and five siblings lived on an Ontario farm, and her childhood was shaped by wide open spaces and fresh earth. When Trickey grew up, she moved to more urban pastures, but she still felt a nostalgia for the land.

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March 11, 2016   Comments Off on Leila Trickey: Portrait of an urban farmer in Burnaby, BC