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Category — Vancouver

Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier

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Forthcoming in September, 2016 – By Michael Ableman

By Michael Ableman
Chelsea Green Publishing
Aug/Sept 2016

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—who joined together to create an urban farm as a means of addressing the chronic problems in their neighborhood. It is a story of recovery, of land and food, of people, and of the power of farming and nourishing others as a way to heal our world and ourselves.

During the past seven years, Sole Food Street Farms—now North America’s largest urban farm project—has transformed acres of vacant and contaminated urban land into street farms that grow artisan-quality fruits and vegetables. By providing jobs, agricultural training, and inclusion in a community of farmers and food lovers, the Sole Food project has empowered dozens of individuals with limited resources who are managing addiction and chronic mental health problems.

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July 29, 2016   No Comments

Vancouver aeroponics farm uses ‘space-age’ tech to grow food for local restaurants, markets

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Aaron Ferguson, CEO of Harvest Urban Farms, stands in the Strathcona warehouse where the farm is located. He said he would like to see more aeroponics farms in Vancouver. (Rachel Sanders/CBC)

He said they can get lettuce plants, for example, ready for harvest within 28 to 35 days. “Lettuce plants out in the field take about 45 days to be mature,” he said.

By Gavin Fisher and Rachel Sanders,
CBC News
Jul 21, 2016

Excerpt:

Harvest Urban Farms supplies their produce to restaurants and markets within a 10-kilometre radius of the farm.

Ferguson said he hopes to see the use of aeroponics grow in Vancouver, as he said growing food locally as opposed to importing it improves the quality and eliminates supply chain costs.

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July 22, 2016   No Comments

Fence Gardening by Invivo Design Studio

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fencegWith our vertical vegetation products (A.K.A. “living walls” or “vertical gardens”), you can enjoy herbs, flowers, and vegetables within arm’s reach – even in downtown apartments and compact townhouses.

Vertical Urban Ecology – Invivo’s pocket planters allow you to turn any fence or railing into a vertical garden.

By Yael Stav and Gordon Glaze
Invivo Design Studio
Vancouver, BC

Excerpt from their website:

Invivo Design Studio was founded in Tel-Aviv by life partners Yael Stav and Gordon Glaze. Design research at the studio started by purchasing vertical vegetation systems from established vendors and assessing them for food production in our small Tel-Aviv Yard.

Invivo’s yard soon became a tourist attraction in it’s own right with weekly tours being conducted for sightseers regularly. It became a venue for instruction of vertical vegetation, permaculture and urban agriculture. The yard was inspiring in its methods and prolific in its yield.

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July 12, 2016   Comments Off on Fence Gardening by Invivo Design Studio

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   Comments Off on A Real Farm in North Vancouver, Canada

Ming Pao newspaper visits City Farmer’s Compost Garden

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June 24, 2016   Comments Off on Ming Pao newspaper visits City Farmer’s Compost Garden

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   Comments Off on Tasty Greens Neighbourhood Farms – New in Vancouver BC

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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cornerClick on image for larger file.

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