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Category — Canada

Canada: Urban Farmers Have Been Leaving Vancouver for Greener Pastures

Aaron Quesnel’s microgreens farm, Sky Harvest, used to be housed in an industrial warehouse in Vancouver. But the city’s policies eventually pushed it out. Photo by Nic West, courtesy of Sky Harvest.

The city aimed to host 35 urban farms by 2020, but its policies have resulted in more farm closures than openings.

By Lindsay Campbell
Tyee
Feb 22, 2021

Excerpt:

Less than four years ago, inside an industrial warehouse on East Vancouver’s streets of Powell and Victoria, Aaron Quesnel was living his microgreen dreams. Under stacks and stacks of towering shelves, amid the hums and florescent hues of grow lights, Quesnel and his farm staff spent their days tending to the seeds and sprouts of baby vegetables before hopping on their bicycles to deliver fresh harvests in recycled packaging. His operation, Sky Harvest, had gained a reputation amongst a loyal base of 60 restaurants and local retailers as a choice producer of nearly 20 different microgreen varieties.

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February 23, 2021   No Comments

Canada: Urban Agriculture Policy and Possibilities – Vancouver

Farm plots per neighbourhood.

Our Policy and Possibilities report presents eight recommendations to the City of Vancouver, for how to improve the Urban Farm Guidelines and better support the growth of urban farming in the city.

February 2021
Vancouver Urban Farming Society

Recommendations

  1. Incentivize landowners to make land available to urban farmers using taxation or other policy tools.
  2. Make more City-owned land available for urban farming.
  3. Allow urban farming in all zones as a Permitted Use, and eliminate the Development Permit requirement.
  4. Create building bylaws appropriate for urban farm structures.
  5. Clarify and simplify the business license application process.
  6. Allow other urban farming products besides fruits and vegetables.
  7. Allow non-disruptive urban farming activities outside 8 am – 9 pm.
  8. Expand on-site sales and allow farm stands.
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February 20, 2021   No Comments

Canada: The future of the food supply chain lives on a rooftop in Montreal

Inside VSL (a reference to Ville St-Laurent, the district in which the farm is located); it’s the company’s newest greenhouse, and it sits atop a former Sears warehouse.

“Our objective at Lufa is to get to the point where we’re feeding everyone in the city,” Hage says.

By Tracey Lindeman
Fortune
February 6, 2021

Excerpt:

The world’s biggest commercial rooftop greenhouse sits atop a former Sears warehouse in a semi-industrial northwestern quarter of Montreal. Early every morning, staff pick fresh vegetables, then bring them downstairs, where they get packed into heavy-duty plastic totes along with the rest of the day’s grocery orders.

Tablets loaded with custom pick-and-pack software tell them where to put what: This basket has lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers, plus some chicken, eggs, and milk. The next one has eggplant, cashew Parmesan, tomato sauce, fresh pasta, and vegan ground round crumble. Whatever Lufa doesn’t grow in its four greenhouses comes from local farms and producers, mostly from within 100 miles.

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February 10, 2021   Comments Off on Canada: The future of the food supply chain lives on a rooftop in Montreal

Canada: Aaren Topley on the power of school farms and urban agriculture

Aaren Topley is the provincial manager of Can You Dig It at Public Health Association of BC. Photo by Lorna Zaback.

In the next five to 10 years, about half our farmers will retire and others will give up the farm life and move to the urban centres. We’re also seeing, at least before COVID, a lot of people moving to urban centres.

By Cloe Logan
National Observer
Feb 6, 2021

Excerpts:

“Whether that’s a teacher doing a school garden or a meal program, or someone providing community meal programs to people that are living on the streets,” he said. “Those people really inspire me day to day. I get to connect with them.”

Topley has worked in food system development for eight years and is now the provincial manager of Can You Dig It at the Public Health Association of BC. For the past four years, he has worked with Farm to School BC, which brings fresh and sustainable produce to schools across the province.

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February 10, 2021   Comments Off on Canada: Aaren Topley on the power of school farms and urban agriculture

Canada: Growing Food? Plan Your Garden – Join a Zoom Workshop

Design a Planting Plan
Sunday, February 28, 5-6 PM or Tuesday, March 2, 7-8 PM

Community artist (and beginner gardener) Wendy Oberlander will offer two workshops via Zoom for urban farmers to create planting plans for food gardens. Whether you garden at home or out in the community, whether you are starting out or have years of experience under your fingernails, this will be a chance to think about what you want to grow this season, and to share ideas with others across the Zoom room. Art experience and gardening experience are not required. For details and registration information, please write [email protected]

February 8, 2021   Comments Off on Canada: Growing Food? Plan Your Garden – Join a Zoom Workshop

Canada: Community garden in BC receives COVID relief grant

The money will be used to support the community garden project which combines food security with teaching literacy and numeracy skills.

By Rod Link
Houston Today
Jan. 27, 2021

Excerpts:

In a written presentation to council, Ells called the community garden project a cornerstone program as it provides an informal way to teach literacy and to encourage people to grow their own food.

“The effects of COVID-19 on our mental health and well-being have yet to be realized. The great thing about the community garden is that because it is outdoors, we can run it even if we still have restrictive protocols. Community members are looking to get out and learn something new, many are struggling with food security issues and isolation.”

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February 1, 2021   Comments Off on Canada: Community garden in BC receives COVID relief grant

Canada: When the pandemic hit, I started growing my own food. Now I’ve turned it into a small business

Jon Cleveland in his ‘bunker’ — a basement space where he grows greens for salad mixes. (Submitted by Jon Cleveland)

A survivalist mindset evolved into a way to provide fresh, local greens to Montrealers

By Jon Cleveland
CBC News
Jan 18, 2021

Excerpt:

With a focus on short supply lines for local, fresh food I decided to start a company called BunkerGreens. The name comes from the basement where I grow the greens being similar to an underground bunker, but also because my family farm is named Bunker Hill Farm, after the family that lived there for over 100 years.

This company produces fresh salad mixes that are harvested and sold directly to consumers through the site BunkerGreens.com.

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January 23, 2021   Comments Off on Canada: When the pandemic hit, I started growing my own food. Now I’ve turned it into a small business