Vancouver Urban Farming Forum 2011, Summary Report
Urban farming is a rapidly growing practice in cities throughout the World. Vancouver is no exception with many urban farms emerging over the past five years. These urban farms exhibit unique entrepreneurial approaches to commercial food production which contribute to social, ecological and economic aspects of urban sustainability. The City of Vancouver has the goal of being the Greenest City in the World by 2020. Local Food and Green Economy are two of ten areas of focus for achieving the greenest city goals. Report.
The Great Canadian Cheese Festival!
This past weekend brought the second annual Great Canadian Cheese Festival to Picton in beautiful Prince Edward County. It’s Canada’s only showcase of artisan and farmstead cheese with more than 125 different cheeses to taste, it brings together producers from P.E.I. to Vancouver Island! I was lucky enough to attend the cheese festival on Saturday—-possibly the best day of all because it happens to feature the ‘Cooks & Curds‘ gala! Agatha Podgorski blog on Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance website.
BMO: Stock-Up on Local Food This Victoria Day Long Weekend
BMO Bank of Montreal today encouraged Canadians to support local farmers and choose locally produced foods and beverages this holiday weekend. The Victoria Day long weekend is a great opportunity to celebrate springtime with friends and family, and fire up the grill for meals featuring some of the best tasting, highest quality and safest foods produced anywhere in the world. Yahoo Finance story.
NDGs Empress: So now it’s up to the jury!
Following last Friday morning’s 10 o’clock deadline, a jury made up of seven working professionals, including four of the city’s civil servants, will have up to seven weeks to consider three proposals as to what the borough should do with its Empress – the borough’s derelict Sherbrooke Street theatre which many believe could become the spark of an artistic renaissance in Montreal’s west end. While the Empress kitchen will offer a whole new range of locavore food services, Dorsey also described a facility which will include roof-top gardens and entertainment facilities which could easily handle receptions, weddings and other social functions associated with the theatre’s own business and performance schedules. The Suburban Newspaper, Montreal story.
Meal Exchange is a national student-founded, youth-driven, registered charity organized to address local hunger by mobilizing the talent and passion of students. Since 1993, our programs have been run in over 75 communities across Canada and generated donations of over $3 million worth of food and funds to address local hunger. Website.
Urban agriculture advocates in Montreal claim success in drive for city consultations
A coalition of 50 organizations has made history in Montreal by collecting the required 15,000 signatures on a petition to force the city to hold public hearings on the state of urban agriculture here. Members of environmental, gardening and social groups spent the last three months gathering the signatures from Montreal residents. On Tuesday, they announced they had amassed 25,000 signatures. City Farmer News post.
Over 25,000 people support urban agriculture petition
Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay has announced that a public consultation on urban agriculture will be held this spring. The city clerk has confirmed that the petition meets the criteria for the right of initiative and contains 29,068 valid signatures. enviromontreal.com post.
Farming goes to town as crops come to city
The report, called The state of urban agriculture in Montreal, is the first to look at the extent of agricultural activities on the island. It was prepared for public hearings into urban agriculture by the Office de consultation publique de Montréal that are to begin Tuesday night in the Ahuntsic/Cartierville borough. The 54-page document traces the history of agriculture in Montreal from the Iroquois who raised vegetables along the banks of the St. Lawrence River as early as 1,000 AD to the groundbreaking Ahuntsic rooftop greenhouse that produces 25 varieties of vegetables and herbs, enough to feed several hundred people every week. Montreal Gazette story.
Consultation on the state of urban agriculture in Montreal
As part of its mandate to hold a consultation on the state of urban agriculture in Montreal, the Agency today launched a website, www.montrealacultiver.comallowing all citizens and organizations to share their experiences link with urban agriculture. Our goal is to make an inventory of the Montreal urban agriculture practices, problems and future prospects. This site is a collaborative space citizen. Ultimately, we want to see a portrait of Montreal as agricultural practices at the habits and techniques that their distribution in neighborhoods. All your initiatives are important! Whether you have a large vegetable garden, a small yard or just a windowsill. Show your garden! (translation) Website.
Enthusiasm for urban agriculture is growing in Montreal
It seems Montrealers want some soil of their own, and maybe the odd chicken. That’s the message coming out of public hearings into the future of urban agriculture in the city. Expanding the city’s network of community gardens to allow more residents to grow fruits and vegetables was an idea that came up repeatedly at public hearings in Montreal on Monday. Representatives of the city of Montreal and its boroughs have been providing a snapshot of existing urban agriculture projects at the hearings, organized by the Office de consultation publique de Montréal. Montreal Gazette story.
The People’s Food Policy Project recommends a fix for Canada’s broken food system
It’s a face that I will remember for a long time. The farmer, utterly frustrated by Canada’s food system, could no longer muster the will to tell his story. He and his wife were taking part in a community “kitchen-table talk,” coordinated by the People’s Food Policy Project (PFPP). He gazed off at nothing as his wife explained how they had taken over his parents’ farm in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley and built it into a thriving business to pass on to their children. They once had 20 to 30 wholesalers and retailers vying for their produce; now, thanks to corporate concentration in the food business, they have two. That leaves them little choice but to accept the lower prices offered. They must also transport their produce some 500 kilometres to a supermarket distribution centre in Moncton where it is repacked and shipped back to supermarkets just kilometers from their farm. But what really hurt was etched all over that farmer’s face: the vegetables they had taken such pride in growing were, by then, a week old, and their neighbours didn’t see the value in buying that local produce. Margaret Webb essay.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
‘Farmville’ project with real animals launched by National Trust
A large working farm will be taken over for the first time by web users across the world on Wednesday, who will vote on every key decision taken on its cattle, pigs, sheep and crops. The MyFarm experiment hands over power at the National Trust‘s 2,500-acre Wimpole Estate farm in Cambridgeshire, UK. Up to 10,000 farming novices will choose which bull to buy, which crop to plant and whether to spilt fields to resurrect lost hedgerows. Guardian story.
What is MyFarm?
MyFarm is a big online experiment in farming and food production, giving upto 10,000 members of the public a say in the running of a real working farm. The farm is on Wimpole Estate, near Royston in Cambridgeshire. The MyFarm Farmers will join forces on this website to discuss and make decisions on every aspect of the farm: the crops we grow, the breeds of animal we stock, the new facilities we invest in and the machinery we use. The aim of the farm is to be profitable, and to maintain the highest standards of sustainability and welfare. Website.