Category Archives: Urban Farming

BC Urban Farmers start off on right foot!

A few Sundays ago, in fact, the only nice Sunday we’ve had so far, 40+ of us from the BC Urban Farmers group sat around tables and hashed out a strategy for forming an organized collective.

After 6 hours we came up with the beginnings of a plan to get our message out, and firm up who we are and what we stand for.

Not all the members farm in urban areas. I do both. Both have different models and different varieties based on space available. It is in these findings that we can come together and compare notes, making us all the more wiser. Intensive agriculture is not new, but it is making a comeback as it feeds a large number of people, has multiple markets, and you can earn a living wage from it.

I have posted our “conclusions” from our first meeting for you to look at: (January+30+Urban+Farmer+Meeting+Summary). Feel free to join us. Even if you have a smaller garden, everyone’s experience here counts. All gardening has value. Especially today…

Can GE and Organics live harmoniously?

I have watched the latest news as the USDA gave the Organic’s industry 2 choices: full deregulation or partial. There is much to consider, so I have written it as I see it. But one thing I feel: we are at the tipping point of our food sovereignty. This could be it folks: whether we get to live in a GE world or not. Hope the experiment doesn’t fail, just in case WE do…

There are several players here: Whole Foods, Stoneyfield and many other grocers that I will be referring to. Their problems run deep and are not as transparent as they seem, so I will attempt to cut through the crap and bring very real, very pressing issues to the forefront.

Here are the problems Stoneyfield, Whole Foods (WF) and all the other organic “grocers/producers” face with this alfalfa deregulation. This is where I would be putting my money and efforts into:

1. We all KNOW the real issue here is not GE alfalfa, but that this ruling is a precursor for ALL GE crops/plants/trees to be released, unregulated. Or at least “moderately”, and anyone that grows for a living understands there is no “moderation” in cross-contamination. This was the open door Monsanto and “friends” needed to push the rest of their agenda. Why? Because they can monitor the pulse of the consumer and public: will they fight it? Will organic organizations fight it? How, exactly, can Monsanto be stopped? Because at this juncture, “stop” is the critical point: the tipping point to losing our food sovereignty, control and choices. That is what this is all about.

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Curtis Stone – Spin Farming is in and profitable!

For those that don’t know who Curtis Stone is, he spin farms in Kelowna (Green City Acres), and has learned how to take 1/2 an acre and turn it into gold. He gets calls from all over the planet from doctors and lawyers on how to make money farming. This is why I want to introduce you to Curtis. If we can show a viable and profitable industry and hungry market for fresh local food (I believe it’s here: demand is higher than supply) then we can change the landscape for monoculture and mass factory farming. I’m not saying get rid of it: I am thinking it needs a bit of revision. We should not be paying farmers peanuts from our tax dollars (middle men take money from us and the farmer). They should profit without subsidies, as all farmers should. And live a good life.

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Adopt a family farmer

What is adopting of a “Family Farmer”

Acquiring or adopting a family farmer is analogous to but different from having a family doctor with the common theme of health promotion in both of them. Both are kinds of business partnerships arrangements of contacts. It is time that everyone worked on adopting a “family farmer.” More importantly, It promotes not only the health of the Earth`s ecosystems but also the personal health. This is becoming more and more important for protecting our all ecosystems, water security and food security through conscientious agricultural practices. There are several advantages to this procedure as listed below. A technical term used  for this adopt a farmer is Community-supported agriculture (in Canada it is called Community Shared Agriculture) (CSA) which happens to be a socio-economic model of agriculture and food distribution.  A CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation where the growers and consumers share the risks and benefits of food production. CSAs usually consist of a system of weekly delivery or pick-up of vegetables and fruit in a vegetable box scheme, and it may even include dairy, poultry and meat.

Benefits of adopting of a “Family Farmer”

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How to make $12 a square foot producing food

I get asked all the time how I figure out how much I make on my production gardens. So here is the magic, or actually, the hard work that makes it all happen. I am using kale as the plant example, and using containers and raised beds. Hope you love math…

Black Kale, the Ancient French variety: I grew 4 plants within 6 square feet. I started them early and planted them as fairly big starts. I already had seeds from the year before (2009). Because kale is biennial, I harvested 21 thick bunches from the year before in the early spring and sold them for $2/bunch – $42. Or $7 a square foot, which alone is a great number.

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Lantzville shuts down 2.5 acre farm for selling produce ????

April: Just when I thought nothing really insane happens to agriculture here, one of our good farming friends was shut down for selling their produce.

First, there is no law or bylaw stating you “can” sell . Second, Lantzville is rural, even considered remote. People sell and trade their wares all the time.

Unfortunately, Dirk Becker and Nicole Shaw cannot grow on their 2 1/2 acre “urban farm”. Not sure what century it was that 2.5 acres was considered urban…. Is it just me, or does this sound rather insane to you too? I can understand being asked t0 maybe get some licensing or permit to sell, but to shut it down?

Link to article here: Lantzville shuts down Dirk Becker’s urban farm

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Video on Obsessive Urban Farmer

Interesting video: an obsessive urban farmer on everything: slaughtering animals, keeping animals, soils, neighbors, predators that kill everything, plus advice for new urban farmers.

Video on seed saving from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds: very useful information and a very intelligent conversation on seeds, GMO’s, seed patents and controls, seeds from around the world, collecting seeds and more. This young man wants to save the world from seed extinction, and he just may do it! Think we’ll try some of his seeds for 2011.