Vancouver's Leader in Transition toward Strong, Resilient, Complete Communities
Urban market gardens (urban farms) are social enterprises organized to grow and sell more food in the city. Victory Gardens meet Peak Oil and the 21st century. Urban homesteaders welcome here too! Part of our Neighbourhood Food Networks.
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Latest Activity: Jul 14, 2015
SOLEFood, many urban CSAs, backyard farms and cooperative farming collaboratives are in operation across Vancouver. Some use cold frames to extend the planting season. Some are run more as a formal business with employees on hourly wages; others are sole proprietorships. All in all, the margins are tight and the work involves long hours. There are few harder ways to make a living in one of the most expensive cities in North America, but none more rewarding.
We got to wondering if there was not something special about urban agriculture that would help turn it into an even higher yielding and thus more sustainable endeavor. Certainly the need for transportation and complex distribution systems drops along with the food miles, and freshness is unbeatable. But despite the obvious value of being close to one's market, does the market in fact reward this? And even if it did, and it appears it doesn't much, can the most needy of healthy local food in our cities afford such a premium?
In brief, farms adjacent to a large metropolitan area seem at most to be able to net their operators $6 to $12 per hour from revenues of $3 to $6 per square foot under cultivation per year. The income volatility from year to year is huge for smaller operations. Here is a well-researched economic primer on starting a Market Garden. We hope this data is not the last word on the subject, that urban farming techniques and yields will improve, and that remuneration will climb quickly as Peak Oil changes everything about industrial farming economics.
This Weekend (Oct 8-9):4 Free and near Free Gardening Workshops with Gardening for the Faint of Heart and Food Security for the Faint of Heart author…Continue
Phil Marsh will discuss production systems and the science and applications behind Biochar carbon sequestering and nutrient production. Composting can improve poor soils by 66% but by adding biochar…Continue
Hi all,In my opinion, the Two Block Diet (TBD) is one of the best local food initiatives in the city; it would be great if there was at least one such initiative in every VV neighbourhood …Continue