Urban Agriculture Forum

I had the pleasure of attending the Urban Agriculture Forum hosted by Lush Valley Food Action Society, in partnership with North Island College, the City of Courtenay and a Plan H committee.


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Urban Agricultural Forum Overview

February 20, 2017


There was a vast array of interesting ideas discussed about the meaning of Urban Agriculture, and all the positives it can bring to our communities and how to get many different aspects established into our neighbourhoods.


Here’s an informational quote from the handout pamphlet written by Lush Valley Food Action Society in the Comox Valley.


Urban agriculture is a growing movement across North America and includes a wide range of activities that promote greater public participation in the production, sale and distribution of food. Until recently, families grew all or most of their own food. That changed when people started moving into urban areas and food became a commercial product grown intensively.


Today foods often travel thousands of miles to reach our plates. This process can reduce freshness, taste, nutritional value, increases food costs while adding to our carbon footprint. By relocalizing food production, communities regain some control over what they eat.


Lush Valley is … Exploring changes to land use regulations to allow yard-gate sales, beekeeping and hens is an important piece in providing more opportunities to connect people to their food.”


There are so many aspects of this subject to consider, that it would take me days to write about them individually. So for now, I am going to list some phrases to capture my current thoughts for food.


  • currently live in a false sense of food security
  • food store shelves would be empty within days of a disaster
  • grow as much food as space allows/you need/you can
  • growing food is cheap, nutritious, exercise, accomplishment
  • teach cooking & preserving methods
  • create palates and appreciation for real food
  • connect to environment, connect with community
  • it’s not “work”, it’s effort with reward ~ change attitudes
  • preserve surpluses in times of plenty
  • we have savings accounts for comfort
  • we need enough food to last how long to feel secure?
  • learn the skills, so you have them when you need them
  • multitude of urban home ideas with local food supplies
  • some high-density, with common garden plots
  • community gardens and urban orchards
  • more (permanent stalls) farmers markets, walk to them
  • sow more, mow less (sow not mow)
  • not everyone has to grow the same thing
  • bartering is brilliant ~ apples for garlic, etc.
  • people learn seasonal growing
  • once learned, they are less likely to purchase out of season
  • yard-gate sales for residents to sell excess produce
  • yard-gate sales builds diligent gardeners
  • daily .. harvest, spot problems, add water, continuous planting
  • money earned from produce sales augments family food budgets
  • can now afford local, pasture-raised meats and other local products
  • supports neighbours who need items, they walk to purchase
  • selling excess, or donating, means less food waste
  • a small flock of hens per household has huge benefits
  • hens consume household food waste and garden debris
  • hens produce nutrient rich manure for the garden
  • hens are excellent at de-bugging fallow garden space
  • hens provide protein-rich organic eggs for their people
  • bees are vital
  • I had some honey bees take over a birdhouse in my garden