Many forms of urban agriculture have existed for thousands of years. As a matter of fact, for city dwellers growing food in their own backyards or even on their window sill, they are essentially, farming in the city.
As practical and environmentally friendly as growing food within a city can be, the art of gardening has seemingly disappeared in many urban settings. As current farming practices are proving to be unsustainable in the long-term, urban agriculture is looked upon by many as being a critical shift that needs to take place if we are to ensure a level of food security in the near and distant future.
This broadcast marks the first of an ongoing series that will explore urban agriculture in British Columbia, Canada, and around the world.
Wally Satzewich - Farmer, Wally's Urban Market Garden / SPIN Farming (Saskatoon) - Gail Vandersteen and Wally Satzewich are both long-time residents of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They operate an urban market garden. One unique feature of the market garden is that it is located within the confines of a city. Their produce is grown on a number of residential garden plots scattered throughout the city. This allows them to practice an eco-friendly form of agriculture, one that puts less pressure on rural habitats, and fosters self-reliance in an urban setting. This form of agriculture makes it more feasible to utilise organic household kitchen wastes because much of this material can be composted and used for growing crops. Gail and Wally are also the co-creators of SPIN Farming - a business that assists others wishing to adopt a similar business model based on small-plot intensive farming.
Beth Sobieszczyk - Program and Social Enterprise Coordinator, Fruit Tree Project, LifeCycles Project Society (Victoria) - The Victoria Fruit Tree Project of the LifeCycles Project Society sees volunteers and a couple a ladders turning backyard fruit trees into a valuable source of food for the community. The project harvests fruit from private trees that would otherwise go to waste. The fruit is then distributed among homeowners, volunteers, food banks and community organisations within Victoria.
Jac Smit - President and CEO, The Urban Agriculture Network (TUAN) (Washington D.C.) - This information and consulting organization was founded in 1992. It has visited over 30 countries in its advocacy. The urban agriculture book they wrote for the United Nations is the 2nd best selling book ever published by the UNDP. TUAN operates in all media. It is engaged frequently in workshops and conferences. Jac is a regular contributor to the Vancouver based City Farmer web site - an extensive Canadian resource for urban agriculture information.