Many forms of urban agriculture have existed for thousands of years. For city dwellers growing food in backyards or even on window sills, this is 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 second of an ongoing series that will explore urban agriculture in British Columbia, Canada, and around the world. Featured on the broadcast will be the launch of an on-line community of gardeners with the hope that every lawn in British Columbia will contain a food producing garden. We will learn of an innovative project that links up underutilized backyard garden space with those willing to urban farm it. When we think of urban agriculture, rarely do we think of growing mushrooms! The steps on how to go about becoming an urban mushroom grower will be shared on this broadcast.
Steve Pedersen - Coordinator, Public Health Association of BC (PHABC) (Victoria, BC) - PHABC works towards preserving and promoting the public's health through disease and injury prevention, health promotion, health protection and healthy public policy. Their recently launched Every Lawn A Garden project is hoping to see every household in BC have a food garden (a 'local' food supply) and for every community in BC to increase the capacity of its local food supply through a system of community and local gardens.
Michael Levenston - Executive Director, City Farmer (Vancouver, BC) - Since 1978, City Farmer has taught Vancouver residents how to grow food, compost, and take care of their gardens in an environmentally friendly manner. Referring to themselves as Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture, City Farmer maintains one of the most comprehensive on-line resources of urban agriculture information. A recent addition to their web site is an on-line tool titled Sharing Backyards, allowing city dwellers with unused garden space to link up with those looking for a space to garden.
Peter Mcallister - Woodlot Director / Mushroom Grower, Lofstedt Farm (Kaslo, BC) - In 1991 Peter obtained a 1500-acre Government Woodlot, situated in the Farm's watershed. It is now being ecologically logged with Percheron horses, and he also needs the help of qualified forestry trainees, in a separate enterprise from the farm. For the past 8 years Peter has explored the world of mushroom growing, and is now offering workshops on how to grow edible mushrooms at home.