August 6, 2012-
HELP US SUM IT UP AT THE SUMMIT
This is called the Urban Ag Summit, not the Urban Ag Conference, for a reason. It’s designed for breakthrough changes that will come out of it. We would like to celebrate the upcoming changes we plan to make and ask others to join us. To do that kind of avant gardener thing, we need a manipesto.
We’re asking Sumiteers to come to the summit with some ideas of what should go into that manipesto.
Like a pointed root vegetable, the manipesto will have to be short above the ground(two pages at the utmost most) but deep in the thinking it taps into.
It will announce that we’re going beyond garden variety urban ag. We’re talking livestock as well as plants. More important, we’re not just talking about food anymore. We’re talking infrastructure and design and city beautification, not just food. Green roofs do so much more than grow food. School gardens do so much more than provide nibblies for school lunches. Back yard gardens can feed butterflies and bees and birds, and do a lot for the birds and bees of the food system in that way. Community gardens make parks safe and lively. Most plants need good lighting and we intend to give the indirect benefits of urban ag all the benefits of the broad light of day.
And once we set out the benefits, we want investment that allows these benefits to flourish. We want the same public support for this as is given to any other infrastructure projects. We’re talking about a new meaning for economic growth, based on gardening-style growth that’s good for people and the environment as well as the economy.
It’s time these ideas had a chance to blossom. Where better than at an Urban Ag Summit.
Let the feedback begin. Post your thoughts and say what you’d like to see in a Summit manipesto on the Urban Ag Summit facebook page.
Keep posting throughout the conference click here so other participants know what ideas are going around. We’ll hold a final session to decide what ideas and messages are priorities and think about the best way to convey these ideas and messages. Then we’ll give a team of writers and conference authorities authorization to turn these decisions into a manipesto in time to celebrate the fall harvest.
-Wayne Roberts, Canadian Food Policy Analyst and Writer
and tagged with urban agriculture, urban farming, wayne roberts, school gardens, feedback, urban agriculture summit
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June 15, 2012 - Torontonians are returning to their roots, literally. The eyes of the world are watching the massive transformation taking place in Regent Park, and at the heart of the largest revitalization of a city core in North America lies a green revolution.
As partners in the revitalization, The Daniels Corporation and Toronto Community Housing are excited to take first steps in creating a local food system. Food is a common interest that is shared regardless of economic or social background. For this reason, the Regent Park Food Partnership was created comprised of community organizations and Foodshare Toronto (www.foodshare.net).
FoodShare is a non-profit community food organization with decades of experience facilitating community gardens and urban agriculture programs on design issues.
As a new chapter in this community, the Regent Park Food Partnership will increase residents’ access to local, fresh food in addition to expanded hands-on educational programs through the creation of a greenhouse, community oven, community gardens and farmers’ markets in the new six-acre community park.
A trailblazer in the Regent Park Urban Agriculture strategy, The Daniels Corporation collaborated with Dixon Hall Mill Centre (http://www.dixonhall.org ), a non-profit agency that teaches at risk youth carpentry skills, to create balcony planter boxes for residents at OnePark West Condominiums. Following move-in, Daniels and Foodshare facilitated a hands-on planting workshop in which residents left with the resources and knowledge they need to get started in the urban agriculture world.
The Daniels Corporation is also committed to incorporating urban agriculture initiatives such as rooftop and community gardens, edible landscaping and greenhouses to all of their new home communities across the GTA. For more information on Daniels new home communities across the GTA visit www.danielshomes.ca.
Daniels invites colleagues in the design, development and facilities management fields to join them in August at the Urban Agriculture Summit, where Daniels' Vice President Martin Blake will participate in a thought leaders discussion on urban agriculture and development. Register now at www.urbanagsummit.org
and tagged with urban agriculture, urban farming, Daniels Corp, Foodshare, Regent Park
Everything you thought you knew about urban agriculture is about to change…
This August, leading Toronto growers of food and living green infrastructure are hosting next-generation thinkers, designers and food producers who are seeding tomorrow’s urban agriculture….and it won’t be the garden variety urban agriculture you think you already know about.
We’re talking living infrastructure, antidotes to nature deficit disorder and oases for mental health, social wellbeing and economic vitality, regeneration, beautification and gentrification where neighborhoods matter, multi-functional food principles, food forests, cradle to cradle, the brown revolution – the whole nine yards.
Think outside the box, the planter and even the garden. We’re out to urbanize the functions and style of growing food and other living things. We’re not about just growing food in the city. We’re out to grow neighborhoods, cities, greenery, citizen skills, people power.
The formal conference will feature plenaries of leading edge thinkers and implementers from four continents. Distinct streams of workshops will meet all your information and participation needs. Whether you like or need more policy, design, theory, hands-on skills for gardening in yards, gardening on rooftops, beekeeping, forest management, livestock, how-to skills for businesses, agencies and community groups, you’ll have things to take home. These sessions are guaranteed to go to seed. Check out the sessions here.
Before the conference, enjoy a variety of tours of Toronto projects that have put the city and its citizens at the forefront of the international food scene. If you want to shout from the rooftops, be sure to come a day early. Check out the options here.
Register Now. And check back here regularly to keep up with the latest.
Toronto food expert Wayne Roberts is the former manager of the Toronto Food Policy Council.
and tagged with urban agriculture, urban farming, agriculture summit, city farm, Toronto
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