Wednesday, June 25, 2008

June 23rd Meetup: News

Another successful Meetup completed- thanks to everyone who made it out! We're happy to have such continued interest. It will allow us to keep doing what we've intended with these meetups: to inform people about projects going on in their city (and especially their own communities) and encourage them to get involved in order to support urban agriculture in Calgary.

A great idea came out of this week's meeting- we're hoping to hold future meetings at local community gardens, so that we can have a short work period afterwards. This will allow us to support projects, get people directly involved, and get our hands dirty. Woo!

If you're involved in a community garden that would like to host one of our meetings, please feel free to contact me or Grant, by posting a comment here or on our facebook group.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Next Meetup: June 23rd

We've finally managed to book space for the second Calgary Urban Agriculture Meetup! It will be held on Monday June 23rd, at the Eau Claire Market Community Meeting Space from 7 till 9 pm. If you have trouble finding us, please ask at the info desk in the middle of the mall.

Information and updates will be presented about ongoing projects, and there will be an opportunity to present project ideas. This meetup is essentially an opportunity for Calgarians interested in urban agriculture to link up for information sharing and collaborations.

Projects this may include:
• Community Gardens
• Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
• Food Not Lawns
• Food Security
• Guerrilla Gardening
• 100 Mile Diet
• 100 Meter Diet
• Permaculture
• Pesticide-free
• Rooftop Gardens
• Urban Livestock
• Urban Wetlands
• etc.

For more information, we can be found on facebook.

Please bring information about projects, your enthusiasm, and a few friends!

Monday, June 16, 2008

To those of you lurking in the shadows of the internet:

So, here I am, sitting in front of a computer and trying to write something for a blog. Worse, the only thing I can think of doing is pulling that age old trick of writing about myself writing...

As such, I'm going to do something oh-so-novel and write about you reading this blog. Ha!

What are you doing here? I'll start by assuming that you are here because you're interested in making Calgary a better place through learning everything you can about urban agriculture and then going out and growing vegetables on every surface that you can find. Unfortunately, you don't really know how to go about planting and caring for a lasting garden, and so by silently stalking the internet you're hoping to learn enough to make a bountiful and lasting garden the first time you try. I mean, what's the point of planting things if they aren't going to grow into something right away?

I know what it's like, I still feel the same way myself, but perhaps the internet isn't the best place to learn how to garden... I'm going to step up and suggest that each one of you go out and volunteer with the next work party you have a chance to participate in. Just go and spend time in a garden with a bunch of gardeners and pick up what you can from them. If you can make yourself helpful at the same time then great! But even if you only show your face and meet some people with similar interests you'll have benefited.
You know what? I'll make you a deal, I'll do the same thing. As soon as I get back to Calgary next week, I'll put the same expectation on myself, and then I'll report back to you with what I learnt. Just remember, I expect the same from you. :)

Although... now that I think about it... I'm not sure where I'll go to find out about upcoming work parties...
Maybe if there's a blog somewhere on the internet that's keeping track of Urban Agriculture events in Calgary I can follow a link or two and find something...
Tell me if you find a site like that ok? You can just leave a comment with the link.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What is this if it’s not an organization?

There seems to be some thinking that this “Calgary Urban Agriculture” might form into a new organization. To be clear, the intent that Rachel and I had in calling the first meetup was to avoid that — there are already plenty of groups and organizations in the city.

From a recent discussion about this:
We are here as a space to link and network people and projects. We are focused on supporting projects, education and dialogue to foster the broad range of things that can make up urban agriculture.
If we have a ‘mandate’ it’s to get people connected on these issues. There is no formal membership, no central hub, no rules for participation, no one is ‘in’ or ‘out’. We just want to get the work done so that there can be a much healthier urban environment and greater food security for everyone.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Green Roofing: Symposuim at the Zoo!

An artist's rendition of the hanging gardens of Bablyon.

A green roof is a roof which is covered in vegetation, planted over a waterproofing sheet to prevent damage. This practice has many benefits, including improved passive heating and cooling, production of (often organic) fruits and vegetables, and increasing the lifespan of the roof by reducing its exposure to the elements. you can read more about it in the wiki, here.

On June 9th- 11th, there will be a symposium on green roofs in Calgary hosted by the Calgary Ecoroof Initiative, the Calgary Zoo and other local partners. Its goal will be to promote the green roof industry in Calgary, as well as to display existing green roofs. Check it out: Prairie Green Roof Conference and Tour

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Connecting Urban Agriculturalists in Calgary

My apologies for the delays getting everybody hooked in following last week’s meet — I’ve had an overwhelmingly busy week.

There’s now an email list/group for these projects in Calgary: Calgary Urban Agriculture group. Please feel free to join up and share your Calgary-area projects for urban agriculture. I encourage everyone to join this group — it is intended to be our main communication tool to make sure everyone is in the loop (since not everyone will keep up with the blog, and not everyone is on Facebook).

If you want to connect more, there are also some relevant groups on Facebook:
Urban Agriculture Calgary
Calgary Food Security
Calgary Guerrilla Gardeners
And on Meetup:
Calgary Community Gardens Meetup

And a wiki-page for urban agriculture on the Canadian Activism Archives.

First Steps

On news outside the city, I've come across this pleasing little introductory guide on 50 Ways to help the planet. While it is in no way an exhaustive guide, it does serve another purpose.

Returning to Calgary from Vancouver was a strong reminder that introducing green practices and policies within the existing societal structures will be a challenge in some places. I feel very positive about the steps many of you are taking. I was inspired by those of you especially who have integrated green considerations into your lifestyles. This guide is excellent because it is a set of very easy first steps that we can use to introduce our friends and neighbors to the mindset of a lower impact life. Check it out.

Via: Treehugger, 50 Ways to Help the Planet

Amping up Urban Agriculture: Chickens!

It was amazing to see such a strong response to the Urban Agriculture Meetup at Eau Claire last week, as it is to see those of you who are keeping up the good work by pursuing your own personal goals. By picking a specific personal project and sticking to it, we can gain a lot of momentum for the movement.

A great example of persistence on a very specific personal goal can be found Here. Mammacomic, who you may all remember as "the chicken lady," has been doing a ton of excellent work to change the bylaw which prohibits keeping hens within city limits. The letter template she has up is excellent, and I hear speak about a petition that's in the works.

Via: MAMMACOMIC: urban chickens calgary - aldermen