Friday, 20 July 2012

The Plants Counter-Attack: What's New in Urban Agriculture

Yesterday's post about a small Quebec town forbidding front yard vegetable gardens sent me thinking about the urban agriculture movement.  It certainly is alive and well in Montreal--there will even be a five day conference on it with hands-on workshops next week in the center of the city sponsored by the Université du Québec à Montréal. 

Other efforts: Santropol Roulant, a meals-on-wheels program, has begun a partnership with a group growing food on the island of Montreal commercially.

Hearings on urban agriculture in the city were held in June, prompted by a petition signed by 29,900 who wanted regulations--includingn whether you can have chickens--reviewed and the whole idea of growing your own food in the city encouraged.

About 12,000 people have garden plots in the 95 community gardens sponsored right now by the city.  Countless more grow at least a few tomatoes on their own lots or balconies: 51 per cent of those surveyed last year say that they or someone in their family grows at least a little food.

I must admit that I've switched from vegetables to perennials, because our yard is shady and because the squirrels ate almost everything I grew.  But the two pears trees thrive, with the crop just about ready to pick.  Of course, the squirrels are watching and waiting too....

BTW the photo was taken two years ago  of a small garden next to an auto dealership, where someone had taken advantage of the sun (and maybe absence of trees as refuges for squirrels) to grow some nice veggies.

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