Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Resource List

We recently presented at our local library as part of a series on Local Food initiatives. Our talk was about "urban agriculture and urban homesteading", done as a slideshow as well as discussion based on questions from the audience. There were some great questions raised, including:

"is it legal to keep chickens and bees in the city?"
(In our city the bylaws seem unclear, but we do know of many people keeping both hens and bees locally, and also of many cities that do allow this)

"is it really making a difference to go off grid in the city?"
(We say why not aim for net-zero by reducing your energy comsumption and producing your own energy even if you are on the grid)

"how can we produce more food during the winter months?"
(We use grow tunnels, cold frames, a passive solar greenhouse, and an audience member mentioned both an underground greenhouse which has been set up at the University of Guelph, and a geodesic greenhouse model)

"does buying local food hurt international farmers?"
(We believe local small farmers will never put other small farmers out of business. The problems with trade are to do with the largescale agriculture and production which has taken farming out of the hands of individuals, as well as the disparate systems of distribution that are set up for global trade. If every city could be supporting it's small farmers, plus individuals growing much for themselves in whatever space they may have - rooftop, balcony, yard, acreage - and trading for those commodities that can't be grown locally - in our case, coffee, chocolate, spices, rice, etc - then we would be more sustainable globally. But a very good point for discussion, and much more could surely be debated on this topic.)

There were some requests for our resource list, so here it is. I hope to post the entire presentation on our website at some point, but for now this is all I have time for.


Kitchen Gardens -
Heifer International -
FoodShare -
Centre for Ecoliteracy -
Ryerson -
American CG -
Cdn Organic Growers -
SPIN Farming -
Edible Schoolyard -

City Farmer -
Path to Freedom -
Fairview Gardens Farm -
Rhizome Collective -
Little City Farm -

FoodLink -
Baileys Local Foods -
Fertile Ground CSA -
100 Mile Diet -
Slow Food Canada -
Edible Toronto Magazine -
Food KM -
Local Eating
Locavore -
Ontario Farm
Fresh -
Ontario Harvest -
Kitchener Market -


Lehmans Hardware -
Mother Earth News –

There are many other great books, websites and blogs about urban homesteading, gardening and self-reliance.

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