Evolution of an Urban Farmer

Posted by yummyyardsemi on February 27, 2013

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I often tell people that the dream for Yummy Yards started on a beautiful sunny day, weeding a vegetable patch at Southlands Farm. Indeed in many ways it did… However in reality, it is a culmination of all of my previous experiences that has given me the love, heart and courage to embark on this amazing journey to understand one of the most integral aspects of our life: food.

It wasn’t a straight path that led me to Vancouver. My educational background is in Kinesiology, but through my various experiences it became apparent that our health and wellbeing aren’t governed solely by our physiology. Rather, I recognized that they were hugely influenced by the systems which govern our lives: food, water, energy and environment. My quest to be ‘life’ literate took me around the world, first by plane, then on foot and finally by bicycle, to tackle an understanding of all systems, with food on the forefront.

On my way to an awesome permaculture farm on Ometepe, Nicaragua
On my way to an awesome permaculture farm on Ometepe, Nicaragua

During my travels, the contrast in urban and rural lifestyles seemed stark and though I greatly admired the innovative, creative and promising work being done on organic and permaculture farms in rural areas, I couldn’t help but also notice their almost insignificant impact on those who lived in cities a mere 100 to 200 km away. 80% of Canada’s population lives in cities, and I came to believe that without engaging that group in food production, that the beauty, integrity and importance of the work that organic food producers do, would be lost.

So when I came to Vancouver, and was given the chance to take over the CSA program at the last remaining family farm in the City of Vancouver, I leaped at the opportunity. And with that one action, I stepped into urban farming as a profession and found a new community of radically inspiring people.

The assortment of livestock permitted on city property in Vancouver
The assortment of livestock permitted on city property in Vancouver

I truly believe in the role that urban farming plays in the larger food system in that it provides unique entrepreneurial opportunities and also acts as a stepping stone towards rural farming. Urban farming creates an opportunity for city dwellers to gain experience in managing a farm without leaving their familiar urban environment; and it’s these types of experiences that will grow the next generation of farmers.

Another lawn, another farm!

Yummy Yards has now opened it’s 2013 CSA Harvest Box program. If you know anyone in the Dunbar, Southlands, Shaughnessy, Kerrisdale, Kits, interested in purchasing a share please forward them the following link: www.yummyyards.ca/csa.html

Finally, Yummy Yards is a proud member of City Farms Co-op: a producer co-operative of small scale urban farmers in the Metro Vancouver region. For more information on City Farms Co-op, please visit www.cityfarmscoop.ca. We are currently accepting new members, so please apply!

Emi is an urban farmer who is constantly refreshing her farming knowledge base as she farms her way through the City of Vancouver.  She is constantly being inspired by the absolutely amazing people she gets to work with on a daily basis through her role on the board of the Vancouver Urban Farming Society, working collaboratively with other farmers across BC through Young Agrarians and as the coordinator for City Farms Co-op. 

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