In our second episode looking at local food growth in London, Ontario, Molly talks to Western University professor and community activator Dr. Gabor Sass about the various urban agriculture initiatives he's been involved with, and ways that individuals and community groups can support each other in growing more food in the city.

We also look into the City of London's Urban Agriculture Strategy, the opportunities it has made possible, and the exclusion of urban hens from the strategy. And we get excited about gardening and the benefits it offers.

After listening to this episode, take the following actions:

  • Join a Friends of Urban Agriculture Working Group.
  • Visit one of London’s Food Forests
  • Plant your own vegetable/herb garden!

Click here for this episode's transcript
Gabor Sass standing in his home garden Dr. Gabor Sass, Western University professor and community activator
Garbor Sass stading at Wood Street Park Food Forest Garbor Sass standing at Wood Street Park Food Forest.
Community garden on Ann St., London, Ont Ann St. Community Garden
Flowers growing in a community garden Flowers growing in Ann St. Community Garden
Lettuce growing in Ann St. Community Garden Lettuce growing in Ann St. Community Garden
Whole view of Community garden Urban Agriculture Community Garden

Links Mentioned in the Episode

  • Middlesex London Food Policy Council - Works to sustain a healthy, safe, equitable and ecologically responsible local food system, that nourishes all residents and is economically viable.
  • Friends of Urban Agriculture London - Urban Agriculture Conference 2016
  • London Environmental Network - Resilient Cities Conference: Preparing London for a rapidly changing future.
  • TVO - “How edible forests are changing London’s landscape (and foodscape)” is an article about London’s food forests.
  • Pollinator Pathways Project - A non-profit helping to educate the public about pollinators.
  • Friends of Urban Agriculture London - A network of London, Ontario citizens who are dedicated to urban agriculture.
  • Small Steps to Sustainability - A website based on the London Public Library workshop series that Gabor Sass coordinated.
  • Common Roots Urban Farm - “Putting down roots: How community gardens help retain immigrant retention.” An article on how immigrant populations are using urban farms to build new connections and to grow produce that can’t be found in grocery stores.
  • Statistics Canada - “Homegrown fruit, herbs, vegetables and flowers, by tenure and type of dwelling” showing that 57% of Canadian households did some kind of gardening for personal use.
  • Livabl - “Green Thumbs: Which Canadian city is home to the most gardeners?” An article showing a ranking of most gardening-friendly cities in Canada.
  • London Environmental Network - Information on the City of London’s Urban Agriculture Strategy.
  • City of London - Bylaw that allows households to sell their produce/flowers from the end of their driveway up to 20 times a year.
  • City of London - Bylaw change allowing urban farms to sell produce on site and restricting the sales (Guideline #1802 ) of produce or flowers from community gardens.
  • Urban Roots London - a non-profit, urban farm with the goal of making produce accessible to all.
  • Melissa Parrot - The London City Farming Project, whose goal was to sustainably and organically grow produce on small plots of land within city limits.
  • Hutton House - a charity that promotes and supports persons with disabilities through learning and life enhancing programs that focus on each individual's strengths, abilities and interests. They also support the P.A.T.C.H. project.
  • Kensington Village Association - A neighbourhood association in London that is supporting the P.A.T.C.H. project.
  • The Grove - The Western District’s agri-business hub where participants share resources, space, and connections to create the right conditions for innovation, education, and growth. This link includes links to the tenants of the Grove including Growing Chefs Ontario, Middlesex London Food Policy Council, LiveFit and the wormery.
  • Molly Miksa - “You've got to fight for your right to poultry: Could backyard chickens become a reality in London?” An article about community hens and the urban agriculture strategy in London, Ontario.
  • SPIN Farming - Small Plot INtensive Farming is a type of farming that aims to produce a higher than average amount of crop from an extremely small area of land with a small amount of upfront investment.
  • My Luscious Backyard - Toronto SPIN farming florist.

Additional Resources

  • The City of London - A list of London’s community gardens.
  • Gabor Sass - “Building a Resilient City with a Network of Community Food Hubs” An article on building a resilient city with the help of food hubs.
  • Sidia Butt - “Changes in the landscape of Southern Ontario, Canada since 1750: Impacts of European Colonization.” An article showing the decline in forest cover in Southern Ontario.
  • biodivcanada - A web page explaining the trends of wetland losses in Canada.
  • Masashi Soga - “Gardening is beneficial for health: A meta-analysis” A scientific article examining the link between gardening and mental health.

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