On February 27th, FUAL (Friends of Urban Agriculture in Lantzville) made a presentation to Mayor de Jong and council regarding FUAL, its history, goals and vision.
Let’s start by trying to get a better understanding of urban agriculture and its importance within our community.
The term Urban Agriculture is defined as the production of food within an urban environment. (Wikipedia, 2011)
“Exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” (Food and Agricultural Organization [FAO], 2006)
“The peoples’ right to define their own policies and strategies for the sustainable production, distribution and consumption of food that guarantees the right to food for the entire population, on the basis of small and medium-sized production, respecting their own cultures and … diversity” (World Forum on Food Sovereignty, 2001)
SPIN Farming (Small Plot Intensive) is small-scale gardening techniques used to maximize the amount of food produced in a given growing space.
Why is food security important?
Food is a basic necessity of life. Vancouver Island once supported its inhabitants with a bounty of foods from the land and sea. Over the last 50 or 60 years there has been a movement away from meeting Vancouver Island food needs through local food production; and a corresponding shift towards increased imports (96%) from off the island.
Urban Agriculture has become a hot topic in the last few years. Across the continent communities are facing similar challenges. How do we grow more of our own food, so we are closer to becoming self-sufficient? Urban agriculture can, help fill that need. If you are growing carrots in your garden this year, you are part of the movement. Most of us are already urban farmers, just on a smaller scale. Small or not it is a start, and we hope we can inspire you to grow more of your own food.
FUAL was formed by concerned Lantzville residents in early 2011 after it became evident there was a need to support urban farming and food security within the District of Lantzville. Since then, this community group has grown in size and has staged numerous educational events. FUAL brought in a number of experts to discuss such topics as soil replenishment, ALR, and planning.
FUAL’s mandate is to provide educational opportunities to all community members with the goal of increasing our food security. We believe that this approach will provide Lantzville with added resilience when our food supply is eventually disrupted by environmental, and/or economic conditions.
We would like greater community involvement when our local government makes decisions which affect our food security issues.
FUAL’S delegation to council was considered a positive step towards building bridges in our community and promoting open discussion on all issues relating to food.
Stay tuned for our first educational workshop this spring, ‘Manure Maven’- proper composting methods for horse manure (supported by the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Environment).
For more information visit http://lantzvilleurbanag.blogspot.ca.