Talkin’ urban agriculture

Margaret Broughton (left) and Cristina Rucci at the Community Garden at Lillooet Park.  - Rob Newell photo
Margaret Broughton (left) and Cristina Rucci at the Community Garden at Lillooet Park.
— image credit: Rob Newell photo

Ideally, events like the Table Matters forum will influence policy changes and make it easy for all to enjoy locally grown fruits and vegetables at home, says Vancouver Coastal Health’s Margaret Broughton.

But until then, such discussions are a chance to learn more about urban agriculture and food security from those taking leadership roles in the budding areas.

“Everything helps. These talks aren’t universal answers but they are a great place to connect with others,” says Broughton.

“It’s a chance to learn what’s going on locally.”

The next Table Matters event — the third to be held on the North Shore — is scheduled for Oct. 28 at the Chief Joe Mathias Centre.

Organized by the Edible Garden Project, Vancouver Coastal Health and the districts of North and West Vancouver, Table Matters covers the gamut of urban agriculture issues.

At the upcoming event, urban agriculture education for youth, food advocacy and municipal chicken bylaws, which caused heated political debates in Vancouver last year, will be a few of the topics discussed.

In addition to a series of short talks from a panel of guest speakers, which includes West Van secondary’s urban agriculture teacher Gord Trousdell and Arzeena Hamir from the Vancouver Food Policy Council, each presenter will have a table set up where attendees are invited to sit down and ask more in-depth questions.

All three North Shore mayors, as well as representatives from Bowen Island and Lions Bay will also be in attendance.

Cristina Rucci, social planner at the District of North Vancouver, says the district is “just starting down the road” of urban agriculture-related discussions, but says the municipality is considering launching an urban farm.

To date, the city boasts the only such area on the North Shore after launching Loutet Farm this year, but Rucci says there have been preliminary discussions about doing something similar at Maplewood Farm.

“There is an interest in an urban farm at Maplewood farm, mixing what’s there with an urban farm component,” she says.

“But it’s only just been discussed.”

The Table Matters event is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Oct. 28. Registration is at 12:30 p.m. The Chief Joe Mathias Centre is located at 100 Capilano Rd. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP at

Check next week’s edition of The Outlook for a story on the event.

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