Diversity of practices for professional urban farmers
New study reveals diversity of practices for professional urban farmers in Vancouver
A new study conducted by the Vancouver Urban Farming Society (VUFS), supported by the City of Vancouver and Vancity Credit Union, reveals a diverse range of practices and business models emerging as growing food in cities becomes increasingly commonplace.
VUFS Executive Director, Marcela Crowe notes “this study is an important step towards developing recommendations & providing strategic business support for a fast growing sector, and reveals the depth of ingenuity and innovation that urban farming here in Vancouver employs.”
After interviewing and surveying a total of 24 operations in Metro Vancouver, approaches ranging from growing in shipping containers and the conversion of front lawns or backyards to repurposing spaces such as parking lots, schoolyard properties, and even rooftops were revealed. Just as diverse is the range of ways in which products are getting to consumer’s tables.
Nearly 40% of sales for the 24 urban farms interviewed in the study are direct to consumers through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) (some call it Community “Sponsored”) with farmer’s markets coming in about 19% and restaurants at 16.6% of sales. Online sales, sales to schools and other avenues were also identified.