The second day of Growing the North conference wrapped up yesterday with many presentations from technology to farming. One presentation included Peter Ladner who is the author of The Urban Revolution: Changing the Way We Feed Cities. Ladner presented on the Food Crisis that is hitting the world and the need for food security. The author spoke on the ever increasing global population and how farmer’s will have to increase production by 70% in order to meet demand by 2050.
Ladner explains the ways people in cities have jumped on board combating issues. Some people have began to use the 100 mile diet as well as things like Consumer Supported Agriculture and community gardens.
“Grande Prairie, that’s a leadership thing to be doing edible landscaping, not many cities are doing that. Grande Prairie city is obviously seeing the need for community garden and they have the Farmer’s Market. Grande Prairie is into this.”
The author explains how there is an inadvertent effect from implementing community gardens.
“When people start working in a garden, they start meeting their neighbours. If there is a marginal person, they start feeling engaged and plugged into the community. All of those things help reduce crime.”
He adds that there are ways for the government to help get people on their way to fighting the issue like promoting local food or “buy local” campaigns as well as giving preferential zoning to those growing food.
“As with so many things, it is really a matter of the government getting out of the way and not preventing people from having a Farmer’s Market or from growing stuff in their front yard.”
The former member of the Vancouver Food Policy Council is a frequent speaker on food issues, urban farming and urban agriculture. He spoke at the Growing the North conference at the Entrec Centre on Thursday February 19th.