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January 9, 2012

MARC SCHUTZBANK ON URBAN FARMING

MARC SCHUTZBANK ON URBAN FARMING
GC Resident talks to the Vancouver Sun about the economic sustainability of farming in the city.

Vancouver has a total 15 urban farms, most of them are small-space plots on the east side. During 2010, most of these farmers earned an hourly rate of $8.65, according to UBC master of science candidate Marc Schutzbank who produced a report with 2010 baseline figures to chart the progress of the industry.

“You have to bear in mind that these are new businesses, most less than three years old, so the farmers are still learning how to be productive and how to be a business,” says Marc. "You won’t make as much money farming as you would as a software engineer, a lawyer or a doctor the way that it looks right now in the city ... But that might change as farmers grow, consolidate and farm more land."

Marc encourages communities, including his own, to participate in the local food system. “Buying produce from urban farms is just one way to participate in a local food system. Finding ways to grow your own is another. Green College Residents want to do this as well. We're looking forward to working with the University to make that happen!”

Read the full Vancouver Sun article, “Local urban farmers earn less than $9 an hour: Restaurants are the great untapped revenue source, report's author says.”

Read the Open File article, “Urban farming by the numbers
 

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