The field at Cherry Land Farm, Richmond, BC.Cherry Lane Farm tractorCherry Lane Farm: field, greenhouse, and shed at left, tractor under the fruit trees at right.
     
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FREE agri-tour of Cherry Lane Farm, Richmond

This event has now passed. Thanks to Miles Smart and members of his family, the participants found the event to be very worthwhile. Here's a mailed comment from Sue, a participant who learned about the tour from this web page and decided to join the Garden City Lands Coalition Society afterward:

Thanks again for organizing the agri-tour @ Cherry Lane Farm with Miles Smart. It was great to see a working urban farm and learn about its history from 3 generations.

Agri-tour: Tuesday, July 6, 2010, starting at 7:15 p.m. This is a one-hour event.

Location: Cherry Lane Farm, 9571 Beckwith Road, Richmond, BC.

Learn about: urban farming, organic farming practices, farming with biodiversity, young farmer's perspective

Urban agriculture: This is a great way to see what urban agriculture is about. Although it is small at just 1 hectare (2.5 acres), Cherry Lane Farm has remarkable diversity. Farmer Miles Smart learned the values of diversity from his grandfather, Milo, now in his nineties, and is happy and honoured to carry them on.

Miles Smart, urban farmer, also plays in a band.Guide: Miles Smart (left) has been a farmer all his life. In his spare time he is completing a degree in sociology and history at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and, as you may have guessed, plays in a band. Vera SmartwMilo's daughter and Miles' motherw may help lead the agri-tour.

Weather: Check the Richmond weather as the date approaches, but the tour is "rain or shine."

Ability to participate: The tour is suitable for people of all ages. Caution if you have a bee-alergy: the farm has honey bees.

What to wear and bring: Wear casual clothes, including shoes or boots that don't mind soil.

Benefits: Gain knowledge while sharing in a fun time. You can even buy fresh kale, swiss chard, parsley, onions, and zucchini  to continue the experiential learning with them with family and friends when you get home. (No need to buy anything, though.)

Details: Visions for the Garden City Lands include urban agriculture, not just on community gardens but also on small farms. For instance, a popular concept includes a community farm that grows food for low-income citizens, with those citizens participating in the farming. At present, there are many food plants that grow naturally on the lands, but there is not really any urban agriculture there yet. This makes it hard combat false information, like the idea spread by one Pave Garden City councillor that farming on the land would be limited to growing cranberries. Visit Cherry Lane Farm to see for yourself.

Cherry Lane Farm products: Strawberries: all June. Cherries: July 1stV20th. Zucchini: JulyVSeptember. Apples (many varieties): JulyVNovember. Grapes (green and red): JulyVSeptember. Kale, broccoli, and cabbage: JulyVOctober. Beans (romano, fasa, filet, and plain green beans): JulyVSeptember. Tomatoes: late JulyVOctober. Squash: AugustVOctober. Plums: earlyVmid-September. Starting August 2011, also milk thistle seeds. The farm follows organic practices (without seeking certification). Bringing own bags is appreciated. Payment is cash only.

Note re Agri-tour of Terra Nova Sharing Farm: There is also an agri-tour of Terra Nova Sharing Farm coming up. It will be on Wednesday, June 23, 2010, as part of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Garden City Lands Coalition Society. Since it will take place as a mid-meeting change of pace during the AGM, it is open to members of the society attending the AGM. For details, click here.

Reminder: The Garden City Lands Coalition is a community of people who want the Garden City lands, Richmond, BC, to remain green in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) for agricultural, ecological and park uses.

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