Urban Agriculture Kingston

Promoting food sustainability in an urban centre

Liz Schellís reply:

 

I am happy to reply.

1. Food Procurement

 

I am now purchasing bread, at a premium price, from a friend who bakes with all local ingredients. I am pleased to do this. I hope his business can grow. With growth I expect the price can come down and be more affordable.

However, I know that when my children were at home, I wouldn't have been able to afford this bread.

 

The city can't dictate policy of a hospital, but it can suggest changes. I was also surprised when the hospital chose to get its meals from out of town, but it seems to be happening  all over Ontario as a cost cutting measure.

 

There is always a balance between hospital budgets and tax increases.

 

2.   Famers and people experiencing a low-income or feel magrinalized.

The city of Kingston can help in a number of  ways, I believe.

A simple tasteful  sign, support our local markets - and show their time and place regularly, in the paper and on major routes.

Encourage more markets and start work toward an indoor all year round market.

Encourage and continue the push to "buy local" that is coming from many sectors, including Foodland Ontario.

Encourage the schools to teach about local food and most importantly, how to cook it in healthy, tastey ways.

 

Organizations dedicated to food security. I would need to know who they were, their business plan etc, but would certainly be interested to hear from them.

3. Food Policy Council

This seems to be a good idea that I would be interested to explore.

I assume it would be in conjunction with the various groups already working  such as the Poverty Round Table, the Health Unit and Community and Social Services. I don't think Kingston is an island and I believe that if our food security becomes a problem it will be one for all of us.

 

4 Community Gardens.

There is a hill in Garrigan Park that faces south. I think it could be a beautiful terraced garden. The Arena in the park will be used by the Potters and Domino Theatre, so I'm sure we could find room for storage lockers for the gardeners.

I have often wondered if the folks who live in the apartment buildings on Bath Road and Portsmouth would like a community garden, same with the field near the Limestone School Board building on Portsmouth Avenue.

 

5 I have been at meetings where the backyard hen bylaw was discussed.

I think it could work as it has in other cities.

 

However, I have also heard from a woman whose mother lives beside a fellow who removed his hens in anticipation of being able to bring them back.

He didn't keep them clean and smell was an issue.

I was also dismayed by the man who wanted to be able to slaughter his chickens in his backyard. ( Was he saying that to turn people off the idea, I don't know, but he was upsetting)

 

So. I am in favour of the idea, but the bylaw has to be constructed in such a way that the worst aspects of raising chickens near other people's backyards do not become an issue and so we don't have to hire more bylaw officers to police it.

 

Thank you very much for this opportunity.

Liz Schell

Candidate for Portsmouth District