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Community Supported Agriculture in the City: The Case of Toronto
by Sima Patela and Rod MacRaeb,*
http://dx.doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2012.024.003, pp. 85–100
Published online 10 August 2012
AbstractFarming in cities is gaining momentum within North American urban centers. Community supported agriculture (CSA) projects, previously viewed primarily as rural enterprises, are now starting to appear in cities, including Toronto. Urban CSAs address the new food movement's objectives as they can provide good food that is accessible, an income to those growing the food, education on how food is grown, and show the importance of environmental stewardship and the recycling of resources. We used land parcel analysis to examine the potential for vegetable CSAs in Toronto, identifying 77 parcels with a total of 1270 acres (514 hectares) of potential land for CSA farming, a large portion of which are located in the northeast part of Toronto. This represents about 1 percent of the city's surface area. From this analysis, five scenario types were constructed that could be commercially viable, and having a range of land use, zoning, institutional, and residential characteristics. There are considerable challenges, however, in their widespread implementation. Consequently, in this paper we make policy and program recommendations on how urban CSAs in Toronto might be advanced, including pilot projects, institutional linkages, program supports, training, and extension.
Keywords: community supported agriculture, land inventory analysis, policy change, urban farming, urban land use
Banner photos include a Cape Cod cranberry bog; a cranberry “screen house” used to grade fresh cranberries; farmland near Lake Placid, NY, in the Adirondack Mountains; Montmorency cherry trees on the Mission Peninsula of northern Michigan; the historic Round Barn in the South Mountain Apple Belt of Adams County, Pennsylvania; the “Sea of Grapes” district of the Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt, near Erie, Penn; a field of cabbages near Shortsville, NY, home to one of the world’s largest sauerkraut factories. All photos copyright by Duncan Hilchey.
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