As the urban hen debate in our city heats up, here’s another video featuring yet another urban hen keeper. Well, two hen keepers, in fact. The more I get buried in this issue, the more I realize how important it is. In our province at least, it has become about the right for people to produce their own food. That, and the classic objections of noise and poop. I have yet to visit an urban coop that was noisy or smelled of anything at all. I’m pretty sure the same could be said for the vast majority of those who object.
This issue is ramping up momentum because the city is in the throes of putting together a ‘Food and Urban Agriculture Project’, and while I have yet to run into anybody in the food community that has a clue what the city’s up to, apparently they’ve done some work that will be unleashed at a conference held on May 25-26. Sadly, it will cost you $184 to attend to find out what’s going on or to share your voice, for what is tagged as “a key milestone in the engagement process”. Even for not-for-profits. Ouch. Liane wrote a really solid post about this whole thing. I’ve paid my dues to be there, and can’t wait to find out what the heck is going on, and who ends up having the $ to be part of the conversation around urban ag in the city.
When I started farming I had no idea how political growing food is. And how regulated. And how much people who don’t do it care about how you do it, and in fact want to tell you how you should do it.
It’s very odd. Everyone “knows” how farming should be.
And I do like the bit about “you have to pay to be part of the rulemaking process”. That’s very nice — put the bribes and stuff up front and in the open. In the states we let people farm and then fine them. This is progressive!
I’ll be at that food conference. Kind of miffed that we have to pay to ‘share our voices’, but like you – I’m too curious as to what the city has up their sleeves to skip it. Thanks for another awesome video.
Another great post. I find the cost associated with the conference to be offensive because it is clearly not a genuine attempt to engage those who are impacted. I am very concerned with urban food production issues, and had planned to participate in as much of this dialogue as I could, but the cost of the conference is prohibitive to my attendance. I am honestly not sure if I can afford it, and I’m sure I’m not alone. It’s a shame because some of the people who would benefit most from a good urban agriculture policy – and the ability to easily and legally produce their own food in the city- are those with limited financial resources, and yet they are likely not to be heard in this process. I’m very glad to hear that you have made the decision to attend, and I hope there will be a post about it. Thanks again for this awesome blog!
Love the post – especially the idea of a child taking care of the chicken that feeds her – and the ethical concern of a mother raising a child knowing what she is doing is not wrong, but having these ridiculous bylaws that say it is.
YOU paid to be there? I am grinning from ear to ear – not because I know this isn’t important to you – I know it is – but you know why – as you used to say – and maybe still do – on your bio…(something about frugality???)
And I still haven’t paid for my spot yet. I want to be a part of this discussion and contribute with every fibre of my being as this is the very work I have been doing for the last few years in my spare time, like so many of us… yet, I am thinking about just going and hoping they want to hear what i have to say so much that they will just let it be…. but that would defeat the point of having all of the other voices there.
Mack’s post today made a very good point: On Wednesday the City announced Food in the City, a conference taking place on May 25 and 26. It’s “a key step in the development of a city-wide food and agriculture strategy” and is listed as one the possible public involvement opportunities for the project. Anyone is welcome to participate, assuming you have $175 to spend. That’s completely wrong, as Liane wrote. I had the opportunity to ask the two City officials behind the event about this on Friday, and they told me that the conference is not a public involvement event (which obviously is not true). Just one more thing to add to the list of public involvement failures.
These new beginnings are hard – and I want to work together in an inclusive and collaborative manner, but I do not want to have to pay to give my time.
I live in Morinville and I’m just waiting to hear about the City’s sit down on the year long Urban Chicken trials. I plan on bringing it up to my town council because myself and a number of others would love to raise our own backyard chickens. My family are on the edge of our seats with our fingers crossed. This would be such a good thing for people in so many places.