Veg Instead! is a City of Edmonton and Edmonton Food Council pilot project intended to encourage and educate Edmontonians to Vegetables in non-traditional areas of their private property such as front lawns and balconies for personal consumption and/or sharing.
Did you know that there is no City of Edmonton bylaw prohibiting growing food on front lawns and balconies? Growing food is more environmentally friendly than growing grass and helps make our city more climate resilient. Especially during the global COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to enjoy the food grown with your family and friends or share it with neighbours or agencies that can redistribute such as Edmonton’s Food Bank.
Veg Instead! supports fresh: Edmonton’s Food and Urban Agriculture Strategy, the Climate Resilient Edmonton: Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan and Edmonton’s Energy Transition Strategy. It is supported by Edmonton Food Council (EFC).
fresh: Edmonton’s Food and Urban Agriculture Strategy imagines how new approaches to food and urban agriculture can make Edmonton an even better place to live, work, play and invest. Veg Instead! implements the following Strategic Directions and Recommendations of fresh:
- PROVIDE FOOD SKILL EDUCATION AND INFORMATION
- Work with the Edmonton Food Council and various partners to provide multiple learning opportunities on key food and urban agriculture topics and initiatives
- EXPAND URBAN AGRICULTURE
- Pursue urban agriculture opportunities in existing and developing neighbourhoods
- ENLIVEN THE PUBLIC REALM THROUGH A DIVERSITY OF FOOD ACTIVITIES
- Celebrate and promote local food producers, community gardens and food grown, raised and made in Edmonton
- Edmontonians will be encouraged to grow food well suited for our climate. This consists primarily of root vegetables, but also includes tomatoes, saskatoons and others
CHANGE HABITS FOR CLIMATE
Change Habits for Climate Guide discusses how the food we eat is a major source of the carbon emissions we create. It takes a lot of energy and emissions to get a foreign product to our kitchens in Edmonton. Many Edmontonians are recognizing that food and urban agriculture are an important opportunity to decrease emissions and to increase sustainability and quality of life in their communities.
At the turn of the century, almost all of the food consumed in the Edmonton region was grown here. Having a large garden was commonplace. The environmental benefits of gardening include increased biodiversity and animal habitat, less use of pesticides and fertilizers than in commercial agriculture and fewer food miles because the food has not been shipped.
Veg Instead! supports the Climate Resilient Edmonton: Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan and Edmonton’s Energy Transition Strategy and the work of City Environmental Strategies team:
In August 2019, City Council declared a State of Climate Emergency in Edmonton. This climate-emergency declaration reaffirmed the City’s commitment, laid out in Edmonton’s strategic plan, ConnectEdmonton, to being a climate resilient city. Veg Instead! supports this commitment by demonstrating that urban agriculture plays a role in increasing Edmonton’s climate resilience.