I’ve been away from my keyboard this fall after getting married, but research into agricultural land use has continued at our Agriburban Research Centre. A highlight of the last few weeks was the Oct 1st series of lightning talks on the ALR that our team staged at UFV to celebrate the opening of our gallery exhibition of maps and images from our amazing region. We had a really strong series of speakers; Dr. Lisa Powell spoke on the history of the ALR, local farmer Amir Mann discussed the opportunities and challenges for young farmers, urban planner Brendan Hurley outlined how the ALR has shaped urban development in our area, Hannah Wittman explored the importance of local food systems, Kim Sutherland from the Ministry of Agriculture reminded us all how valuable our local soils are, and Head of Agriculture at UFV Tom Baumann highlighted the tensions of farming on the rural/urban fringe. The talks were recorded and will be posted later in the year on the website of the Agriburban Research Centre.
The highlight of the event for me was the gallery opening, where we presented our maps of the ALR South of the Fraser River to the public. A few images below show exactly how much land we have for farming. Green represents the ALR, and purple are lands that have been excluded over the last 40 years. A great evening was had by all as we enjoyed local food and wine from the regions mapped out on the walls. Presenting the maps in this way was an experiment, but quite a successful one. Great thanks to Dr. Lisa Powell and Jen Nickel for making the exhibit happen! The exhibit will be moving to the Reach Gallery in Abbotsford for the first two weeks of November as well. The maps themselves will be online at the ARC website soon.