What is urban agriculture?

    • Urban agriculture is the practice of growing, processing, sharing, and distributing food within the city.
    • Examples of urban agriculture can include growing fruit, vegetables and herbs for personal consumption, for commercial sale, for educational purposes and to promote community health and wellness.
    • Examples of urban agriculture practices include community gardens, residential gardens, urban farms, hydroponics and farmers markets

    What is the Urban Agriculture Strategy?

    • The goal of the UA strategy is to work together as a community to enhance and grow urban agriculture efforts throughout the city.
    • The City of Mississauga’s Urban Agriculture Strategy will promote, support and enable inclusive, culturally-relevant local food initiatives focused on meeting the needs of Mississauga’s diverse and most vulnerable communities.
    • Mississauga is an urban community where urban agriculture activities such community gardens, vertical and urban farming can enhance health and well-being, stimulate the local economy, and adapt to/mitigate climate-related impacts and strengthen community-level resilience and preparedness.
    • The City of Mississauga's Urban Agriculture Strategy will support individuals, communities and local businesses to develop creative ideas to expand local food initiatives and improve food security in Mississauga.

    What is Mississauga's draft vision statement?

    The City of Mississauga will support access to healthy and culturally appropriate food, while preserving the ecological and cultural heritage of the land.

    Through community education, health, wellness and healing, the City of Mississauga will increase creative and diverse opportunities for urban agriculture where entrepreneurship and innovation will be encouraged. 

    Through the Urban Agriculture Strategy, the City will work to encourage healthier lifestyles, empower the community to learn new skills about growing and harvesting produce, improve food security, and support local businesses. 

    Urban agriculture provides multiple benefits that help the City advance its environmental, social and economic priorities.

    How does the City currently support urban agriculture activities?

    The City works with Ecosource to manage, operate and maintain community gardens. Ecosource is an innovative environmental organization specializing in fun, hands-on programs that focus on changing daily habits to become better environmental citizens. Since 2006, Ecosource has been managing and operating the community garden program in Mississauga. There are nine public community gardens, including one urban agriculture/teaching garden, in Mississauga parks, which are managed by Ecosource.

    Does Mississauga have farmers’ markets?

    Fresh produce and artisanal goods can also be purchased at farmers’ markets in the city, a few examples are:

    Find more information on farmers’ markets in Mississauga, visit http://www.visitmississauga.ca/shop/category/ farmer-markets.

    What are the benefits of urban agriculture?

    The benefits of urban agriculture are numerous. Some include:

    • Environmental 
      • Reducing food miles 
      • Improving soil health
      • Supporting biodiversity and pollinator habitat 
    • Social 
      • Improving food security
      • Providing educational opportunities to increase food literacy for all ages
      • Providing opportunities to grow culturally diverse food
    • Economic 
      • Supporting local food entrepreneurship
      • Growing food at home or in the city can mean less money spent at the grocery store
    • Health 
      • Eating more nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables
      • Participating in gardening can benefit physical and mental health

    What is a community garden?

    Community gardens are a shared space to grow food. They encourage active and healthy living, and help green the city. Mississauga’s public community garden program is run by Ecosource. Community gardens consist of member plots where residents can sign up for an individual plot to grow their food, and community plots where volunteers grow food for local food banks or to be used in community programs.

    How can I participate in urban agriculture activities?

    There are many ways to participate in urban agriculture. You can: 

    • Start your own garden at home.
    • Join a community garden - If you are interested in a plot to grow your own food, you can sign up to become a member gardener. To sign up to become a member gardener or participate in a community plot, email communitygardens@ecosource.ca or call 905-274-6222 ext. 303. 
    • Visit a farmers’ market and support local.

    How are urban agriculture and climate change connected?

    In the City’s recently approved Climate Change Action Plan, Action #9: Continue to Identify and Mitigate Climate-Related Risks and Enhance Community-Level Resilience and Preparedness, sub-action 9-4 is to develop an urban agriculture and food security strategy.

     

    There are many ways urban agriculture and climate change are connected. Some include:

    • Growing food in the city helps to reduce food miles travelled, shortening the travel time from farm to plate, and helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    • More green spaces can help biodiversity, pollinators and reduce urban heat island effect. 
    • By growing organically and using sustainable methods reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides, helping improve soil health.

    What is hydroponic gardening?

    A growing method where plants are grown in sand, gravel, or liquid, not soil. Nutrients are added to the growing medium to sustain the plants.

    What is aeroponic gardening?

    A soil-less growing method which delivers nutrients to hanging or exposed roots.

    What is aquaponic gardening?

    A growing system that includes plants and fish or other aquatic animals. The fish supply nutrients to the plants which purify the water.

    What is a hoop house?

    Hoop Houses are small, semi-portable greenhouse structures that are used as for starting seedlings and for growing heat-loving vegetables.