Ageson is the market garden manager and community-supported agriculture (CSA) farmer at Farmers on 57th, a one-acre urban farm near Cambie Street and 57th Avenue in downtown Vancouver where she has worked since 2009.
By Jennifer Saltman
Jan 7, 2018
Her farm is one of those helping the city — an urban area with a relatively small amount of designated, protected agricultural land — buck the trend of declining farms and dwindling farmland that has taken hold across the region and the country.
The 2016 Census of Agriculture found that the total farm area in Metro Vancouver in 2016 was 38,380 hectares, the lowest number in 20 years. There has also been a steady decline in the number of farms at the regional and municipal levels. Region-wide, there were 2,412 farms, a 14-per-cent drop from five years ago.
The average age of farm operators in Metro Vancouver has increased — except in Maple Ridge and Vancouver, where there has been a decline in their average farmer age.
The total number of farms in Vancouver in 2016 was 40, compared to 35 in 2011. It’s not a huge increase, said Hannah Wittman, academic director of the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at the University of B.C.