Community Farms on Public Conservation Lands: Exploring Implications for Local Food

Coop, Deanna E.
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University of Guelph

Community farms are a relatively new type of local food initiative, defined by working landscapes that integrate producers into a supportive social environment in order to facilitate the long-term development of sustainable local food systems. In Ontario, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is the first, and presently the only, conservation authority providing public lands to community farms. In this case study of the TRCA, the conditions for the establishment of community farms on public conservation lands in Ontario are examined, and the implications for local food systems are discussed. Two of the four community farms based on TRCA lands are closely investigated, revealing that one focussed on supporting new farmers by developing an incubator farm, while the other developed a multi-functional project with food at the centre of a place-based community initiative.

community farm, conservation authority, local food initiative, local food system, public land, community food initiative, local food