Community Initiatives

The Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC), in pursuit of implementing the Agricultural Plan, supports a range of community initiatives in Maple Ridge.

Upcoming Speaker Session


Got Land? Are you a landholder looking to have your land farmed? 

Want Land? Are you an aspiring farmer looking for land or to expand your farm?

This session will provide an overview of the BC Land Matching Program, and take a high level look at what goes into creating a solid land arrangement. Everyone welcome – farmers, landholders, veggie growers, orchardists, apiarists, livestock farmers, the more the merrier! Bring your questions!

Event Details:

Event Location: Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Country Fest 2022
www.mrpmcountryfest.com
When: Saturday,  July 23 at 12:30 pm 

The event will take place at the Albion Fair Grounds, 23448 Jim Robson Way, Maple Ridge, BC. We will be set up beside the exhibition building  and opposite the main kitchen. This presentation is in collaboration with the ‘Maple Ridge Agricultural Advisory Committee’ and the ‘Young Agrarians’.

Fore more information contact:

Adam Rieu at arieu@mapleridge.ca

AAC Poster
Darcy

Speaker Biography

Join Darcy Smith, BC Land Matching Program Manager, for a session exploring the nuts and bolts of land sharing, from an agricultural perspective. Darcy Smith has spent the last decade working to support farmers and food systems. She lives and works on unceded Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh territories. As the first Land Matcher in B.C. and now as B.C. Land Matching Program manager, she’s worked with many new entrants, seasoned farmers and farmland holders across the province, who all share a vision to help the next generation of farmers get on the land and to see the land producing food into the future. Darcy also edits the BC Organic Grower, a quarterly magazine showcasing organic farming across B.C.

About Young Agrarians: Young Agrarians is a farmer-to-farmer educational resource network for new and young farmers in Canada. Our work is to grow the next generation through access to land, mentorship, apprenticeship, community, resources and more. youngagrarians.org 

About the B.C. Land Matching Program:  The B.C. Land Matching Program (BCLMP), delivered by Young Agrarians, provides personalized land matching and business support services to farmers looking for land to start or expand their farm, and landholders interested in finding someone to farm their land. The advantage of working with a Land Matcher is free hands-on support to understand regulations, evaluate opportunities, access resources, and ultimately find a land match. The program addresses the high cost of land as a significant barrier for those seeking to enter the B.C. agriculture industry. There is no cost to participate, and our services are available to farmers and landholders of all ages across B.C. youngagrarians.org/bc-land-matching-program/



2022 Food Garden Contest ‘Plant Your Plate’

As part of promoting and supporting food security, the Agricultural Advisory Committee runs an annual Food Garden Contest, with the 2022 theme of ‘Plant your Plate’. Participants are judged on the quality and range of food grown, the health of the plants, gardening practices and garden design. Judging will be done in late summer by photo submission. 

All types and sizes of edible gardens are eligible to enter, including (but not limited to): containers, raised beds, in ground, or otherwise!

The 2022 Food Garden Contest will be receiving entries starting on April 8, 2022.  

Enter yourself or nominate a neighbour by the June 6, 2022 deadline. The first 150 gardeners who enter can pick up either one free bag of soil compliments of Triple Tree Nurseryland or Grow & Gather in Maple Ridge (from April 8 – May 9) OR one free bag of compost (mushroom manure) compliments of the Laity Farm Plant Sale (starting April 21, at 21145 128 Avenue). Please note that either soil or compost will be provided on a first come, first serve basis (supplies are limited at each location), and participants are eligible for one bag only.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Take a “before” photo of your garden.
  2. Send an email with the subject line "Food Garden Contest 2022" to gardencontest@mapleridge.ca with:
    - The "before" photo (one to two only). 
    - Your name, address, phone number, and email address

Judging will be done in late summer by way of photo submission. We ask that you take pictures of your garden throughout the growing season, in bloom, or as you see fit, to showcase the criteria mentioned above (quality of food grown, the health of the plants, gardening practices and garden design). 

We will accept up to five (during or after) photos of your garden, as a submission for the judging. Deadline for the five-photo submission will be August 31, 2022.  You can also submit a 150-word description (max) of your experience along with the photos; however, this description is completely optional.

Grand Prize Winners will be contacted after judging is complete.

View the winners of the 2021 Food Garden Contest. 

Prize donations from our sponsors:

Final prizes will include items or gift certificates for local businesses, including Grow and Gather in Maple Ridge.

Important dates: 

  • April 8, 2022: Contest Opens
  • June 6, 2022: Deadline to Enter
  • August 31, 2022: Deadline for Final Photo Submissions
  • April 8 to May 9: Soil Pick-up from either Grow and Gather or Triple Tree Nurseryland
  • April 21 onward: Compost Pick-up from Laity Farm Plant Sale 

Plant-a-Row, Grow-a-Row, Donate-a-Row

The Agricultural Advisory Committee is proud to support the ‘Plant-a-Row, Grow-a-Row, Donate-a-Row initiative, which supports local food security and further helps to provide healthy and nutritious food options for our local foodbank.  Please see attached link for details

*It is noted there is no need to sign up for this initiative, and that donations (washed with dirt removed) are accepted at the foodbank Monday to Friday mornings, before noon.

Helpful Gardening Resources: 

For more information please contact Adam Rieu, Agricultural Advisory Committee Staff Liaison arieu@mapleridge.ca 

Educational Events 


Past Events

All Things Compost

This event took place on October 20, 2021 at 7:00 pm via Zoom. You can see a copy of the presentation slides here.

Soil loves compost and composting reduces landfill waste. In this session, Dieter Geesing will talk about all things compost: the science behind composting, compost materials, structures, equipment and touch on various composting methods – from bins to drums, from vermicompost to bokashi.

 

Dieter Geesing is the Provincial Soil Specialist for the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture where he also looks after the on-farm composting file. Prior to his government position, he had worked for over 10 years in all sorts and sizes of compost operations – from industrial to vermicompost.

Pollinators and Pollination - An Expert Point of View


This event took place on Jul 22, 2021 via Zoom

Many of the world’s flowering plants are dependent on pollinators for their reproduction. The transfer of pollens from one flower to another flower ensures seed and fruit set.
While there are various kinds of pollinators including birds, marsupials and mammals, the majority of pollinators are insects. Over millions of years, insect pollinators have co-evolved with flowering plants to meet each other’s’ dietary and reproductive needs.
This presentation will focus on the extraordinary diversity of pollinators and their critical role in maintaining sustainable environments. It will also include suggestions for what the public can do to enhance and preserve pollinator populations.

About the speaker: Paul Van Westendorp
Provincial Apiarist, BC Ministry of Agriculture
I was first introduced to bees and beekeeping in Grade 3. My ongoing fascination with bees and their critical role in agriculture and the environment led to my agricultural studies at UBC with employment as summer student with the BC Ministry of Agriculture during the 1970s.
Following UBC, I had the opportunity to become involved in apiculture research at the Agriculture Canada research station at Beaverlodge Alberta for several years. Plans for graduate studies were thwarted when the opportunity arose to manage an apiculture development project in Uganda under the auspices of CARE International. The project’s objective was to provide training and generate supplemental income for subsistence farmers. Political unrest and security issues continued to challenge the implementation of the project.

Watch a video of the presentation here.

Let's Get Farming

Let’s Get Farming took place April 4, 2019 at 7:00 pm in Council Chambers at the City of Maple Ridge (11995 Haney Place). The AAC invited Dr. Kent Mullinix (Director, Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at KPU), Kim Grout (CEO, Agricultural Land Commission) and Chris Zabek (Agrologist, Ministry of Agriculture) to speak to the challenges and solutions to achieving food self-reliance as well as the importance of preserving farmland for future generations.

Stay tuned for more information and upcoming events.

Talking About Backyard Hens


Throughout 2018, the City of Maple Ridge’s Agricultural Advisory Committee (AAC) has been looking at options to accommodate backyard hens in residential areas in Maple Ridge.  Over the summer of 2018, City staff and members of the AAC attended community events to talk about backyard hens in Maple Ridge. Event information boards are available to review here.

At the December 11, 2018 Council Workshop meeting, City staff presented a summary of the consultation activities and feedback.  A copy of the staff report is available here. The meeting was recorded and is available for online viewing here.  At the December meeting, Council directed staff, in consultation with the AAC, to prepare an Options Report that would explore possible regulatory measures that could permit the keeping of backyard hens in Maple Ridge.

As a follow-up, on June 4, 2019, staff presented a report outlining possible regulatory directions for Council consideration.  A copy of the staff report prepared for the June 4, 2019 Council Workshop is available here (Item 4.4).  At that meeting, Council tabled the presentation and discussion to a future Council Workshop.

City staff presented the Options Report at the June 18 Council Workshop meeting.  Council discussed the keeping of backyard hens in residential areas of Maple Ridge and determined that, given the immediate priorities of Council and limited staff resources, that no further work on backyard hens would take place at this time. Council will re-consider this project during a future business planning process.  A copy of the staff report is available here. (Item 4.3) and the meeting was live streamed and available online here.

Updates will be provided online as well as via email. If you wish to be included on the City of Maple Ridge Agriculture Update email list, please send an email to agriculture@mapleridge.ca

Check back regularly for information about the conversation on backyard hens in Maple Ridge.


Grant Program


The Maple Ridge AAC has a grant program that provides small disbursements to worthy organizations involved in promoting agriculture who may not qualify for other grant opportunities. The AAC also provides ongoing support to Country Fest and the Haney Farmers Market.

Interested in being considered for a grant? Fill out an application form (PDF).