Community Initiatives

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

Food Garden Contest


Garden Contest 2021 Update!

Early bird draw prize for anyone registered before June 15, 2021
Reminder that the contest closes June 30, 2021



Promoting food security, the AAC runs an annual Food Garden Contest, with the 2021 theme of 'How does your food garden grow'. The 2021 Food Garden Contest will be receiving entries starting on April 2, 2021. 
Participants are judged on the quantity and range of food grown, the health of the plants, gardening practices and the garden design. Judging will be done in early August by photo submission.

Enter yourself or nominate a neighbour by the June 30, 2021 deadline. The first 100 gardeners who enter can pick up a free bag of soil compliments of Triple Tree Nurseryland and Grow & Gather in Maple Ridge!

All types and sizes of edible gardens are eligible to enter : containers, raised beds, in ground

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Take a “before” photo of the garden as soon as you can.
  2. Send an email with the subject line "Food garden contest" to gardencontest@mapleridge.ca with:
    - The "before" photo
    - Your name, address, daytime phone number, and email address
You will receive an email confirming contest entry that can be used to pick up your free bag of soil!

The deadline to enter the contest is June 30, 2021.

Prize Draws from our Sponsors:

Prize draws include gift certificates for local businesses, including Humble Roots, Hansel and Gretel Bakery, Triple Tree, Grow & Gather, Haney Farmers Market and more!
Grand prize winners will receive a $100.00 gift certificate to Triple Tree Nurseryland and a photo showcase by the City.

Judging will be done in August and will be in-person if permissible, if not, you will be asked to submit an “after” photo. Grand Prize Winners will be contacted after judging is complete.

View the winners of the 2018 Food Garden Contest.


Educational Events 


All Things Compost

This event took place on October 20, 2021 at 7:00 pm via Zoom.

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).