Soluciones Urbanas : A magazine about Urban Sustainability

In January 2018, José Ignacio Montero Vieira and Marco Antonio Murillo started a bulletin in Spanish titled "Soluciones Sustentables". The bulletin is coming out monthly in pdf format.

These online resource is in Spanish, send us your feedback using the dialogue at the Contact Page. We will contact you soon after we recieve your inquire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soluciones Urbanas presents urban theories and ideas in an electronic report. What began as a way to organize intelectual work adapted its shape to modern media and is now in Facebook too. Luis Bayarri took over the task of drafting the first magazine format in March.  Soluciones Sustentables is now a social enterprise in the making. Please feel free to explore our past issues.

 

 

Edible Gardens

Most cities make public gardens available to members of the community who enjoy planting these plots with edible varieties of plants. They cultivate an art of horticulture that goes back in ages, perhaps to the times of the earliest couple, the well known  Mr. Adam and Mrs. Eve.

 

But growing and managing an edible garden requires more than willing, there is a number of basic skills that enable the future horticulturist a successful harvest. This sort of small-scale farmer, needs to learn how to prepare a good soil bed, how to select and plant the seeds, know the right time to do it, grow the plants with the right amount of water and soil amendments, know which unwanted varieties can be removed, how to keep the pollinators around doing their work, how to harvest the fruits of each crop, how to collect seed and finally, how to preserve it and germinate it in a future crop.  

Becoming an urban farmer reduces your cost of living

Your nearest fresh produce store, if you live in the city, could be a community garden, or even your yard or rooftop. Most cities in North America host a webpage showing community gardens and how residents could be part of one (you must have a proof of address to apply).  You can also find horticulture programs offered by public or private schools nearby but the number of resources you'll find online will always outnumber what live courses provide. Not all the content online is adequate, some has been prepared for specific climate zones, plants and goals. However, you will learn a bit more than what you need once you've taken this fact into consideration.

Our experience

 

I was once  part of the Lionel Courchane Community Garden. a project in the City of Surrey, which started right from a grant to use part of a property for farming. City Hall workers and other folks like us, who applied and were granted a membership, built the soil beds, raised a barn, and helped install the irrigation. Later that year, the North American Legacy foundation also submitted a proposal to create a new community garden in the southern part of the city close to real farmland but still close to a neighbourhood of luxury homes. We were hoping to build a CG with 300 plots and raise LOTS of money but the city didn't approve the proposal. Maybe we should try again next year.

 

To have an idea of how to apply for a permit to run a community garden  visit the link  "Old MacLellan Gardens", write me an email if you are a resident of the City fo Surrey and would like to help us revive the application, or if you'd like to help us deliver workshops to explain how to neighbours participate and have fun cultivating edible gardens outdoors. 

Aquaponics in Schools: Do you know that there is people and organizations growing fish and vegetables in hybrid farming systems that recycle the nutrients of fish metabolic excretions into water-based cultures of edible vegetables? The idea is very innovative that is showing that nature can balance organic pollutants when the conditions are right. Aquaponics are excellent laboratory demonstration at elementary or secondary schools of North America.  We received echnical support from Fish2Food of Florida in the United States. Fish2Food provides  Aquaponics Systems and Education, we are working towards ingdo the same at schools of British Columbia in Canada. Would you support us too? Call (604) 521-9561 if you can.

 

Reforestation: We are following up one project in the small community of Orcasitas in San Juan Nuevo Parangaricutin, Michoacan, in central Mexico. The project is run by Daniel Marquez, an environmental activist and journalist of" La Jornada de Michoacan". In Canada, we are trying to connect with Brinkman Reforestation and the Western Sylvicultural Contractors Association with the goal of organizing an event showcasing technolgies in reforestation and alpine farm land use and management. Help us to get there and convince Brinkman Reforestation to help us raise the fundraising event, we'll tell you how. Call (604) 521-9561.

 

4. Ecotecture: We believe it is possible to create a new paradigm where architecture meets ecology and pursues productive, sustainable, safe, efficient and affordable homes. Ecotecture is following  the concepts of ecology and permaculture for a niche agriculture that is capable to fit and produce in small building surfaces o around building envelopes. Ecotecture is not biomimicry. If ecotecture might sound similar to the "Vertical Farm" theory of Dr. Dickson Despommier in Columbia, USA, you more or less got it, but not quite. Ecotecture will help design productive homes or developments that incorporate edible gardens not because the building is a vertical farm. Ecotecture combines housing and edible gardening in one project. Students in building design or architecture are welcome o team-up with us to implement ecotecture in a project, we call the process the Ecotecture Challenge.

 

5. Community Seed Banks: The project has the goal to contribute with infomation about how to recycle seeds, seed types, seed generation, germination and storage as an environmental education for families. The program will be delivered through flyers and assisted workshops. We are currently building partnerships with institutions all over North America. So far, we have found links to continue the process of building a seed bank with established groups in the Greater Vancouver Metropolitan Region, For more information we invite you to explore Seeds of Diversity in Canada.

 

6. The Farmbox: Remember the "Biggest Little Garden in Town" that evolved at Fraserside Community Services in New Westminster? While the little garden is getting smaller (the program is no longer receiving support) as a project that looks for home owners or renters who are interested in having a small edible garden at home, our "Farmbox" invites you to consider a more flexible design than the BLGT while at the same time grab some tools and become a bit of a carpenter to build it with us using old, recycled or new wood. The plan is to customize your garden according to the resources available. If you become a sponsor, we visit you, you explain us what you have in mind, we assess the area, size the farmbox, build it with you and give you online support on how to plant, maintain, and harvest in order to maintain a collection of seeds. We are also developing "The Honeybox", which is the little home for the honey producer pollinators called bees.  Think of it as a hive made of recycled wood from old furniture like drawers or desks. The NALF is currently seeking sponsors to test these projects. Are you interested, give us a call at (604) 521-9561

 

The  other projects that we want to develop and support are:

 

A World Trade Show held in Vancouver at the Vancouver Convention Center, with the topics of reforestation, tree-planting, plant nursing and forest management. The event plans to put Carbon Credits in the forefront of an era when Carbon Sequestration is vital and reductions in Carbon Emissions are mandatory by most government. Our main partners for the project include the Western Silviculture Contractors Association, the Provincial Government and the Vancouver Convention Center.

 

Volunteering at a Salmon Hatchery or a Salmon Sendoff  in the Fraser River. Currently, we volunteer at a Salmon Sendoff which is operated by the Sapperton Game Club and Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Coquitlam.