Urban agriculture

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What is Urban Agriculture?

Urban Agriculture means the cultivation of a portion of a parcel for the production of food including fruits, vegetables, nuts and herbs for human consumption only. This use is limited to production activities which are not deemed to be noxious or offensive to adjacent properties or the general public. Activities that produce or emit hazards, odour, dust, smoke, noise, effluent, light pollution, glare, or other emission are prohibited. This definition does not include poultry and/or livestock, or the retail sales of urban agricultural products.

Simply put: growing food.

Urban Agriculture is a permitted use in all Residential Zones.

In the City of Kelowna, thousands of large residential back yards are unused lawn that homeowners find burdensome to irrigate and maintain.  Did you know you could partner with a hopeful gardener and grow food for yourself and others in your own back yard?  That is right, anyone can have an Urban Agriculture use in their back yard.

Who is a hopeful gardener?

Any person who is eager to grow their own vegetables who may not have a yard of their own.  This may be a person or family living in a condo, townhome complex or another type of dwelling that does not have a yard. Hopeful gardeners could be young adults, families or seniors who have a keen green thumb, but do not have their own yard.

There are hundreds of individuals and families on the waiting list of the Central Okanagan Community Gardens Society.  Many Kelowna residents are very interested in growing their own food.

Which property has Urban Agriculture potential?

Any residentially zoned permits this use.  The land owner may not be in a position to start and maintain a garden, but a hopeful gardener is able to turn an area of a back yard lawn into a nutritious patch of homegrown food.

How can you reach out to a hopeful gardener?

Much like renting out a room or a secondary suite, online and paper classifieds could be used to advertise that you either have a portion of your yard for lease or that you are a hopeful gardener looking to begin Urban Agriculture.  Similar to renting out a secondary suite, home owners should consider a lease agreement. The below guidelines have items to consider when creating a lease agreement on your property:

  • Central Okanagan Community GardensGarden Rules & Guidelines. This pdf has useful information a land owner may want to include in a lease agreement such as time of day/evening the farmer is permitted on the property, water use, etc.